Issue 6
Uncovering regional Italy in London
P2 Italian style
Ways to say ‘I love you’
P4 The romance of Italy
The most romantic spots in Italy
P7 An Italian love affair
Italy’s relationship with chocolate
Food, art and travel to fall
in love with...
he word “romance” conjures up
so many different emotions for
people experiencing it today.
What is not often appreciated,
however, is its most probable
origin is from a term coined in the Middle Ages:
“Romanicus”, meaning “in the Roman style”.
When I think of romance I think of
Italy. I am undoubtedly influenced by my
childhood memories on the shores of Lake
Como. The majestic scenery, at once dramatic
and intimate, with its mountain silhouettes
plunging vertically into turquoise water, dotted
with clinging medieval villages and their
Metropolitan Restaurants
spires, is indelibly associated in my mind with
the profoundly happy times of my childhood
and adolescence.
Romance’s many applications seem to have
one underlying bond: joy. From the mystical
memory of a lost civilisation to today’s most
common image of a moody candle-lit dinner,
it is easy to see how Italy has played such an
important part.
I was thirteen when my father brought the
family to Venice for the first time. We arrived
at the end of the day and my first sight of the
ancient water-borne city was upon entering the
Canal Grande at sunset. No one had spoken
to me about the beauty I was about to behold.
Anyone would have been equally moved by the
spectacle. Such is romance.
And then of course there is the culture.
Music, whose language was written in Italian,
plays a big part in the history of Italian
romance. Just think of the countless operas
that have originated in Italy. It is the same
with art: some forty percent of the world’s art
resides in Italy. Artists throughout time have
clearly been moved by my beautiful country.
What more can I say?
Stefano Fraquelli
Founder, Metropolitan Restaurants
Did you know?
Italians may be famed for their actions in bed, but they
have one of the lowest birth rates in the world.
Caterina Cardona
Director of the Italian Cultural
Institute in London
Italians have been in love
with London for generations.
Renaissance artist Canaletto,
Italian nationalist visionary
Giuseppe Mazzini and
political refugee Antonio Panizzi, who became chief librarian
at the British Museum and designed its domed reading room,
are just a few of the many colourful characters who have
contributed to this city. We quiz Caterina Cardona, about her
own love affair with the capital.
What do you love
about London?
It is a truly multicultural city,
in a way which is difficult to
explain even for an Italian.
Italy is only just starting to
become a place of many
cultures and identities and
London is unique in
its diversity.
Romeo to
What do you hate?
The tube. I am not used to
spending so much time
underground and it really
scares me.
What is your favourite
view in London?
The skyline of the city seems
to be growing every moment.
The other day my daughter
took me to Telegraph Hill
Park, in New Cross. As I live
North of the river I rarely
get to take advantage of a
Southern perspective. It was
really impressive, you could
see all the new buildings
and, of course, the Shard
was towering over the city.
As descendants of notorious 18th century seducer Casanova,
Italians have always made beguiling lovers. From screen-siren
Sofia Loren to iniquitous ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi,
seduction plays a star role in the narrative of this deeply emotional
race. Join us as we bed-hop through history and reveal Italy’s
most amorous (and scandalous) personalities.
talians are renowned for being
passionate. They are passionate about
football, about family and about food.
You only need to watch an Italian
tuck into a plate of pasta and listen
to the groans of pleasure to appreciate that for
these people, it is all about emotion.
When it comes to love, Italians are just as
histrionic. They have arguably been teaching
us how to captivate, charm and adore for
thousands of years.
It all starts with Ovid, the Roman poet. His
Ars Amatoria, a poem that sets out the arts of
love, could be seen as the musical score upon
which countless compositions on seduction
have been based. In it men are taught how to
seduce women and women are taught how to
pleasure their men. Ovid describes the places
you can go to find a partner, such as the
theatre, how to get a girl to take notice and
now to lead her astray covertly at a banquet.
Ovid even advises men to avoid giving too
many gifts, to keep up their appearance, hide
affairs, compliment their lovers, and ingratiate
themselves with slaves to stay on their lover’s
Italian style
Ways to say
‘I love you’
Sei incredible
You’re incredible
Sei bellissima
You’re beautiful
Hai un ragazzo?
Do you have a
Hai una ragazza?
Do you have a
Andiamo a casa tua
o a casa mia?
Your place or mine?
Com’è stato per te?
How was it for you?
Mi piaci molto
I really like you
Vuoi essere la mia
ragazza/il mio
Do you want to me my
good side. Women are instructed to read elegiac
poetry, learn to play games, sleep with people
of different ages and flirt. It is a blueprint that
has inspired generations of Italian hedonists.
