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A Trip to Oslo.Tourism and Cinema to enjoy the Norwegian Capital and OIFF the 22th of Oslo International Film Festival from 21st to 25th November 2012.

Oslo is always a great destination,this Scandinavian city offers several cultural activities every time,a great place to enjoy the harmony of a city surrounded by Fjords and an uncomntamined nature and further more a wide range of important museums such as Munch Museum,Natural and Historic Museum,Kon Tiki,Fram and Viking Museum and the wonderful Vigelank Park,Oslo will host from the 21th to 25th November 2012 the 22th Edition of OIFF Internasjonale Filmfestival,the Oslo International Film Festival.

This event is one of the most important Film Festivals in Scandinavia and with proud the Norwegian Capital continues to have a great reputation as a city to host exclusive cultural appointments very relevant like this one.

OIFF is a great exhibition of great Films represented by different Cinema Schools,for that is a prestigious event so famous worldwide.In this edition of OIFF you can watch some from USA as Side by Side by Christopher Keneally  with Keanu Reeves,Marin Scorsese,James Cameron,David Lynch among others or  "Starlet" and "Gregory Credson : Brief Encounters" by NYC director Ben Shapiro.Also Asian Cinema is very well represented with the Japanese movies as "Like someone in Love"and "Penance"and the Korean "Pieta" .Space for South American Cinema as well with the Argentinian "Cosmopolis".

Naturally also the European Cinema is protagonists with the famous British comedy "Seven Psychopats" by Martin McDonagh with Colin Farrell,from France the movie "Amour" with the unforgettable Jean-Louis Trintignant and"Layrence Anyways".Scandinavian Cinema will show you the Swedish movie "Blondie" and the Norwegian "Whateverest" by the young talented Director Kristoffer Borggli and the Portuguese Cinema will be represented by the movie "Rafa", many other movies will delight people.

OIFF is a hymn to this great Industry called Cinema,its cosmopolitan profile with important movies from all around the World give this event a relevant fame and prestige.It is also a great chance to visit Oslo admiring a city which offers a high quality of its incoming services,from a wide range of very comfortable Hotels to a transport system among the most efficient in the world,a wide range of attractions, museums, ,monuments,a brilliant architecture linking the modern to the neoclassic and medieval,an excellent gastronomy.

Great Cinema in a great city called Oslo,there are always options and solutions to enjoy and do Tourism,this one is an idea,cinema & Tourism in the captivating Norwegian Capital.

Francesco Mari

Bergen-Norway.Six Letters to describe Bergen in all its Beauty and Choose this Norwegian City as a Priority Destination You Can not Miss.

B  Beautiful.Bergen is so beautiful in autumn for the colour of its landscapes,the forests surrounding the town have a golden colours and the reflection of the light on on the Fjords of Byfjord,Sordfjord,Raunefjord and Grimstajord is something you can stay hours and hours,admiring this beautiful Nordic Scenario,

E  Enchanting.A walk from its ancient Fiskertorget,the lively Fish Market to the Vagen the charming old town with its picturesque wooden houses and narrow streets,it is absolutely enchanting,you will feel like in a novel.

R  Romantic.Bergen is romantic,a dinner on the banks of its Fjord in front of the Medieval Rozenkrantztarnet Fortress with the night lights and a walk from Torget to the Bergerhus Festning,the magnificent castle,it is absolutely unforgettable for the beautiful sensations you can try,admiring the enchanting view of Bergen bay. 

G  Great.There are not many cities in the world,offering great panoramic views  as Bergen from Ulriken and Floyen.

E  Extraordinary.When you will visit Bergen you will see with your eyes why Bergen is so extraordinary lively athmosphere combined with masterpiece of ancient and new architecture,history,museums,extraordinary gastronomy and people.

N  Notable.Bergen is a a city with a notable historic patrimony,it is enough to mention Bryggen,the old historic district UNESCO patrimony site,the long history of the legendary Hanseatic league,the wonderful medieval monuments,charming churches and ancient Viking legends part of this unique city.

Francesco Mari

Madrid & Jean Paul Gaultier.From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.A Weekend of Tourism and Haute Couture in the Spanish Capital ,you Can Enjoy Until the 06 February 2013 at Fundacion Mapfre.

The Instituto de Cultura Fundacion Mapfre of Madrid in cooperation with the Musée des Beaux .Arts of the Canadian city of Montreal pays homage to Jean Paul Gaultier until the 06th January 2013 with "From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk",a retrospective dedicated to the the famous French Fashion Designer.

 Madrid has always been tied to Jean Paul Gaultier who wears different Spanish artists such as Joaquín Cortés and Pedro Almodovar among others. The city on the banks of the river Manzanares will honor the 35 years of brilliant career of this artist.

The Spanish Capital opens the doors to an exhibition will show you not only the fashion creations by Gaultier  but also his philosophy and imagination.The Parisian Fashion Master of  of the Pret A Porter and Haute Couture, for his style,which goes beyond the lines arriving over the imagination,is a kind of Designer whohas often surprised the world.

.Gaultier is a symbol in the world of fashion with the motto" you can do anything", a creative mind,since when he started in very young age to draw fashion dresses, for pleasure and because probably he had this word "Fashion"  tattooed in his soul.When Jean Paul Gaultier was only 18 started to send sketches to all the most important Parisian Ateliers and someone had to see a day his talent and so was.

The Italian -French Designer Pierre Cardin,distinguished Master of French Haute Couture and so  famous for its line and for being the first tailor of another great Designer, Christian Dior. immediately saw that the young Gaultier was special, for its originality and for its brilliant creativity. Gaultier had from that time an incredible escalation,he conquered before Paris and then the world.Not just Designer Gaultier is also TV Commentator, Musician,polyglot,speaking several languages a great expert on art and literature and interviewer of famous celebrities as Lady Gaga not long time ago.

The image of Gaultiier will be fully represented in this exhibition with 110 models,photographs, audiovisuals that will show you the history and the chronological career and his creations,about 50 sketches and drawings to understand his style and in addition other emblematic symbols as his loved sirens,religious and seamen models. The personality of this Designer,who is nicknamed 'l'Enfant Terrible" because yes Mr Gaultier is  a revolutionary fashion.Designer in his essence,His style so original, particular, different,totally outside of the standard fees of classical fashion,for some bizarre and extravagant,who knows even for this has conquered the world and stars as Madonna, Narylin Manson, Kylie Minogue dediced to wear his clothes and apart all that he provided his models to the cinema museums and galleries. For all that ad more Gaultier is considered to be part of French culture.

The style of Gaultier is like an avalanche of surprises,combining elegant models with unusual accessories and details,an use of fabrics and original colours, Gaultier is like a magic painter  transforming and drawing lines and curves with an unique style.He says to be inspired by the popular culture of the everyday clothing you see on the streets.Further more the French Designer said with modesty not to be an artist but a simple craftsman,his philosophy is that the beautiful is in everything, and therefore is so nice to create anything simply with imagination.

The city of Madrid is a mix of conservative and modern art in its architecture and buildings,from  its Neoclassical monumental Gran Via,Calle de Alcalá and the Madrid of Austria,modern in its buildings of Paseo de la Castellana,Azca and Nuevos Ministerios and many other districts but at the same time also innovative and "a l´Avant Garde" especially on its performances to surprise with event like this Gaultier Exhibition.

Visiting Madrid could be a very valid reason for those who are interested in the world of fashion discovering more about the famous French  designer combining the opportunity to admire in all its beauty the Spanish Capital.

Francesco Mari

Alcune idee sui Viaggi Incentive.Non solo Eventi Sporadici,On Request o Puntuali.Consigli per render un Calendario Viaggi Incentives effettivo tutto l´Anno.

Oggi,i famosi Viaggi Incentive,possono essere una grande risorsa da riprendere seriamente in considerazione per molte Aziende Turistiche Tour Operators,Agenzie Viaggi di categoria A e B,che operino indifferentemente solo in outgoing od  in Incoming o con servizi misti,facendo l´Operativo in entrambi i canali.

Il Viaggio Incentive,é un tipo di viaggio che ha il suo "focal point" nel motivare,attrarre con proposte,attrattive,di qualitá, allettanti,Aziende,Istituzioni,Associazioni con un programma orientato verso determinati destini,scegliendo i migliori servizi,dagli hotels,ai vettori quali aerei e mezzi di trasporto,quindi qualitá e servizi di alto livello Cia aeree dal servizio impeccabile in termini di puntualitá,assistenza ed informazione,ottimi ristoranti con alternative gastronomiche,Hotel confortevoli e con un ottima ubicazione preparatissime guide locali ed ogni servizio curato attentamente con lo scopo di creare un ciclo di vendita proiettato in futuro.L´Incentive é per moltissime aziende un prosieguo di un cammino iniziato che deve durare nel tempo.