Not least Giacomo Casanova. This 18th
Century Venetian adventurer and author was
a true virtuoso in the symphony of Italian
romance. He dabbled in various different
careers in his life, including law, the military
and gambling. He even had a brief stint as a
professional violinist. However the only thing
that really inspired this sybarite was women.
Following his first experience of dallying with
the fairer sex, Casanova proclaimed that his
life vocation had been firmly established.
“Cultivating whatever gave pleasure to my
senses was always the chief business of my life;
I never found any occupation more important,”
he once wrote.
Despite going down in history as
a “womaniser” – with all its negative
connotations – he was allegedly very attentive
to his paramours. Small favours would be
given, to “soften their hearts”, and he valued
verbal communication, stating: “Without
It has been said that there are 101 ways
to say I love you in Italian. This may well
be true, however until you get to that
crucial moment in a relationship there
is plenty more that needs to be said. We
delve into the language of love and pick the
most romantic (and most practical) sweet
nothings you will ever need to know.
Kiss me
Ti amo
I love you
Ti adoro
I adore you
Amo solo te
I love only you
Ti voglio
I want you
Per sempre tua
Forever yours
Sono pazza di te
I am crazy for you
Passami il
Pass the remote
control, love
Sono innamorato
di te
I am in love with you
Where would you go for
a romantic walk?
The parks in London are
amazing. Hampstead Heath
would definitely be one of
my choices, or Richmond on
a sunny autumnal day.
Which is your favourite
art gallery/ museum in
London and why?
Well, I am going to be
classic on this one: The
National Gallery. A museum
of such breadth is the true
glory of this city, and it is
free. I love the idea that
people can just walk in in
the midst of a stroll
around town.
What do you miss
about Italy?
It is impossible to say,
so many things, but also
nothing. This period of
my professional life, in it’s
radical difference to anything
that has come before, doesn’t
allows me to miss anything
as it constantly surprises me.
speech, the pleasure of love is diminished
by at least two-thirds.” Casanova cherished
intelligence in a woman and putatively strove to
be the ideal escort: witty, charming, confidential
and helpful.
As well as being home to some of history’s
most celebrated lovers, Italy is the setting for
many of the greatest love stories of our time.
There are tragic love stories: Shakespeare’s
parable of Romeo and Juliet is based on an
Italian tale and set in Verona. The famous star-
voluptuous, a
Sofia Loren
once famously
you see, I owe
to Spaghetti.
crossed lovers fight their families to remain
a couple (which in itself is very Italian) and
then commit suicide when they mistakenly
think they can no longer be together. There
are scandalous love stories: adulterous lovers
Paolo and Francesca, who was married to
Paolo’s older and crippled brother, have
been immortalised in countless paintings
and writings.
There are stories about unrequited love:
Renowned medieval poet Dante Alighieri fell
deeply in love with a Florentine girl called
Beatrice when he was nine and she was eight.
She married another man and eventually died
aged just 24, but she remained an obsession
for him throughout his life and inspired both
his poem La Vita Nuova and his greatest work
The Divine Comedy.
Even in modern times, Italian lovers
continue to simultaneously provoke us and
endear us to them. Roberto Baggio, widely
regarded as one of the greatest footballers of
all time, has been married for over 20 years to
his wife Andreina and often tells the story of
how her presence at matches helped him score
goals. Luciano Pavarotti was a global opera
sensation but he shocked the world when he
left his wife of 35 years to get together with his
secretary Nicoletta Manotvani, who was just
26 at the time.
Less endearing are the salacious stories of
Silvio Berlusconi’s sexual exploits, which are
rarely out of the papers.
Italian lovers have also stood the test of
time when it comes to being sex-symbols.
From the smouldering Marcello Mastroianni
in La Dolce Vita, to international hotties
Monica Bellucci, Elisabetta Canalis, and Carla
Bruni, Italians will remain renowned for being
pleasure seekers.
The last word, however, has to go to Sofia
Loren. Italy’s most renowned actress is the
embodiment of Italian sensuality. Beautiful,
voluptuous, a gastronome; she once famously
quipped: “Everything you see, I owe to
After all the hanky-panky and sexual
intrigue, food is clearly the final and most
important love affair for Italians.
Metropolitan Restaurants
bottle of
For couples
spending over
£60 on food
Available at all Metropolitan Restaurants. The
offer is valid from 15th February until 30th April
2014 per couple on presentation of this advert.
Metropolitan Restaurants
Metropolitan Promotion
Hotel Il Pellicano
Did you know?
Modern day Lothario Berlusconi has sired
five children from his two marriages.