L´ubicazione dell´evento deve inoltre destare interesse,per ragioni Socio Culturali, Storico-Artistico,studiare le situazione Climatiche desiderate dal potenziale cliente,un accurata e meticolosa nei dettagli,scelte operative e dinamiche dopo aver ricevuto un feedback esaustivo sulle decisioni.Molto importante anche l´orientamento di mercato,valutare quindi attentamente ed analiticamente il territorio geeografico,con il tipo di aziende aziende,esercizi commerciali,attivitá produttive ed industriali che girano attorno all´hinterland in cui si risiede e si opera,nel caso di un Tour Operator locale,per un altro di livello Nazionale,stessa cosa,ma con un team di commerciali che coprono diverse aree.

Generalmente un Incentive é ottimale nell´ effettuarsi in bassa stagione od in periodi di non alta occupazione per ovvie ragioni di costi,evitare per esempio di promuovere destinazioni sebben ,molto appettibili per molti versi,ma che hanno 40 fiere nell´arco di 50 giorni,possibili problemi legati a fattori politici,ambientali o sanitari.Un controllo quotidiano di bollettini informativi é uno strumento utilissimo,é il termometro delle operazioni.La scelta della localitá,deve essere inoltre decisa dopo un accurata cernita,conoscere con piú dettagli possibili quali sono quelle che non danno garanzie,per operativo voli,efficienza non chiarissima da parte di possibili collaboratori e cosi via.

Naturalmente,é doveroso uno studio appropriato del target cliente a cui ci si rivolge,i suoi bisogni o desideri, diventano dettagli prioritari per la scelta di un lancio di programmmazione semplificando ulteriormente il lavoro..Ottime chance e gran parte dei successi in programmazioni di Incentives,per gli Operatori nascono ed hanno origine se si ha come base di partenza una solida esperienza maturata in altri tipi di Viaggio,quei famosi Educationals che aprono poi a livello di lancio di Calendari o veri e propri Cataloghi Incentives,non vie,bensi infiniti orizzonti,non a livello di Tours di Serie ma un buon Tour Operator di livello medio -alto puó fare dai 70 agli 80 Incentives l´anno.Non confondiamo un Educational con un Incentive,un Educational é un viaggio full immersion per Operatori o per professionisti che lavorano in un determinato settore,che desiderano conoscere di tutto e di piú con qualche sprazzo di tempo libero e turismo culturale,un Incentive é promuovere una destinazione che puó essere una continuazione del vostro lavoro unendo una serie di obbiettivi,connessi proprio al motivare il flusso verso determinate destinazioni.

Non vorrei parlare un altra lingua od essere frainteso,si, parlo di Calendario,ossia una vera e propria programmazione di Incentives da proporre tutto l´anno,ci sono destinazioni adattabili a molti gusti e quindi molto versatili,con la possibilitá di poterli offrire senza problemi in differenti periodi.Una vendita di Incentive sporadica,non rende a livello di business poiché vi é un lavoro organizzativo alle spalle,tempo,visite,  sopralluoghi,eventuali viaggi,materiale per brochures o cataloghi,costi di personale ed anche a livello d´immagine.Un capitolo a parte meriterebbe l´On Request,un Incentive On Request deve essere studiato a tavolino con il richiedente nei tempi idonei per la buona riuscita del viaggio.

L´Organizzazione e la programmazione di un Viaggio Incentive,é ovvio non si fa ne in un giorno ne in una settimana,naturalmente poi peró il lavoro che ha un ottima qualitá paga sempre.Il tutto sta in una oculata programmazione,un ottimale commercializzazione del prodotto chesi vuole vendere e lanciare sul mercato.Come ? Partiamo dalla base innnanzitutto che si devono avere all´interno della propria Organizzazione,ottimi commerciali,persone con una conoscenza di alto livello di varie destinazioni,che abbiano nel loro bagaglio molti Educationals ed un esperienza su luoghi da promuovere con estrema facilitá,persone da Quiz,se possiamo usare questa parola,perché un vero commercial deve saper rispondere alle piú svariate domande sulle destinazioni,aggiungendo poi dettagli propri,l´ottima preparazione e conoscenze sono il "Cavallo di Battaglia"per correre verso traguardi di prestigio o quantomeno di ottimo livello.

Tutto ció é fondamentale per illustrare al potenziale cliente in maniera esaustiva un progetto di un calendario di Viaggi Incentive che duri nel tempo.Una pagina Web é se possiamo dire,é il profilo,il biglietto da visita che offre e mostra una visione dei prodotti,eccellente poi se é ricca di contenuti,dettagli e notizie,é il profilo di un qualcosa a cui peró bisogna aggiungere una voce,in altre parole per rendere l´idea con un banale esempio,un concerto di un artista "live"é sicuramente molto meglio di un apparizione con performances in playback.Un mailing od una campagna mirata a determinati clienti produce effetti positivi,per molte Aziende,essere i primi
a provare questi prodotti é motivo d´orgoglio e risalto d´immagine,la presentazione del prodotto nella
presentazione é la chiave di farefare grandi cose insieme,oltre a questo,un costante contatto con ulteriori notizie,curiositá e tutto ció frutto di esperienze proprie aumenta le reali possibilitá di successo. Il cliente apprezza,gradisce totalmente e si trova totalmente a suo agio se l´Operatore offre alte garanzie di professionalitá a livello integrale di conoscenze,tutto questo diciamo,come ho citato  precedentemente,si  canta ed ascoltare buona musica per intenderci é sempre un piacere.

La sicurezza dei propri mezzi,desta sempre interesse e naturalmente genera un buon avvio di collaborazione collaborazione,un esempio se io sono un cliente e e so che esiste un Tour Operator con una determinata persona che ha vissuto per fare un esempio 15 anni in Giappone o Spagna o che ha fatto 20 Educationals in Marocco,Grecia o Brasile,direi che si va a botta sicura sulla scelta a cui rivolgersi,non ci sono dubbi .

Entra in gioco inoltre quel fattore connesso al classico detto "vedere per credere",la conoscenza globale ed integrale di un prodotto nell´offrire un Incentive in un determinato luogo é fondamentale, si parte avvantaggiati sulla concorrenza,in tempi ed anche psicologicamente,obbiettivamente poi il cliente sa chi scegliere senza ombra di dubbio.Se poi il tutto é abbinato ad una buonissimo servizo a livello di prezzi,organizzazione,dettagli e costante dialogo anche 2-3 volte al giorno,spesso i clienti desiderano questo,é motivo di dedizione e soprattutto d´informazione.

In ordine cronologico per entrare con aerodinamicitá in pista operativa,un meeting una visita,il Face to Face paga sempre,checché se ne dica,é sempre un punto a favore,se si decide di visitare un potenziale cliente cliente,detto in parole povere,limitando ed abbreviando gerghi comuni in uso é "avere le cosidette"per mostrare tutto ció che si sa.Timore  di non essere convincenti ? Assolutamente no.Quando si decide di effettuare campagne a livello commerciale per incentives ed ancor piú un calendario con programma incentives,é perché si é sicuri di se stessi,si va diretti con sicurezza dei propri mezzi con catalogo alla mano,ma soprattutto trasmettendo tutto quello che si sa,raccontate anche che per esempio da Plaza de España a Calle Preciados per citare un esempio ci sono 25 bars e 10 tabaccai o che a Marrakech intorno alla Piazza Jamaa El Fna ci sono 15 ristoranti e 25 Riads,sono dettagli che sembrano sciocchi ma sono utili.

Successivamente con un feedback del cliente  al primo contatto,innanzitto si risponderá a tutto e di piú su tutto ció che desidera sapere,secondo entra in azione il vecchio metodo 48/72 ore,ovvero dopo questo lazzo di tempo,altro meeting con un dossier scritto od in PDF anche illustrato con foto specifiche dei luoghi.In questo caso abbiamo creato in ordine cronologico,un contatto online,un meeting "live" in cui si é parlato di tutto e di piú,oltre ad un altro meeting "live" con un dossier cartaceo od in file completo per iscritto in mano del cliente.Il cliente si sentirá totalmente a suo agio.

Come si fa a raggiungere il numero dei parteecipanti,alcuni giovani operatori tempo fa mi hanno chiesto questo.La qualitá di,un programma attrattivo d´Incentive che si propone ad aziende,parlerá da solo,il flusso a livello numerico dei partecipanti non é mai un numero chiuso o limitato ai 5 managers ed ai 30 impiegati..Un manager di un azienda lo propone ad un amico od amica,vengono anche famigliari dei managers,direttori o responsabili d´azienda.Altri si chiedono e l´anno successivo come faccio a riconfermare una continuazione dei miei incentives ? Se il tuo primo ciclo di Incentives é stato un successo,esiste il vecchio sistema passa parola,a parte poi chi é stato felice di viaggiare con te,Associazioni,Istituzioni,ne chiederanno altri,perché sanno che sono in buone mani,non val la pena cambiare quando si ha qualitá.Spendere magari qualche Euro meno e magari perché vedono che la concorrenza ha un programma di 25 Eur in meno e poi  trovarsi male ?
Inoltre un Incentive orientato ad Aziende ed Associazioni,é importante sapere che ci sono sempre persone nuove che arrivano a lavorare in un azienda o nuovi iscritti in caso di associazioni,per attivitá che questi
questi gruppi promuovono ed anche partnerships,gemellaggi,partecipate ed andate se ricevete inviti ad un meeting od inaugurazioni.Un altro punto fondamentale dono le operazioni di Post Vendita,soprattutto quando si parla di un Incentive,costante contatto,ascolta,prendi nota,invia una lettera al cliente di ringraziamento,
.chiedi alcune foto di rilievo per creare un tuo album in Bacheca di questo Incentive,ed inizia a parlare qualche giorno dopo del prossimo,funziona,si crea un rapporto confidenziale,oserei dire quasi familiare.

Vorrei farvi alcuni esempi su alcune esperienze che ho gestito in passato.Alcuni anni fa,non nella preistoria (sto parlando solo di pochi anni fa),ho visitato dopo una mailing di contatto un Associazione di ottimo nome di Estetisti e Manicuristi,impiegati presso centri benessere e Spa con varie esercizi in differenti cittá a lovello Interregionale (3 Regioni).Lo scopo era creare un rapporto continuo sul tema Viaggi Incentive che avrebbe portato frutti da una parte e dall´altra,cliente fedele per il TT.OO,viaggi ad incentivo per formazione professionale,aggiornamenti,abbinati anche a turismo e cultura,tempo libero,shopping,sole e mare,montagna od altro.Naturalmente qukcuno potrebbe porsi dilemmi Hamletici o pensare e,cosa propongo ad un Associazione di estetisti  ed operatori Spa? quali sono le loro necessitá in un mix turismo d´informazione ed anche tempo libero ? Che calendario di Incentives devo preparare ? Come preparo un calendario di 4 viaggi all´anno per questa categoria che il cliente ha richiesto ? Conosco personalmente luoghi su cui posso fare affidamento riguardo le mie conoscenze ed essere convincente? quali sono le date su cui posso operare per fattori climatici ed ambientali ? Quali sono questi luoghi ? Vi dico quello che ho preparato in sintesi.
Febbraio/Tunisia.Djerba,Gammarth,Tunisi,Tabarka,Mahdia con visita inclusa al Bardo Museum ed a Cartagine-6 days.
Maggio/Budapest & Balaton,Siofok,Balatonfürer,Balatonfelle (4 Days)
Ottobre/Ischia con exc Napoli e Costa Amalfitana (5 days)
Dicembre/Barcelona & Costa Dourada,Montbrió e Cambrils.(4 days)
(Valutate con informazioni quello che si puó offrire a questa categoria di professionisti del settore)

L´anno dopo ho cambiato il calendario con Praga e Karlovy Vary in un punto e Portoroz/Piran,in Slovenia in un altro,ne ho mantenuti due e ne ho cambiati due.Naturalmente il tutto,organizzato guardando il fattore climatico,un calendario non deve poi essere uno stravolgimento totale del tuo lavoro.Fai aggiunte,cambia qualcosa,trova il meglio che consideri,creativitá ed entusiasmo,conosci i luoghi,si va,si llustra,il cliente apprezza,si fida si te,si sente in buone mani e ti dirá si.

Altri calendari che mi é capitato di fare ..Per una Associazione di Salumieri. Andalusia ed Extremadura,Sud della Spagna con arrivo e ripartenza dalla Costa del Sol e visite incluse di Siviglia,Granada e Cordoba + Ruta del Jamon in Extremadura con visita di Merida,(7 days)tre giorni Emilia con Parma,Bologna e Modena,3 giorni Alto Adige e Tirolo Austriaco,sulla strada dello Speck.Erano entusiasti ed hanno ripetuto con nuovi assocciati.Ne ho preparati altri per Architetti,Associazione Vigili del Fuoco e Parrucchieri ed altri ancora.Ci sono vari modi per creare Incentives ovunque,le programmazioni Incentives,si differenziano dal Turismo Gruppi di Serie che salvo qualche eccezione hanno un programma giá stabilito e talvolta standard.
I viaggi Incentive aiutano l´Azienda in termini d´immagini,molti TT.OO diventano pionieri di un mercato,di un destino grazie anche a ottimi Incentives,e soprattutto si farái conoscere il mondo alle persone con la tua passione e creativitá,mettendo nei programmi,curiositá,peculiaritá di tal posto,creare Incentives é anche essere artisti del tuo settore,un incentive non é un prodotto standardizzato e non lo deve essere.Chissá é questo,secondo me,uno stimolo fondamentale da aggiungere all´entusiasmo e voglia di fare.

Una programmazione Incentives ti da soddisfazioni,moltissime,il turista apprezza le proposte,soprattutto, se sono creative,innovative,complete,offrendogli ottimi servizi,ottime destinazioni,una combinazione di arte,storia,sole e mare,cultura,confort e svago con tempo libero a disposizione,saranno strafelici.Prendiamo in considerazione che un Incentive non é un Gruppo di Serie Turistico,quindi anche il tempo libero é importante,i partecipanti desiderano avere ore di tempo libero,semplicemente per tornare a rivedere con i loro occhi quell´azienda o quel luogo che gli si é indicato e poi mostrato e che vuole rivedere ancora,al turista d´Incentive gli si deve dare anche questo,perché é la norma,la regola di questo tipo di viaggi chiamato Incentive.

Francesco Mari 

A trip to Liverpool- A Great Chance to Enjoy Andrea Bocelli in Concert on 11th November 2012 at Echo Arena and many Reasons to Visit the Splendid City of the Beatles.

The unique and magnificent voice of the great Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will delight on11th November 2012 a City,Liverpool, who lived and lives with the myth of the Beatles music in its soul,inside it.Liverpool is a city with a great musical culture,for that it knows how to appreciate the value of artists of great level in this case the great Italian Andrea Bocelli in a magic Sunday of November.  For all that,the Italian Star has chosen with enthusiasm in his UK and Irish Tour Liverpool as one of of his concert place ,because performing in this city is so special, an unique experience for every great artist that makes music.

Liverpool is hearing music under the sky of this British  Northeastern city,it is all in the air,because you feel the melodies of that unforgettable Band of the 60s around you in a simply walk next to the Old Docks,or in Matthew Street where you will hear the notes of the legendary song Let´it be coming out from an ancient Pub,or reaching the area of Albert Dock where there is the Museum dedicated to those magnificent four artists and you  willsee  the Yellow Duckmarine  boat inspired to the other glorious song "Yellow Submarine" taking you in a cruise of about 40-45 minutes on the historic docks of Liverpool. Something more ? A visit to the legendary Cavern Club where the Beatles wrote unforgettable pages of music.

Liverpool is a city,which lives since many years ago under the myth of  its musical heroes and in Liverpool, you can also visit the Beatles Museum next to the lively area of Albert Dock ideal to spend vibrant evenings and nights.The name of the Beatles offers you the opportunity apart the Museum and the Cavern Club,to discover the Pubs whereLennon,McCartney,Harrison and Starkey (Ringo Starr) met to have a beer and to talk,Penny Lane,the street where started the history of this legendary Band,which changed the Music in the 60s,Mendpis house and 20 Forthlip House where John Lennon and Paul McCartney lived their childhood.  

Walking toward and on Duke Street,you will  often meet someone singing "Sometimes"and not far in a corner you will see that there are souvenir shop with postcards and posters of The Beatles with all the names of their mythical songs,or in Paradise Street  artists playing guitar and singing "'Yesterday" or "Help".This is Liverpooll and of course it is a city which means culture.Former European Capital of Culture is one of the cities with more Museums in Great Britain ,some of them are authentic gems as the Maritim Museum one of the best in the World in its kind,illustrating you all the history of the Navigation and many others,such as the Tate Liverpool,the World Museum and so on.

If you also love other particular kind of tourism Liverpool has historic route of famous and traditional Pubs,you can also visit Anfield Road,which is  is not only a simple Stadium.Anfield Road is a Temple of football,simply when you are next to this Stadium you immediately breath the air of the history of football from the times of Kevin Keegan to the times of Steven Gerrard,you will feel the atmosphere of the legend of one of the most prestigious clubs in the world,which wrote unforgettable page of football with the signature "the Reds".

If you love architecture,Liverpool is also a mix of everything,Victorian and Georgian buildings,the splendid restored Neo Gothic Anglican Cathedral,the Neoclassic St.George Hall and Central Library,the Modern Metropolitan Cathedral and other iconic symbols of the city as its Town Hall and the majestic Royal Liver and Pier head buildings,further more a walk in its picturesque Chinatown with its colourful typical Cantonese houses. 

Liverpool and this great event at Echo Arena,Andrea Bocelli in concert on 11th November 2012 are a perfect combination,Tourism and Music,Music and Tourism enjoying and discovering the magic athmosphere of  Liverpool.

Francesco Mari

Kitzbühel | Glorious Destination in the Heart of Austrian Alps.

Kitzbühel is undoubtedly a glorious destination in the heart of Austrian Alps.Situated in a privileged position in Tirol one of the most charming and attractive länder of the country highlighted by unforgettable Alpine landscapes and the superb silhouette of magnificent towering peaks.

That town of Austria is certainly one of the most popular and prestigious sites linked to Winter Sports and it is not case that is so popular worldwide elevated and declared as a Top Alpine Ski Resort.

It is enough to mention that name Kitzbühel to relate that word a word which is immediately linked to the legendary Streif that iconic downhill track named in all the most important pages of Alpine Ski and considered by many experts one of the most prestigious,difficult,captivating,challenging and emblematic tracks in the World.