Hotel Il Pellicano
Luxurious hotel Il Pellicano has its beginnings in a love story. The most
spots in
Perched on the cliff-tops of the Argentario peninsula in Tuscany, with stunning views of the
cobalt sea and Porto Ercole below, this secluded resort was founded in 1965 by high society
couple Michael Graham, an ex Royal Air Force pilot, and American jet-setter
Patsy Daszel. They fell in love with the place and immediately embarked on creating a
convivial and relaxed hotel in which they could entertain their friends. Called Il Pellicano as a tribute to Pelican Point in California, where the couple had first met,
it quickly became the holiday destination for socialites, artists and European Royalty. This is the story of how it all began.
It is difficult not to feel the love when you go to Italy. It seems
to pervade the sultry air, can be found in cosy wine bars and
seems to follow you as you settle into a picturesque riverside
trattoria with a loved one and the violinists emerge out of
nowhere. Finding romantic spots in Italy is far from arduous.
However, as a gesture of our love for you, we’ve come up with
our ultimate list.
Pictures courtesy of
01 Adige river
02 Venice
03 The Trevi Fountain
04 Piazza delle Erbe
05/06 Amalfi Coast
First up, is Villa Rufolo, in Ravello, on the
stunning Amalfi Coast. The gardens of this
13th Century villa were the inspiration for
Richard Wagner’s seductive garden scene in
Parsifal. With majestic views of the sparkling
Mediterranean below, it is the perfect setting
for a blossoming romance. We suggest you
head up there first thing, when the day is still
young and full of promise. You can always go
back to bed afterwards.
Venice has been dubbed one of the most
romantic destinations in the world. However
it is also one of the most touristy. Ardent
lovers wishing to discover the real Venice
should head to the brilliant Rialto food
market, located in front of the small church of
San Giacomo di Rialto. Famous for its seafood,
this is the place to stock up on sumptuous
ingredients for a private dinner for two. Just
around the corner is a friendly bacaro selling
great street-food snacks such as calamari and
langoustines. As Virginia Woolf wrote, “One
cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one
has not dined well.”
There is plenty of romance to be
found in Rome. The Trevi fountain at
night is spectacular and intimate dining
establishments abound. For something a little
more intriguing, head to the Keats-Shelley
House on the Spanish Steps. These giants of
Romantic Poetry both lived here and a visit to
the museum celebrating their tragic lives will
certainly impress your paramour. Afterwards,
embrace a true Roman tradition and take an
evening stroll hand-in-hand with your loved
one along the cobbled streets off Via Condotti,
dodging the rose-sellers along the way.
Capri oozes romance. It seems to waft along
the streets of this pretty island in the bay of
Naples along with the scent of lemon blossom
and fresh sea air. With its picturesque central
piazza and a myriad of intimate restaurants
to choose from, it is hard not be charmed
by this place. However for a truly romantic
experience, head to the famous Grotta Azzurra
for a late afternoon dip, when all the tourist
boats have gone. The cave, which has been
known of since Roman times, fills with an eery
blue light is one of those rare sights that truly
lives up to its expectations.
City guide
A guide to romance in Verona
Verona has been dining out on the
tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet
for centuries. Couples come in their
thousands to lap up the romance (and see
that balcony of course). There is even an
annual event, dedicated to matters of the
heart. Dubbed Verona in Love, it takes
place around Valentine’s Day and includes
tours following in the footsteps of the
star-crossed lovers, art exhibitions and free
evening concerts. Whilst difficult to avoid
Shakespeare’s famous yarn, there is plenty
more to discover in this most seductive of
cities that will set your hearts alight.
Drink: Valpolicella is the local wine.
This heady red has struggled in the past
to make its mark on the world stage, but
in recent years quality has improved
dramatically. Amarone is the most
renowned variety and is ranked as one
of Italy’s greatest.
Must see: Juliet’s mythical house on Via
Capello, a romantic mansion that may or
may not have been where she famously
spoke from the balcony to her lover Romeo
below. Who cares if it’s true? You can’t
come on a romantic pilgrimage to Verona
and miss it.
If music be the food of love: Watch
an opera at the Arena, the ancient Roman
amphitheatre that dominates the city
centre. Your loved one will be swept off
their feet by the magical experience of
listening to world class music under a
starlit sky. The 2014 season kicks off in
June with Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera.
Eat: Verona, like many Italian cities, is a
great place to eat out. Specialities include
Risotto all’ Amarone, cooked in Verona’s
most famous wine, and Stinco al Maiale,
braised pork shank. Portions are huge and
there are prices for all budgets.
Go for a sunset stroll: Take your lover
by the hand and head out into Verona’s
beautifully preserved historic centre.
The embankment of the Adige river is very
picturesque, lined with castles, churches
and cypress trees and panoramic views of
the Dolomites in the distance.
Paint the town red: Candle-lit dinners
for two are readily on offer in Verona,
but there is also a lively bar scene for the
so-inclined. Piazza delle Erbe is where
the beautiful people convene. For a more
aphrodisiacal experience, head to Art &
Chocolate Gallery Bar, a designer lounge
bar that doubles up as a chocolatier.
Snuggle up in the most romantic bed
in town: Il Sogno di Giulietta is a luxury
boutique hotel right inside the courtyard
of the palace where Romeo and Juliet first
laid eyes on each other. The gates are
locked at night, so couples can gaze up at
the famous balcony without the hordes
of tourists.
Useful links:
Metropolitan Restaurants
ichael Graham was the only survivor of a plane crash in Africa
in the mid-1950s. The news, widely reported by the European
and American press, shocked American socialite Patsy Daszel
so much that she cut out the article and pasted it in her diary,
hoping to meet the brave and lucky British soldier one day. Like a fairy tale, her wish came true and it was love at first sight. They decided
to sell up in America and decamp to Europe. They searched all over the continent
to find a place that was as striking and as deep as their adoration for each other.
Eventually they found the answer when a friend, Prince Alessandro “Tinti”
Borghese, introduced them to a stretch of cliffs overlooking the sea in the midst
of the magnificent Monte Argentario. Once again it was love at first sight. It was
the perfect location in which to establish a select club for their socialite guests,
including the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Henry Fonda, Gianni Agnelli and Slim
Aarons. A regular guest and friend of the Grahams was Roberto Sciò, a charismatic
Italian business man. He also fell in love with the place and ended up buying the
property in 1979 when the founders decided to return to the UK. Over the years, the Sciò family injected a sense of Italian style and unobtrusive
luxury into the resort whilst retaining its integrity and the relaxed feeling of being
at home. In 1982 Il Pellicano became part of the Relais & Châteaux hotel chain.
Its two-starred Michelin restaurant was also awarded ‘3 forks’ by Italy’s leading
culinary guide Gambero Rosso. Today Il Pellicano is an elegant five-star hotel
owned by Leading Hotels of the World.
The Hotel
Il Pellicano is located in a spot where peace and tranquillity reign supreme and
still offers dreamlike views of the unspoiled waters of the Tuscan coast. Composed
of six cottages and a main building, Il Pellicano is more a cluster of villas than a
traditional hotel, with 34 rooms, five junior suites and 11 deluxe suites, all of them
surrounded by century-old olive trees, cypresses and fragrant Mediterranean flora. The central body of the hotel complex offers a pleasant succession of Tuscanstyle corridors, vaulted ceilings, recesses and passages, where also the reception,
the bar, the 2-starred Michelin Il Pellicano Restaurant, La Cantina wine cellar and
the conference room are located. Also part of the main structure is the renewed PELLICLUB health & beauty
Spa with a Roman style Calidarium steam bath, and four treatment rooms for the
most advanced and pampering body and face treatments, hairdressing service and
state of the art work-out equipment. The boutique, located within the PELLICLUB
carries a great selection of gowns, swimsuits, jewellery and accessories by the
hippest designers.
Stepping down towards the sea, the PELLIGRILL restaurant serves enjoyable
grilled foods, a buffet lunch and romantic dinners. An outdoor heated salt water
swimming pool, overlooking the Argentario coast, offers relaxing days in the sun
and a nearby lift leads to the hotel’s private beach. Rooms and Suites
The cottages scattered throughout the gardens were built in part by the Grahams,
and later transformed into welcoming hotel rooms by the designer Marie Louise
Sciò. Gardens of herbs and wild rosemary, ancient olive trees and cypress were
designed by the internationally renown landscape architect Paolo Pejrone. All the rooms and suites are unique, decorated in muted colours and
fully equipped with air conditioning, flat TV, DVD, cable, pay per view, i-Pal,
complimentary minibar, safe, complimentary internet and Wi-Fi connection.
The furnishings and paintings in every room create the atmosphere of a typical
Tuscan home, with ceramic objects and bathrooms with warm wood finishes.
The restaurant
Antonio Guida joined Il Pellicano in 2002 and obtained the 1st Michelin star for Il
Pellicano Restaurant in 2004, thanks to his top quality Mediterranean cuisine that
uses predominantly fresh local ingredients from the hotel’s herb and vegetable
garden and fresh fish from local waters. In 2010 Il Pellicano Restaurant was awarded the 2nd Michelin star and Chef
Guida was named Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux. In 2011 Il Pellicano was awarded the highest recognition, ‘3 forks’ by Italy’s
leading culinary guide Gambero Rosso. The refined atmosphere enhanced by the
spectacular view of the sea and stunning surroundings of the Argentario region,
makes it the perfect place for a cocktail and dinner on the magnificent terrace with
live-jazz entertainment.