Located halfway from the famous Mozart city,Salzburg and the Capital of Tirol Innsbruck,Kitzbühel with its 11,000 inhabitants was founded on a shore of the river Kitzbühler Ache river in a spectacular corner of the district of Bezirk one of thee most suggestive and charming natural spaces of Austria and of the entire Alpine chains.

The most important local resource is tourism all year but in particular in winter season.Kitzbühel is a paradise for all skiing lovers and furthermore a traditional appointment every year for the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup which apart organising apart that glorious and internationally known downhill track also hosts a spectacular Slalom,a great Super G assigning the title of the Combined.

Apart winter sports since long time ago the Austrian resort reached a more than important position as superb SPA resort and every year Kitzbühel hosts several tourists, thanks to its modern and distinguished SPA & Wellness Establishments.
Also historically that Queen of Austrian Alps has a long history full of important events all to narrate.The first traces related to a former settlement are dated the 16th century B.C.In an area rich of forests and pastures the current town was probably inhabited by Celtic populations and later by Illyrian tribes mainly dedicated to farmers and small trades crossing the nearest valleys.

During the Roman colonisation Kitzbühel it became a relevant Castrum,a fortified centre in a land which was incorporated as all the Tyrol  in that ancient Roman province called Noricum by the Emperor Augustus.

That large geographic area included all the Danube Valley,the current Slovenia,the Hungarian Pannonia and part of the Northern Italy corresponding to territories currently occupied by the regions of Veneto,Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia and that mosaic of territories was one of the most busy spaces in terms of commerce and development of new routes of the Roman Empire on the other side of the Alps.

After the fall of Rome the local territory was in different occasions invaded by German tribes and later by Bavarians populations from the Southern Germany who apart the conquest of that land started an intense and deep exploration of the nearest forests with the relevant discovery of some important iron mines.

Originally the name Kitzbühel is linked to that former rules deriving from the ancient Bavarian -German word Chizbühel a composition of two words such as Chiz and Bühel.The first word is related to a Clan,a Tribe which ruled the local territory while the second is linked to the hill on which was developed a former settlement.

For all the period corresponding to the Middle Ages the history of that Austrian area has often been linked to the history of the nearest German Bavaria and in the year 1255 Kitzbühel officially became a stronghold of the Duchy of that land.

The former settlement during that time started a relevant development with the construction of fortified walls in the year 1271 and apart that military aspect to defend its boundaries it also increased its economy becoming soon an important trade cross point between Southern Germany and the Adriatic coasts crossing a large corridor in the current Austria.

The Duke of Bavaria Louis II,16 some years later due the notable relevance reached in a very short time granted it a charter in which were assigned several privileges and much more it became officially a town due that increasing importance assigning it the illustrious and prestigious title of "Stadt."

Despite that period of golden ages some years later Kitzbühel suffered ages of of instability due the continuous disputes between Bavarians and Austrians and in 1342 after the marriage of the Bavarian Duchy Louis V and the local noble Margarete Maultasch the town came back to be official part of Tyrol but coming back back under Bavarian rule in 1369.

That new change was generated by a famous treaty signed in a document at Schärding in 1369.That event created new borders and agreements established to create stability and peace in an area which was for long time theatre of claims,battles and wars.

At the beginning of the 16th Century exactly in the year 1504 the town was conquered by the Austrian Emperor Maximilian and during that period the Hapsburg integrated the town in the region of Tyrol once again.

The Land of Tyrol was later protagonist of other wars against the French during the occupation by Napoleon Bonaparte troops who for a period occupied the territory finding a notable resistance by locals who never accepted the submission to the rule of those new occupiers.

The fall of the French Leader linked the Austrian municipality and Bavaria once again.The endless history between those two lands and the town  which was was integrated in the Bavarian territory after the famous treaty of peace signed in Pressburg.

Another further war and and the famous Congress of Vienna with a new design of the European maps took Kitzbühel to be part of the Austrian Empire.That is in short the old history of Kitzbühel.

You perfectly know the events of the most modern and contemporary history in particular related to the 2nd World War when all Austria in that famous Nazi Operation called Anschluss was incorporated and annexed to Germany and immediately after in the post war period started the reconstruction of the Republic of Austria,events which included also other historic steps of that splendid Alpine destination too.  

It is really very nice and pleasant to walk for the medieval centre of that town.The pedestrian medieval centre of Kitzbühel is very charming thanks to the presence of that captivating typical Tyrolean architecture and its several houses highlighted by coloured facades,pretty balconies and painted wooden doors.

A great point to start the visit is certainly Tor Jochberg a historic gate which is the main door to come in a maze of picturesque streets in the core of town and which was the most ancient wing of an ancient castle built there.

The atmosphere of the centre is very peaceful and more than captivating.Worth a visit Katharine Kirche (St.Catherine Church),a medieval masterpiece completed in 1365 in Gothic style.

The main highlights of that beautiful Church is undoubtedly its tower with its splendid spire and beautiful clock dominating the entire town.

Developed on an ample rectangular plan that Sacred building shows an ample light facade,a magnificent arched doorway and completed by a splendid gray roof.On one side of the main entrance you will notice a large painting depicting the Saint which completes as relevant artistic detail the beauty of the front side of that beautiful Church. 

In the square do not miss to stop and hear the melodic notes by the beautiful carillon which works every hour from 11.00 in the morning to 05.00 p.m.It is certainly another must when you visit the centre Austrian Alpine resort.

Others buildings worth a mention and very interesting are St.Andreas Kirche,the dedicated Church of St.Andrew very close to Katharine Kirche and another one Liebefrauenkirche the Parish Church of Our Lady.

That last one is a splendid example of Baroque art although the building was originally built in the medieval period in Gothic style and restored in several occasions.The result of its current architectonic style was arranged to combine the right harmony between the upper and the lower architectonic sections developed in different periods and much more using a style (The Baroque) which for long time became the predominant symbol during the period related to the Austrian Empire.

Do not miss to take a look to the Burgerspital which is the ancient Hospital of Kitzbühel dated 15th century and for long time was one of the most important in the Region. 

Kitzbühel Museum  is undoubtedly another highlight of the town offering the visitors the chance to enjoy an extensive walk in the history and culture of Tirol.It is a very interesting exhibition in which the visitor can discover the strong identity of the local culture in all its aspects with special highlights linked to folklore,handcrafts,customs,history and local lifestyle.The Reisch Dance Cafe is another emblematic historic building of the town.Built by a local architect called Alois Welzenbacher in 1928,a pioneer of the Tiroler Moderne Schüle a typical school of architecture raised in Tyrol which privileged new lines and decorations
 and furthermore of notable relevance because it is one the most modern building among the most important and historic you can admire in the centre of that Austrian town.

Kitzbühel offers in spring and summer many opportunities to enjoy a very active tourism and Golf is of course a notable highlight.The resort is particularly linked to that kind of sport boasting the presence of four Golf Courses of very high level very appreciated for their positions at the foot of charming peaks surrounding those prestigious Clubs immersed in a wonderful green nature.

The magnificent Alpine area is also an authentic mecca for trekking lovers with over 500,0 kilometres of wonderful trails while for who loves Mountain Bike there is the brilliant chance to enjoy over 700,0 kilometres of spectacular trails crossing splendid verdant spaces enjoying several scenic itineraries while in the nearest lakes there is the chance to practise water sports. 

The excellent quality of  the Hotels of Kizbúhel is certainly another superb feature of the resort.  All the structures present in its boundaries are a great response for all the needs and demanding request of the most exigent clients for a comfortable stay enjoying several excellent facilities and services.

The local Ski areas are absolutely as a temple for who loves winter sports and a magnificent surprise for all people who choose that glorious destination in the heart of Austrian Alps.

Alpine Ski in Austria is the passion of an entire Country just like Baseball in USA ,Rugby in United Kingdom or Nordic Ski in the Scandinavian countries.The very organised system of the slopes of Kitzbühel is mainly subdivided  in four sections developed at different altitudes.

The first one is the famous and promoted Hahnenkamm-Steingergkogel-Pengelstein,the site in which takes place the legendary Slalom.It is a track designed on a space which permits to ski from 1950,,0 and 700,0 metres absolutely spectacular for all people who wants to try perfect surfaces and challenging changes of rhythm highlighted by a large presence of splendid curves.

The second section corresponds to the Kitzbühler Horn which extends its area from an altitude between the 750,0 (the lower point) to its summit situated at 2000,0 metres of altitude.Also in this case the skier can enjoy on those slopes something simply special.The preparation of the snow on the tracks is practically perfect,notable is the chance for every skier to descend those 1250,0 metres in terms change of gradient finding the perfect adherence and much more trying the tracks in different aerodynamic positions.

The third one also great is an area called Stuckkogel developed between 900,0 and 1600,0 metres while the fourth corresponds to Pass Thurn located between an altitude starting from 950,0 metres with its higher point situated at 2000,0 metres of altitude.Both sections are simply beautiful also for all there is around,a magnificent natural spaces embraced and encircled by picturesque peaks covered by snow and the opportunity yo enjoy unforgettable panoramic views.