The menu at the Il Pellicano
Restaurant continually changes to
reflect the bounty of the seas and
what’s on offer from local purveyors
of fine meats and organic, seasonal
fruits and vegetables. A Tuscan
chocolate trolley is offered to
guests every night after dinner
as the perfect excuse to linger for
an entire evening on the candle
lit restaurant terrace overlooking
the sea. Toscano
Tuscania V ITERB O
Whilst clearly moving into
the 21st Century, the original
“barefoot Luxury” Atmosphere
At Il Pellicano has lingered. It
Vatican City
is no surprise that the hotel is Tyrrhenian Sea
frequented by the children and
grandchildren of guests of those
early years.
Isola di
Isola del
Località Sbarcatello - 58019 Porto Ercole (GR)
Tel: (+39) 0564 858 111
Fax: (+39) 0564 833 418
[email protected]
For recipes turn to back page
An Italian
love affair
Did you know?
A quarter of Italian women say salami
is their favourite aphrodisiac.
Art lovers
A box of chocolates makes a romantic gift and there is plenty to
choose from when it comes to Italian varieties.
rom the popular Baci, which
translates as “kisses” and have
little love messages underneath
every silver wrapper, to Amedei
Porcelana, the world’s most
expensive chocolate made in Tuscany, there
is something for everyone. However, for a
real taste of Italian chocolate, a gianduja from
Turin is the one to go for. The story of how it
was first created will delight any lover.
Home to CioccolaTò, a two-week festival
dedicated to the sweet stuff, Turin is
considered by many as the chocolate capital of
Italy. Specialities include nocciolati, chocolate
bars with whole roasted hazelnuts throughout,
cremini, made of layers of different types of
chocolate and preferiti, cherries macerated
in Maraschino liquor and then dipped
in chocolate.
The most renowned, however, is the goldwrapped gianduiotto - invented by Piedmontbased chocolatier Caffarel in 1852. This famous
chocolate was actually created by necessity.
In the years following the many battles of
the Risorgimento, Italy was experiencing a
severe economic recession. As a result, the
government decided to drastically cut imports
of luxury goods. Cocoa was one of these.
Step off a quiet residential street in Islington and immerse yourself
in a world of passion, power and politics. From portraits by
Modigliani to the futurist manifestos of Marinetti, the Estorick
gallery is home to one of the most important collections of 20th
century Italian art in the world.
talian food, like Italian fashion
and design, is in demand the world
over. In the great capitals cities,
such as London, there are myriad
opportunities to taste the mouthwatering delights of Italian cuisine; to buy
the elegantly stylish clothes of Prada, Armani,
Dolce and Gabbana and Versace (to name but
a few); or to experience the thrilling speed of a
Ferrari or an Alfa Romeo. But what of Italian
art? Well, the masters of the Renaissance
– Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael -– are
universally recognised, of course, and in
London their works can be easily accessed in
the renowned museums and galleries. What
many Londoners do not realise, however, is
century Italian art.
Tucked away on a
residential street in a
converted Georgian
house in Canonbury,
Estorick Collection of
Modern Italian Art is
a true gem. Eric and
Salome Estorick built
up the collection in
World War II, at a
time when there was
almost no market
for Italian twentieth
century art outside of Italy. They assembled
one of the finest collections of Italian Futurist
art that still exists today, rivalled only by
that of the Museum of Modern Art in New
York, the Museo del Novecento in Milan or
the Gianni Mattioli Collection at the Peggy
Guggenheim Museum in Venice. The Estorick
collection also houses noteworthy examples
of the enigmatic images by the Metaphysical
painter, Giorgio De Chirico, the delicate still
lifes of Giorgio Morandi and the elongated
and languid portraits of Amedeo Modigliani.
Although, like the Futurists, these artists may
not be household names, their art contributed
in various ways to the development of modern
art in the early twentieth century and their
achievements and influence can be ranked
only by that
of the Museum
of Modern Art
in New York
It all starts out with a mixture in which
hazelnuts make up 30%. After it reaches
a certain temperature, a special machine
“extrudes” the mixture onto a conveyor belt.
The upside-down canoe shape is created by
two small mechanical “blades” that close after
the chocolate has been deposited.
When the gianduja chocolates exit the
machine, they pass through a cooling tunnel
and then head to the wrapping line.
Caffarel makes more than 40 million
gianduja chocolates every year, each
imperceptibly different from the other because
the shape depends on how the chocolate settles
on the conveyor belt.
Italians have had a relationship with
chocolate throughout its history. In the
late 15th century, adventurer Christopher
Columbus is said to have brought back
cacao beans to King Ferdinand of Spain from
his fourth visit to the New World, but they
were overlooked in favour of the many other
treasures he found.
A few hundred years later, Italian traveller
Antonio Carletti discovered chocolate in Spain
and brought it back to Italy - where chocolatemania really started to take hold. Cioccolatieri
opened up in all major cities. From Italy,
chocolate spread to Germany, Austria
and Switzerland.
The Italian love affair with chocolate has
been rumbling on for hundreds of years.
Long may it continue.
In the mood
with food
boasts a
of 20th
Italian art...
alongside some of the
Matisse and Duchamp.
February 1909 when
the maverick poet and ideologue, Filippo
Tommaso Marinetti, published the first
Futurist manifesto on the front page of the
Paris newspaper, Le Figaro. Apart from
Marinetti, the major protagonists of Futurism
were five painters: Umberto Boccioni (who was
also an outstanding sculptor), Giacomo Balla,
Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini and Luigi Russolo.
The Futurists reacted against traditional Italian
culture, calling for the destruction of museums
and libraries; instead, they celebrated the
dynamism and excitement of contemporary
life, including speed, technology, youth and
violence, and objects such as the car, the
aeroplane and the industrial city. As well as
the fine arts, their ideas extended to politics,
literature, architecture, the theatre, music,
dance, fashion, design and even gastronomy. Among the many manifestoes published by
the Futurists one the most provocative was
the Manifesto of Futurist Cooking published
by Marinetti in 1930. In it the propagandist
famously declared – to the consternation of
many Italians - that pasta was debilitating,
causing ‘lassitude, pessimism and lack of
passion’; embarrassing photographs of him
downing forkfuls of cacio e pepe later surfaced
and fortunately for us all, unlike the great
works of art, this expression of Futurism did
not survive!
The Caffarel family, already producers of
chocolates, did not lose heart. Instead, they
decided to test a new recipe. The amount of
cocoa was reduced and replaced with a product
that was widely available in the region:
the hazelnut.
It cannot be any old hazelnut, but the
“mild round” Piedmont hazelnut originally
from the Langhe area in the hills around
Cuneo. The smooth flavour and intense aroma
of Piedmont hazelnuts are what make the
gianduja chocolate so delicious.
Production began of the special chocolate
initially called “givu” but soon named
gianduiotto after Gianduja, the Piedmont
character from the Commedia dell’Arte
and a symbol of the fight for freedom and
independence that took place in the region at
the time. And so the gianduiotto – an exclusive
product with unmistakable softness, subtlety,
and flavour – was born.
Over the years, the traditional methods of
producing this chocolate have been respected.
A high content of hazelnuts are skilfully
blended with the world’s best cocoa and the
mechanised production process at the Caffarel
plant has been designed to replicate the handcutting technique used centuries ago.
Ever since that iconic moment in the Lady and the Tramp when
the two dogs accidentally kiss as they slurp up opposite ends of
the same piece of spaghetti, Italian food has been intrinsically
linked with love. We chart the top aphrodisiacal foods from Italy.
Coming to Estorick
01 Estorick gallery exterior
Giorgio de Chirico
Myth and Mystery
15 January – 19 April 2014
02 Renato Guttuso (1911-1987)
Landscape with lovers, undated
Pastel on paper
48.5 x 68 cm
Opening times
Wednesday to Saturday
11.00 - 18.00
Sunday 12.00 - 17.00
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays
Estorick Collection of
Modern Italian Art
39a Canonbury Square
London N1 2AN
t. +44 (0)20 7704 9522
03 Estorick gallery interior
04 Umberto Boccioni
Modern Idol, 1911
Oil on panel
60 x 58.4 cm
05 Amedeo Modigliani
Dr François Brabander, 1918
Oil on canvas
46 x 38 cm
06 Estorick gallery exterior
07 Estorick gallery interior
All images courtesy of the
Estorick Collection, London
Simonetta Fraquelli
Independent Curator
Metropolitan Restaurants
The word aphrodisiac, first used in the English language in the
18th Century, comes from the Greek aphrodisiakos, a reference
to the goddess of love and fertility Aphrodite. It was the Romans,
however, who first discovered oysters as the archetypal mood food.
They placed these slippery creatures high on their list of prized
aphrodisiacs and Italians have been gobbling them up with abandon
ever since. It is said that Casanova would regularly eat 50 oysters for
breakfast. When eaten raw, they are known to contain certain amino
acids that release sex hormones like testosterone and oestrogen.
Spring is the best time of year to indulge in them.
If unfamiliar foodstuffs turn you off, there is plenty of excitement to
be found in a kitchen store cupboard, especially that of an Italian.
Saffron is a prime example. Produced from the dried stigmas of the
Crocus flower, this golden spice is often used in risottos. Its stimulant
properties have been proven by scientific studies, which showed
saffron to be one of the most powerful of natural aphrodisiacs.