That sort of Alpine Empire of Winter Sports called Kitzbühel provides as ski facilities a magnificent complex consisting in 53 ski- lifts serving over 160,0 kilometres of magnificent slopes a superb detail which is an immediate invitation for everyone.

For all that Kitzbühel is so famous because apart to try the places in which are celebrated the great and prestigious events concerning the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup the visitors can find everything responding to all their most demanding requests also in terms of facilities moving from a slope to another in a very easy way.

All those many kilometres of tracks are furthermore all located very close each other and developed with different gradients and different.The sum of all those outstanding qualities are undoubtedly something of simply exciting and great for every skier who choose that resort to spend unforgettable days.
The Alpine Ski Complex provides blue,red and black slopes ideal so for beginners,skiers of intermediate level and experienced people or masters.Along those areas previously mentioned people excellent tracks you can try are the Pengelstein or also the Oxalm and the Fleck or some slopes in a space called  Steinbergkogel.

In winter Kitzbühel due to its fame and prestige is very busy and the best place to reach the slopes in a comfortable way going to the legendary area of the Hahnenkamm is reaching Kirchberg and from that point you can take the Fleckhalm corresponding to the the Gondola service taking you at destination in about 20 minutes,that is a tip to avoid queues.

The Asten downhill is one of the most spectacular tracks of Kitzbühel.It is a splendid slope always well maintained,there are not ices plaques,the skis perfectly slide on a magnificent snow surface always well rolled on which the edges never sink.Furthermore from there you can reach the Hahnenkamm mountain until late evening.   

In all the spaces around the Thurn Pass in proximity of a mountain called Resterkogel and in the previously mentioned Stukkogel section there are furthermore many chances to enjoy other splendid slopes suitable for every level and capacity of a skier.

The resort is very sensitive to offer the visitor who wants to have fun on snow the brilliant option to enjoy two great Snow Parks one is pretty close the Thurn Pass the Kitz Soth Hanglalm while another one was developed in the area of the famous  Kitzbüheler Horn.

You can define Kitzbühel an Alpine Resort where all is possible and another reason apart that magnificent network of services and facilities about Alpine Ski the resort also provides over 40,0 kilometres of slopes dedicated to practise Nordic Ski which is undoubtedly another great detail offering the magnificent opportunity to enjoy that kind of sport so famous in Scandinavia but with a lot of fans in other countries.

A great attraction linked to that sporting activity is the Sportloipe which provides a spectacular illuminated trail developed in proximity of the Golf Club Schwarzsee Reith.

Kitzbühel does not need adjectives to describe what it is in all its splendour and superb services.It is the Queen of Tyrol and Austria about Alpine Ski and the legendary and emblematic Streif mentioned at the beginning of the post is its icon and symbol.

It is the dream of every professional skier and winning a competition there is like to come in  directly in the Olymp of the legend of Alpine Ski.That iconic downhill has consecrated and crown unforgettable champions such as Franz Klammer,Roland Collombin,Pirmin Zurbriggen,Franz Heinzer,Karl Schranz,Steve Podborski,Peter Wirnsberger,Luc Alphand,Hermann Maier and Didier Cuche the best specialists of the history who wrote with other athletes glorious pages of sport along that magic and challenging descent.

Streif downhill track apart the difficult and the prestige is also one of the official competitions with the Ganslern Slalom corresponding to the title and trophy which award the winner of the historic Hahnenkamm combined.To win such competition is for an skier just like for a F1 driver to win a GP at Montecarlo or Monza. 

That downhill track was introduced for the first time  in 1967 in the World Cup with the victory of the French champion Jean Claude Killy and that event won by such formidable and unforgettable star started to be one of the most relevant appointments in the International competitions present in the calendar.

It is incredible the atmosphere you can breath on that legendary track,it is like to be in a football stadium and the fans constantly give all their support to the athletes.All there is a festival of coloured flags of many countries,sounds of instruments,music and passion.Even the great Ingemar Stenmark that magnificent Swedish Alpine Ski Super Champion but not a downhill specialist wanted to try the Streif simply to feel what an athlete really feels skiing along that legendary track.   

The Streif starts from and altitude of 1,665 metres and during its very steep descent is an immersion of thrliing sensations and vibrations for the atlethes and fans,In some sections the gradients reach the85%,86% something of absolutely spectacular and unique in its kind.

Some of the most challenging steps of the track are the famous Mausefalle literally meaning mousetrap.That name because in that concrete point the skier is coming as in a sort of trap.It is as a tube just like to be prisoner of that terrific section designed of that iconic track.

 After a jump of over 90,0 metres there is another section called Steilhang consisting in spectacular double curves in which the skiers need iron legs and a superb coordination reaching that point with a speed of over 150 km/h with an immediate change rhythm.

Another emblematic point of the race track is the Hausbergkante a very difficult stretch which includes a jump of approximately 40,0 metres coming in that point at a speed of  over 140 km/h.That concrete point is where the skier has to read perfect line and to know with anticipation what there is facing him with all the risks.The Zielschuss is the last stretch once characterised by a spectacular jump before the finish.

The Streif is not a game,there an athlete has to be complete,excellent skater,able to perform a superb aerodynamic position showing power,concentration,to be an attacker but at the same time clever to read and interpret the challenging lines of that track,because on the contrary the Streif  hurts and can be indigestible for every champion.

A perfect preparation of the skis is not enough,every professional skier has to be very strong mentally and furthermore showing a notable respect of that downhill are the keys to be competitive along that track which is a glorious Alpine Ski legend.

A further brilliant and exciting detail assisting "live" that competition is the incredible support all the fans give to all the athletes,does not matter if in that Austrian Temple the winner is a Swiss,a French,an American American,Canadian or Italian who is going to Kitzbühel to participate to such great event is simply to live days of sport living vibrant moments cheering all the skiers and to spend an unforgettable time socialising with many other people of different nationality.

That is the right and magnificent culture of sport and in all that Kitzbuhel shows a great philosophy as a competiton can be also feast,a friendly meeting between fans of different countries.Finished the race and after the celebration of the winner it is very common to go often together to have a cool beer or  a warm coffee having a chat about the result of the race or simply talking about everything.

All that is Kitzbuhel in all its charming and captivating essence,for all that this place is so special,sport is great apart the time competition there is an exciting human "after" all to enjoy next to other people probably you will never see in your life once again but certainly something to remember for ever.

Kitzbühel is not only ski,it is a town with a rich calendar of events of relevant International fame.For all cycling lovers the resort is often place of challenging stages of competitions as the Osterreich Tour (the Tour of Austria) and also inserted in the Tour of Germany with the arrival at the upper station of Kitzbühel Horn with a very challenging climb.

The town also hosted in 2004,the Buddy Bears in which the famous Institution for peace and tolerance during their World Tour included Kitzbühel as seat to celebrate such meeting with a large participation.

The ATP Tennis Trophy is another a prestigious competition calling every year important players.Despite the modern tennis changed giving more relevance to trophies related to the prestigious Grand Slams (Wimbledon,Roland Garros or US Open) in Kitzbühel won great champions such as Pete Sampras  Guillermo Vilas,Vitas Gerulaitis and Goran Ivanisevic among others.

Another relevant event celebrated in that glorious destination in the heart of the Austrian Alps is the Kitzbühel Alpenrallye which is an important and spectacular car race which takes place every year since 1988 calling in the resort and its surroundings a multitude of people.

The famous and picturesque Kitzbühel Christmas Market is of course another special attraction to live in a very exciting and magnificent atmosphere.As you know in Tyrol there is a great tradition,the typical and traditional local culture at Christmas time is deeply rooted in the locals so sensitive in brilliant preparations and in a climate of peace and serenity organising with every detail the typical dinners,placing lights decorating the houses in the best way,drinking wine and eating gingerbread.

The traditional Christmas music and popular songs,the bells of the Churches,musicians and people singing in the streets are part of magic frame all to enjoy.The Christmas Market is the right place to enjoy something of unforgettable meeting people having a chat and wishing each other Happy Christmas and Happy New Year in a marvellous scenery furthermore packed by stalls with the chance to buy with typical local products.

Tyrol is also a paradise about gastronomy offering a very delicious and genuine cuisine.Soups are generally the first plate,starting a lunch or a dinner,there is a big variety of them using vegetables and the most famous is the traditional Gemusesuppe but there are also other kinds as the famous Gerstelsuppe prepared with bacon and barley or another one called Griesnockelsuppe highlighted by semolina dumplings.

Very famous are also the famed Knödeln a culinary speciality very common in Germany and Austria consisting in a kind of balls similar to Gnocchi of bread stuffed with speck a typical smoked ham product of Tyrol area and cheese cooked in meat broth.

The Knödeln are generally cooked in different ways depending from the geographic area.The basic ingredients remain the same with some derivations of the traditional which are the Fleischknödln using meat or the Kasknödln made by cheese.If you like sweet flavors,there is also a variant of  Knödeln called  Zwetschkenkn consisting in dumplings stuffed with prunes and  apricots.

Another traditional plate pretty popular is the Spätzle a kind of very small gnocchi,very similar if you visited Hungary to the Hungarian Nokledi.Among the most traditional are those made using spinach called Spinatspätzle.