Other everyday ingredients such as aniseed, mustard, nutmeg and
cayenne pepper are seen by many as being sexually beneficial.
Mediterranean staples such as basil, olive oil and garlic are also
thought to quicken the pulse. No wonder Italians are so passionate.
Both the Greeks and the Romans prized the rare truffle for its
aphrodisiac properties. The earthy scent, which is said to arouse
sexual desire, is thought to replicate the smell of the male
pheromone androstenone. Napoleon allegedly ate truffles to increase
his masculine potency. Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, one of
Europe’s greatest gastronomes, is quoted as saying: “Truffle: As
soon as the word is spoken, it awakens lustful and erotic memories
among the skirt-wearing sex and erotic and lustful memories among
the beard-wearing sex.” Whether or not they succeed in getting you
in the mood, truffles’ rarity and short season make them among the
most elusive, luxury goods of the culinary world. For that reason
alone, they are worthy of desire.
Metropolitan Restaurants
For centuries, old wives tales have said that eating obscure
ingredients such as rhino horn, tiger penis and Spanish fly would
stimulate the libido. Ambergris is arguably the most bizarre on
the list of unusual aphrodisiacs. The origin of this musky, waxy
substance is far from delightful. Produced in the digestive system
of sperm whales, it has a terrible odour when it is fresh. As it ages
it takes on a sweet, earthy scent that is often used by perfumers.
People claim that simply rubbing it against the skin can create an
arousing effect. Just make sure you don’t use the fresh variety.
Throughout antiquity, almonds were regarded as fertility symbols.
What better drink to arouse passion than a glass of Amaretto, which
is made from almonds. The tale of this sweet-smelling liquor’s
origin is a love story in itself. A pupil of Leonardo da Vinci was
commissioned to paint a fresco of the Madonna of Saronno.
He travelled to this Lombardy town to begin the work. Staying at
an inn, he realised that the daughter of the owner would be the
perfect model to represent the Madonna. As the sessions take
place a spark develops between the painter and muse; the
pair fall in love. As proof of her feelings for him, the girls
prepares a homemade liquor, with a recipe very similar to
the Amaretto we know today.
All good Italian meals end with an espresso.
And so, it seems, does a good day in Italy.
Researchers have discovered that coffee can also be
an effective aphrodisiac. People who drink coffee
daily are more likely to describe themselves as
active in the bedroom than those who abstain from
it, according to research. This could be linked to
the fact that coffee is an anti-depressant. Whatever
the reason, espressos all round please.
you’ll love
01 Avocado e Gamberetti
02 Branzino ai capperi
03 Millefoglie
04 Avocado e Gamberetti
05 Millefoglie
Avocado e Gamberetti
Branzino ai capperi
Serves 2
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 2-3 minutes
200g of raw prawns, deveined and shelled
1 ripe avocado
2 limes
1 small white onion
1 lettuce heart
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper
Serves 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
2 sea bass fillets (about 300g)
1 bunch of parsley
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of pickled capers
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
Wash the prawns under running water. To cook, boil them
for 2-3 minutes in plenty of lightly salted water, drain and
let cool.
In a bowl, prepare a marinade with the filtered juice of
a lime, the extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and
pepper. Put the cooked prawns in the bowl and stir them in
the emulsion. Let them marinate in the fridge for an hour.
To prepare the sauce: Finely chop the parsley and capers
and mix in a bowl with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons
of the olive oil. Stir well for the flavours to combine. Do not
season with salt as the capers are
salty already.
Millefoglie (Mille feuille) alla crema di rose
Serves 2
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 25 minutes
1 sheet of puff pastry, can use frozen variety
(use when defrosted)
20g icing sugar
2 strawberries
Ingredients for rose cream:
250 ml of milk
2 egg yolks
25g of flour
75g of sugar
50g of rose syrup
180ml of fresh cream
Cut the avocado in half and remove the nut. Peel it and
place the pulp in a food processor or blender, adding the
juice of the second lime, the onion, peeled and chopped
and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until you have a
smooth sauce.
Wash and dry with care, the most beautiful lettuce leaves
and place them on the bottom of four individual bowls, then
spread the avocado sauce over salad. Arrange the prawns
on top of the sauce and decorate with a slice of lime.
To cook the fish:
Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick pan over
medium heat and cook the fillets for 4 minutes on each
Pat dry with some kitchen towel and place on plates. Top
with capers and parsley sauce and enjoy.
Some like to squeeze a wedge of lemon over it for a
bit of acidity.
Serve with a green salad to share.
Serve and enjoy.
Sprinkle your work surface with a little flour. Roll out your
pastry and with a cookie cutter cut out 8 disks of about 8cm
of diameter (you will need 6 for the recipe but I recommend
you cook 2 more in case). Prick the disks in few places with
a fork. Brush the top with the beaten egg and bake for about
10 minutes at 180° in a pre heated oven until the pastry is
golden brown.
To prepare the rose cream:
Start to prepare the custard. Put the milk in a saucepan with
rose syrup and start to heat it up. In the meantime, whip the
egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl. Incorporate the flour in
the mixture with a whip. Add a ladleful of hot milk to the
egg, whisking to prevent them from curdling.
Add another ladleful, then add the whole mixture back to
the milk saucepan. Return the whole mixture to a very low
heat stirring continuously, taking care not to let it get too
hot. The cream is ready when it coats the spoon. Remove
from the heat.
To prepare the chantilly cream:
Chill the cream and milk in the refrigerator. Once cold, pour
them in a chilled bowl and begin to whip until the mixture
The Getti restaurants offer
authentic lasagne, pizza and
regional specialities from the
Italian lakes.
Getti Jermyn Street, in the
heart of London’s thriving
theatre district, offers pre
and post theatre menus as
well as relaxed a la carte
dining in comfortable
surroundings. We can offer
group dining day and night
as well as the perfect setting
for business lunches and
romantic treats.
Getti Marylebone High
Street has established
itself as a firm favourite
with the locals and visitors
to the neighbourhood. In
the summer the restaurant
becomes the perfect place to
enjoy al fresco dining.
Metropolitan Restaurants
Getti Jermyn St
16/17 Jermyn Street
London SW1Y 6LT
T 020 7734 7334
F 020 7734 7924
Monday - Saturday
12.00pm - 11.00pm
Getti Marylebone
42 Marylebone High Street
London W1U 5HD
T 020 7486 3753
F 020 7486 7084
Monday - Saturday
12.00pm - 11.00pm
12.00pm - 10.00pm
Tuscan cooking is founded
on robust flavours, fresh
ingredients and aromatic
herbs. Assaggetti offers guests
the chance to try selections of
small dishes in welcoming
surroundings. Signature
dishes such as Straccetti from
Siena) and Tagliata All’Aceto
Balsamico (grilled entrecote
steak with balsamic vinegar)
can be served in larger, more
traditional portions or shared
with a range of fantastic dishes. Assaggetti is ideally placed
for diners to enjoy earthy
food, offering good value
before or after a night at the
theatre, or somewhere to
catch up with friends and
enjoy an evening tasting
dishes and enjoying our
extensive Prosecco selection.
71 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4RW
T 020 7839 3939
F 020 7839 2300
Monday - Saturday
12.00pm - 11.30pm
12.00pm - 10.00pm
Assaggetti’s lower floor can
be used for private events.
Our events coordinator will
be happy to organise every
detail of your requirements
and in addition, our chef is
happy to design bespoke
menus, including canapé
and buffet selections.
For over 50 years Zia Teresa
has been a local institution.
Voted The Independent’s
“Best Neighbourhood
Restaurant” quintessential
Italian dishes are offered
along with specialities from
Sicily and Naples.
Located in the heart of
Knightsbridge, across from
Harrods and around the
corner from Harvey Nichols,
Zia Teresa’s classic ‘trattoria’
feel immediately puts guests
at ease, offering a more
intimate setting for family
celebrations or corporate
entertaining than many of
the minimalist venues in
the area.
Zia Teresa
6 Hans Road
London SW3 1RX
T 020 7589 7634
F 020 7584 7423
Monday - Saturday
12.00pm - 11.00pm
12.00pm - 7.00pm
Zia Teresa can seat 120
guests. The lower floor can
accommodate 100 guests
for a private reception or 60
for a seated meal. Zia Teresa
does not charge venue hire
for private functions of 50
people or more, or for any
group willing to share the
restaurant with others.
becomes frothy and peaks begin to form. Add the caster
sugar and keep whipping until the cream sticks to the coils
of the whisk. This is ready when the custard is completely
cool, incorporate the cream chantilly and gently whisk until
foamy mass, smooth and homogeneous. Your rose cream
is ready.
After cooking the puff pastry shapes, let them cool. Then
with a sharp knife divide them in half, being careful not to
break them. In all you will have 12 discs which make up 4
small millefoglie (stack of 3 discs each).
Put the rose cream in a pastry bag with a nozzle.
To assemble the millefoglie:
Place 2 pastry discs on each serving plate. Top with some
rose cream and repeat the layer. Top with a third disc. Sprinkle with icing sugar and garnish with a strawberry.
Proceed in the same way with the others, so you have 2
millefoglie on each plate.
Place the millefoglie in the refrigerator for half an hour,
then you can serve.
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