If you are in Tirol you can not miss to try the typical Gröstl a plate consisting of fried potatoes combined with bacon,onions,browned meat and ham generally served in a small wrought-iron pot.

Furthermore in the typical local cuisine there is a large presence of a big variety of sausages combined with sauerkraut and accompanied by potatoes and a good beer.Of excellent quality is also an ample presence in the local gastronomy of grilled meats in particular beef and pig both of high quality.

About bakery,cakes and desserts the famous Apfelstrudel,(Apple Strudel) is undoubtedly one of the main highlights next to the popular Kaiserschmarren a kind of omelette thoroughly dusted with powdered sugar and served with cranberry sauce.

Just outside Kitzbühel in the case you want to discover the beauty of its immediate surroundings you can visit the Farm Museum.It is a very old farm approximately 450 years old totally furnished in rustic style and one of its highlights is a charming kitchen and also very nice is the charming dining room.

All the other spaces are equipped with the typical tools reflecting the traditions of the past and decorated with the traditional Tyrolean style.You can also see a small Chapel and a garden belonging to the museum which is open from June to September.

Just 8,0 kilometres from Kitzbühel  is situated the Wildlife Park a great natural park opens every day from January until mid-November and in that magnificent Alpine scenery the protagonist is the nature with a rich flora and a large fauna,a splendid place in which you can see over 200 species of Alpine animals in a spectacular natural environment highlighted by impressive Alpine peaks and unique verdant landscapes.

The nearest airport to reach Kitzbühel in a very short time driving is Salzburg International Airport situated at approximately 80,0 kilometres from the resort and in approximately 1 hour by car in normal conditions of traffic you can reach your destination.Another alternative option is landing at Innsbruck Airport which is about 100,0 kilometres east from the resort in about one hour and half driving or by train can be a relevant second alternative.

In Spring,summer and autumn in Kitzbühel visitors can always find something to do.Cultural tourism a multitude of active outdoor activities such as sports,SPA sessions,the opportunity to enjoy great Gastronomic routes,that town and its surroundings are just like a wonderful mine of surprises all to discover.

 Winter is the season in which Kitzbühel lives its yearly Galas,just like an Opera in Vienna.That period of the year is passion,moments full of sensations waiting for the Ski World Cup and enjoying skiing on those wonderful slopes and visiting its Christmas Market as well.

Kitzbühel is undoubtedly a great destination all year for all that the town is so special,there are one million and more reasons to visit and remember it for long time wishing to come back to admire something else once again in that glorious destination in the heart of Austrian Alps.

Francesco Mari

Recommended Hotels in Kitzbühel

Hotel Edelweiss
Golf Hotel Rasmushof 
Hotel Schweizerhof Kitzbühel Sport & Beauty
Hotel Erika Hotel Premier Kaiserhof
Hotel Gran Tirolia Resort
Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort

Granada and its XXXIII Jazz Festival.Travelling to the Pearl of Andalusia Enjoying Unforgettable Evenings of Great Jazz.

Granada, a Pearl of Andalusia,this wonderful city at the foot of Sierra Nevada,the legendary Moorish Queen of the Ziri and Nasrid Dynasties,the city of the magnificent Alhambra,the fortress,which the Arab-Berber called Al Hamra,the Red One,for its red colour with the reflection of the sun on the its walls at sunset.

Granada is as a wonderful Film of history and culture also with its Jardines de Generalife,among the most beautiful gardens in the World,Granada is a city inspired prominent artists as Alexandre Dumas,Eugene Delacroix and Federico Garcia Lorca who was born in this unique city on the rivers Genil and Darro.Granada is history,art,it is enough a walk in its historic areas as the Alabayzin,the Sacromonte,the Realejo to discover the beauty of this Andalusian city surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Granada is also music a stronghold of Flamenco and Zambra,the music and dance so famous since centuries ago when the first gypsies started to sing and dance in the Sacromonte,in grottoes and later in the picturesque streets of the white district Albayzin.

About music Granada will host its XXXIII Festival Jazz,from a series of unforgettable show starting in different days from the 08th November and eending with the last concert the Sunday 18th November.The city of Alhambra and Jardies of Generalife and more than 30 years of Great Jazz,with the participation in different editions of wonderful stars of this kind of music,such as Miles Davis the genius of Illinois and also one of the father of the Jazz Fusion,the unforgettable Dizzie Gillespie,the talented drummer Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter,Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock among others.

The fame of Granada Festival Jazz is absolutely known all around the world hosting every year some of the best Artists of this kind of music born in USA,a kind of music elevating the pure instinct talent,the imagination and the creativity of  the sounds,a music which is for many experts the essence of the real identity of a singer or a musician.   

Granada is a wonderful occasion to enjoy great Jazz in a unforgettable scenario as this city,beautiful evenings at the charming Teatro Isabel La Catolica.oOganised by important Institutions as Ayuntamiento de Granada,Junta de Andalucia,Diputación de Granada,Asociacion Granada Jazz,Caja Granada and with the sponsor of Cervezas Alhambra,the famous beer brand.All these important Organisations and Institutions are so pleased to collaborate together for a so important International event,giving Granada and the visitors the opportunity to enjoy magic evening and nights in a city you have to visit once in your life.

The calendar of the events will start on 08th November with a hymn and honouring the great Miles Davis in a show with the title MILES SMILES remembering the legendary album recorded in 1967,an unforgettable icon for all the Jazz lovers by the venerated Master of Jazz.This show will have as protagonists to give Miles Davis a thank you for all that the Genius of Alton did for the World of Music,distinguished artists as Wallace Roney,Ralphe Armstrong,Larry Coryell,Rick Margitza and Omar Hakim all them among the most celebrated Jazz Stars in the World nowadays.

The day 09th another great show with the Italian Trumpet Paolo Fresu,one of the best expressions of Trumpet Jazz in Europe and very famous in USA for his collaborations and performances with Ralph Towner and Carla Bley.Paolo Fresu will perform with Omar Sosa the Cuban Star,great talented pianist and one of the Top exponents of the Afro-Cuban Jazz so famous in USA for his great performances in particular in all California where he lived for many years and where he created new sounds of Latin -Jazz music..

Saturday 10th November is the day of Spanish Jazz with the great exhibition of the magic sax of Jorge Pardo Sexteto Huellas.Pardo is considered one of the most talented European sax,with important collaborations with American Jazz Stars and other artists such as Al di Meola,Slide Hampton,Michael Brecker among others and great performances in celebrated festivals as in Montreaux-Switzerland.The talent and the sax of of Jorge Pardo are a hymn to the traditional and classical Jazz,combined to Latin and Flamenco sounds.

Sunday 11th another great appointment with Roy Hargrove Quintet.Hargrove the celebrated trumpet ,who performed with great artists as Diana Ross,Herbie Hanncock,Sonny Rollins,Diana Krall and Nathalie Cole.Roy Hargrove is a fantastic versatile artist,who started with strong influences of  great American Masters as Miles Davis and Fats Navarro,his immense talent also had a great success in Fusion Jazz as well, Afro-Cuban Jazz and more he adapted his magic trompet to the hip hop,funky and gospel music.

After some days of pause Granada Festival Jazz will continue on Saturday 17th November with another fantastic show : Viay Iyer Trio awarded in 2012 as Best Album,Best Band,Best Piano and Best Composer.The 41y Pianist Star from Albany New York is a natural talent worked with several prominent artists as Steve Coleman,Butch Morris,Karh Kale and Oliver Lake.Further more the pianist of Indian origin,worked for important NYC Institutions as New York University and Manhattan School Music.The great versatility of this magnificent pianist,it is his divine classical background linked to a perfect combination of musical  applications to other kinds of music,for all that,today you can consider this great artist,probably one of the best current pianist in the World.

 Sunday 18th November Granada Festival Jazz will finish with the Spanish Group  Paquito D´Rivera y El Quinteto Cimarron another great event with the opportunity to enjoy a great ensemble of instruments,the Sax by Paquito D´rivera,Contrabass by Oscar Rodriguez,the Violins of Lázaro Gonzalez and Eduardo Coma,the Cello by Luis Caballero and the Viola by Raymond Arteaga.The extraordinary Sax of the Cuban-American Star Paquito D´Rivera great friend of Dizzie Gillespie is probably one of the best Alto Saxophone of the history next to the unforgettable Charly Parker and the super talented Cannonbal Adderley. The sounds of D´Rivera will be a great attraction in another magic night in Granada.

All the concerts will start at 09.00 p.m and it is really great to have the chance of choice of several shows with this famous artists and Granada offers you that.

Granada and Jazz Festival with all these Stars are a unique combination to travel,to admire on of the most charming cities in the World and of course enjoying great Music,great Jazz under the majestic and wonderful Alhambra.

Francesco Mari

Travelling to Prague.The beautiful City of the100 Towers and the 100th Davis Cup Tennis Final from the 16th to 18th November 2012.

There are always many reason to visit Prague,the magnificent capital of Czech Republic.This city is a Top destination to enjoy all year for its long and fascinating history,its rich patrimony heritage a gem of UNESCO Patrimony,we could write rivers of beautiful words to describe this unique city.

Cultural events,Art,Concerts,Theatre and Sport.The splendid city of the 100 Towers will host from the 16th to 18th November 2012 at O2 Arena the 100th Final of the Tennis Davis Cup. A great Sport event and a fantastic scenario to celebrate a prestigious and historic competition of a very popular Sport : Tennis.

Prague will live three fantastic days of Sport in this 100th Final where the locals will play against Spain one of the most competitive countries in the most important Trophy for teams in tennis.Davis Cup and a great final with Czech Republic team which wants to conquer its first trophy as Independent Country (the old Czechoslovakia won the 1980 Edition) and Spain wants to defend its title.The local idols Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek against David Ferrer and the Spanish team,a great event,great tennis in a great city.

After an ace,after a volée,after a smash and after the matches in O2 Arena,Prague is an ace, a volée and a smash of beauty,which will show you all its charm from the magnificent Karlovy Most Bridge to the Bohemian and captivating district of Mala Strana,from the impressive Hradcany Castle to the ancient and historic Jewish District of Josefov,from a walk in the charming and picturesque Zlatna Ulicka to the majestic  shining Starometske Namesti,the wonderful Old Square of this unique city.

Tennis and Prague,a spectacular sport in a spectacular city from the 16th to 18th November a Sport Festival in a perfect,magnificenr scenario : Prague.

Francesco Mari

Cureglia-Lugano.Grotto Pierino. A tip for a Great Typical Lunch or Dinner in the Swiss Canton Ticino.

 Cureglia is a small village close to Lugano,with about 1,100 inhabitants, a typical hilly village, pure air, friendly people,uiet and relaxing ideal place after a visit of the splendid city of Lugano and then seek calm on those picturesque hills that dominate the fantastic Lake. Cureglia,apart the beautiful Alpine landscapes,the beautiful Baroque Church of San Cristoforo redesigned and rebuilt above another previous of medieval origin and it is also famous for the Grotto Pierino an excellent rustic place where you can enjoy the best cuisine of the Canton Ticino.

Let's start before from what is a Grotto that can be compared as an Italian Trattoria, or to a traditional Spanish Tasca or a German Gasthaus,only comparations because a Grotto has its own identity.The Grotto was originally a sort of warehouse or cellar, generally stone well-a very ventilated building with a suitable temperature for storing dairy products dairy such as cheese and butter but also wines and cold meats as salami as well as agricultural products.The Grotto was used in this manner throughout the Canton of Ticino,in the other Swiss Canton of Grisons but also in Italy in some areas of the Valtellina in the province of Sondrio and in Val Chiavenna that Valley that begins North from Colico, the extreme tip of Lake Como in Lecco arm.The first Grotti,were in many cases real Grottos,ideal places to preserve food.

I discovered the tradition of the Grotti some years ago by a Educational in Lugano and Locarno, very interesting because the history of the Grotti is an absolute proud of the local populations,people have made of the Grotto a local institution and part of the culture of this area of Switzerland.The first Grotti with access we can say to the public or better to invite someone to taste the wine,the cheese,handcrafted products, ,accompanied sometimes by the typical Polenta,were born from the idea of the owners more than a century ago,an idea to make known to those who came from outside the local gastronomy.After some years the Grotti began further more popular they continued their development,there was a first promotion of typical Ticinese foods in the nearest Italy,Germany and France then turning into real establishments dedicated to the Catering Industry and they adopted the old name of those place storing food and wines.

The first Grotti, retained the original structure in stone,later some more modern, the true Grotto Ticinese in each case, has its own identity,a rustic furniture and details of design typically local,symbols representative of the place of belonging and especially menu based on traditional cuisine.

Grotto Pierino is a real Grotto with Capitol G.The staff and owners are very friendly and nice they  make you feel as at home,the typical Polenta is cooked with the typical and traditional method on the fireplace as well as the typical vegetable minestrone.The menu offers an excellent variety of local meats, there is also a very good range of cheeses including the local Formagella,Stracchino, Cheese typical of the Swiss Alps, typical dishes from the Grotto Pierino are also the famous Polenta Concia cooked with cheese melted over it,the classic Coniglio in Salmi Rabbit cooked with pepper, onion and red wine that is accompanied by wonderfully to Polenta and also dishes linked to the nearby Lombardy in particular to the area of the Milanese and Insubria as the Brasato (braised,) and the famous Ossobuco. Of course, then in the menu there is a good choice of wines and desserts.

What more you should try,live and enjoy in the atmosphere of a Grotto,a fine,delicious and local cuisine and feel at home in an environment,warm and welcoming.

It is not difficult to get from Lugano to Grotto Pierino,from the ciyu on the lake there only 6 km to Cureglia,Take the road that skirts the Civic Park,where is located the famous Villa Ciani beside the Belvedere Lake Promenade,then cross the bridge of Cassarate and follow the signals Viganello and Pregassona.Once you are in Pregassona take the road Via San Gottardo-Cureglia from here then begins a steep climb of about 3.5 km and you will be at Cureglia, next to the Main Square of the town and you will find the Grotto Pierino. On weekends is recommended to book.I strongly recommend a lunch or dinner at Grotto Pierino and ...Buon appetito.

Francesco Mari

From Milan to San Vittore Olona in the Altomilanese cycling along the Simplon Road between Art and History Discovering the Ancient Windmills of Parco dei Mulini.

Cycling from Milan, the great capital city of the Lombardy Region along the Sempione,the Simplon.the famous National Road 33 which connects the metropolis of Milan to Iselle in Piedmont next to the Swiss border and then continue on Swiss territory until Brig with the in the Alps with the Simplon Pass.

This long road,for many kilometres is like a tangential to the European Highway E62 through,small valleys,hills part of the Ticino river Valley,the Lake Maggiore and the Piedmont.The Simplon Road is a just like a journey inside the history of two Italian Regions Lombardy and Piedmont and Switzerland,a long history,with ancient different settlements that have populated this area as Insubri,Etruscans and Romans.The Simplon Road was built on the orders of Napoleon Bonaporte who wanted to join Milan to Paris, an inspiration of the French Leader to the model of the ancient Imperial Roman Consular Roads.

From Milan,at Parco Sempione,the Simplon Park behind the Sforza Castle, one of the lungs verses of the city beside the majestic Arch of the Peace,you can begin many cycling itineraries,one of them is the Milano-Parco Dei Mulini,(the Park of the Mills) until San Vittore Olona,25 km very easy,on a pretty flat territory, but very interesting from a historical point of view and cultural, in particular for churches and monuments of medieval age of great importance and for the Parco dei Mulini an area that comprises the municipalities of Legnano, San Vittore Olona, Canegrate, Parabiago and Nerviano.The Parco dei Mulini is so called for its historical mills of this area,also called Altomilanese,(Northern Milan) which is an are included between the southern Valley of the Ticino river, the Olona Valley,bordering the Olona River and the Southern territory of the province of Varese,not far from the beginning of Brianza,the area of Monza.

You can start your route from Piazza Sempione,the square also famous for being one of the places symbols of the Giro d'Italia the great cycling race organised by the famous newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport,ehich ends each year in the city Milan. From Piazza Sempione a long Avenue,similar the Parisian Champs Elysee continues crossings Piazza Firenze, a square that is the point of intersection between the last stretch of the Simplon Road with Viale Certosatakes about 3,0 kilometres cycling in the centre of the city.

From Viale Certosa continues to Via Gallarate, a long avenue which connects the city centre to the Northern suburbs of Milan, to give you an idea it is the road leading you to the entrance of the Autostrada,the Motorway Milano Laghi-Como -Chiasso and to the Rho-Milano Fiera the modern Fairground complex of the Lombard city and also in the direction to the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium and the Palasharp on the other side of the urban bridge connected the city to the Highway.

At the end of Via Gallarate which is nothing else an urban extension inner of Corso Sempione, as well as Viale Certosa takes the road continues with the name name Corso Sempione and take the direction Pero-Rho,there are a couple of curves and you are crossing and industrial  complex of two industrial towns,Rho and Pero.

Rho is an ancient city of Roman origin also famous for its beautiful Shrine,the Santuario dell´Addolorata,Our Lady of Sorrows,a famous religious temple that in its construction was begun by San Carlo Borromeo and further more it is the seat of one of the Marian pilgrimages more famous in the North of Italy.This sanctuary contains relevant and beautiful works by the Master Morazzone,a talented painter from the area of Varese,who moved to Rome to work for the Pope State, considered to be one of the painters pioneers of the Reformation, that literary and artistic movement so famous in opposition to the degradation of the Papal State.

Inside you can also admire very valuable works by Della Rovere brothers,a family of excellent artists very active in the area of Milan, Monza, but also in Piedmont, Valcamonica a valley near the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia and in the Swiss Canton Ticino.They were known and nicknamed as "Fiammenghini" probably for their inspiration to the Belgian-Flemish painting who had also in Italy many followers.You can also note the beautiful facade of Leopoldo Pollack am Italian-Austrian architect of the 18th century a pupil of the great Master from Umbria Piermarini who built the Teatro alla Scala of Milan.I recommend a stop and a visit,because you are in front of treasure of art.

Continuing on Corso Sempione after this brief historical parenthesis you cross the town of Lainate an ancient Celt and Roman town famous for its magnificent Villa Visconti Borromeo Arese Litta a masterpiece of 16th century that possesses a wonderful Nymphaeum and fountains of great artistic value. I suggest a stop if you want to admire this masterpiece.

Continuing on the Road,totally flat you will reach a small town of about 8.000 inhabitants called Pogliano Milanese which was an important Roman Castrum to defend the area from the invasions of Teutons and Cimbris populations coming from Germany, and then continues in the direction Nerviano,the road is in excellent state,with a couple of gently up and down and ideal to pull long gears.

In about ten minutes you will reach the town of Nerviano,famous to be bathed by three rivers,the Olona,the small Bozzente and the Canale Villoresi.This town was in the Middle Ages a stronghold of the Milanese and headquarter to organise the famous battles against Frederick Barbarossa,for its strategical position not far from the city of Milan,from the low Ticino Valleyand Brianza.Here you can admire a beautiful example of medieval architecture of Tuscan school the Monastery of Ulivetani beside the river Olona.Further more I suggest to take a look to the Santuario della Colorina dated 17th century,the patroness of engaged couples and the beautiful Church of Santo Stefano dedicated to the Holy Martyr, a beautiful example of Neoclassical style but originally built in the Romanesque style.

Leaving Nerviano and following cycling on Corso Sempione at the border with Parabiago you will find a Mill,the Mulino Starquá.Probably built in 17th century and then restored several times,this mill was used to grind wheat into flour that was then introduced directly on Milan markets,the name "Starquá" derives from "star qua"meaning  staying here.Why this name ?  During the period of Austrian domination during the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia , some of the soldiers of the Austrian General Radetsky went over to the mill with the intention of take off the people lived and worked there but millers answered : Noi vogliamo star quá, we want to stay here.It was the 1853 and on the inside of the mill there is a plaque which reminds that sentence as a sign of resistance to foreign domain of these lands in 19th century.Today the mill is managed by the farm company Molaschi, famous for the trade and sale of flour and rice of the area of Vercelli in Piedmont.

In Parabiago then there are other mills,one of them is the Molino Moroni dated 16th century.This mill was built in the period of the Olivetan Monks who settled in the nearby NervianoDuring this period thanks to the wotks of the monks and excellent millers,it was very active with a very high production,but the business was closed by Napoleon Bonaparte,who used his strategy to stop every kind of production activity to control the area in a easy way.Later the mill was property of some foreign families lived in the countryside and also
property of distinguished Milaneses families Milanesi.After several owners,the mill was managed by Giovanni Moroni,for that the name but all the activity production ceased in 1935.

Today the mill maintains an excellent aspect in perfect harmony with the scenery of the countryside of the Altomilanese.Another mill is theThe Mill Gajo-Lampugnani and it takes its name from an old Mayor called Felice Gajo and by a governor during the fascist period in  the years of the second world war Raffaele Lampugnani.The mills is inactive,anyway it maintains in every case a good appearance after some restorations,the new look,is in full harmony with the local landscapes.

Another one is the Mulino Del Miglio also of the 16th century,taking the name of the old owner Mr.Del Miglio.In the course of its history the mill has changed substantially its appearance,after some restorations the mill is not working sincelong time ago and it is currently property of the Rancilio family linked to the famous industry of coffee machines.

The city of Parabiago is one of the most famous centres of industry of the shoes and for the historic Battle of Parabiago where the Visconti the Lords of Milan fought against Lodriso an uncle of them pretender to the rule of the city Milan and supported by the Scaligeri the Scala family from Verona.Parabiago was a very active commercial centre during the Roman era, also of interest the many elegant aristocratic villas and numerous churches of different date from medieval times until the modern period,worth a mention the Church of San Gervasio e Protasio The Church of Sant'Ambrogio, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Dio a splendid work by the famous Master Donato Bramante.

Apart art and history Parabiago is also is famous in the world to be the birthplace of the  brand Rancilio,Coffee Machines with a great fame all around the world, with branches in Hong Kong, Chicago and Barcelona and also for Termozeta famous another prestigious brand of household appliances.You are cycling in a town of great cycling traditions too.Parabiago is the town of Giuseppe Saronni 1982 World Champion at Godwood in England and winner of two Giro d´Italia and numerous classic races.Although Saronni was born in Novara,he grew up in Parabiago.From this town  is also the first World Champion on road cycling,Libero Ferrario who won the first edition of the Cycling World Championship in 1923 in Zurich-Switzerland.In addition and always about cycling this city has hosted in the year 2007, the first World Championship of Hand bike,receiving commendations and praise for the wonderful management in the organisation of this international sporting event and the town has an excellent amateur cycling club.

After only 2,5 km of road totally flat you will be in San Vittore Olona, this small town ofAltomilanese,famous some decades ago to be an important textile centre,very close to Legnano preserves some of the most ancient mills that are part of the artistic heritage of this area. San Vittore Olona is also famous for athletic cross country competition called Cinque Mulini the "five Mills" a classic race,which celebrated its first edition in 1933,The name is in honour to these historical structures that were very substantial part also in the economic and productive industry.The race takes in a spectacular area running next to the five old mills.The names of 5 mills are Montoli are, wonder, Cozzi, Cornaggia and De Toffol.

Today only two are active.The Mulino Montoli,dated 15th century, although almost entirely renovated and has a very good state,the blades and agricultural spaces for the collection of products in the building are totally original. The other Mill in activity, still in working order even if it is only activated for sporadic tourist purposes and image of the Cinque Mulini race, to retransmit a little the story of these place and to show the dynamic operation of the mill.

The Parco dei Mulini the Park of the Mills also includes the neighbouring municipalities of Legnano, Canegrate.These old structures unfortunately ceased the activity with the advent of electricity,as well as the construction of factories in particular in Legnano,which used generators,boilers and modern machinery,all that reduced this ancient activity of these mills, more than reduced practically disappeared,note on the river Olona in the past, the active mills were 118 and if you think this river is only 71 km.

But despite this,the presence of them still existing makes these attractive locations from the point of view historic.A ride from Milan in this area called Atomilanese is very interesting discovering,art, history, beautiful monuments including these unforgettable Mills.

Francesco Mari

A Magic Saturday in Birmingham,enjoying the great Andrea Bocelli in Concert on 10th November at LG Arena.

Birmingham the great metropolis of the British West Midlands will live a moment of great music and emotions Saturday, November 10 with the magnificent concert of Andrea Bocelli, the more loved tenor of the world.

For Birmingham the Britain's second city with this a great event at LG Arena, the complex that receives thanks to its numerous concerts and events more than a million visitors a year will be a special day,a lively and captivating city with voice of this unique artist.

Andrea Bocelli, the great singer,who always generates passion and beautiful vibrations for his magnificent voice,which transports our imagination in a flight of beautiful sensations, a voice that has won fans and audiences all around the world.

The city of Birmingham which always hosts large events from sport to culture from business to music, will live a Saturday 10th, November 2012 moments of great enthusiasm by living an evening of great music with a voice of one of the most loved artists from world in our planet Andrea Bocelli.

Francesco Mari

Paris and Leonardo Da Vinci. "Projets,Dessins et Machines" until the 18th August 2013.

 Paris and Leonardo,two names and a perfect combination to visit one of the most beautiful and charming cities in the World "La Ville Lumiere"admiring the invention by the Genius of our History : Leonardo da Vinci.The exhibition is celebrated at Cité de Science  e Paris.

"Projets,Dessins,Machines",Projects,Drawings and Machines" is a great chance for everyone to discover the inimitable talent of the Master from Vinci.

The Parisian Exhibition organised this great event in collaboration with the the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo da Vinci of Milan and another important Institution the Deutsche Museum of Munich with the chance to admire 40 of his machines came to the French Capital directly from from the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo da Vinci of Milan.

Leonardo was not only a great painter,he was also scientist,engineer,physician,anatomist,musician,writer,an Universal researcher probably unique in the History.The 40 machines built following the draws of the great Master are simply fantastic because are the genial expressionof modern inventions created in the 15th Century,Leonardo was undoubtedly unique because nobody in that period could think,study or try to invent such ingenious masterpieces of science.

The title of this Exposition,Projets,Dessins et Machines is perfect,it is the right spot about the imagination of the Tuscan phenomenal artist,Leonardo projected everything in his mind after several scientific and manual experiments,then he drew and afterwards he built.

The Parisian exhibition is organised in six areas to discover step by step the develop and the works by Leonardo,one is about his first experiences in Florence when the young genius started to discover the transformation of the movements thanks to his old Master Andrea del Verrocchio,the second section is dedicated to the Milan period of the Tuscan artist when he was the military engineer of the noble family Sforza the Lords of the Capital of Lombardy  and where he organised the defencive systems built in the case of a war.

The third area is related to his inspiration to the nature,Leonardo loved to study and observe the phenom of the nature,waters,going next to the rivers,observing plants during storms or windy days,observing animals and movements of objects on different surfaces.The fourth section is probably one of the most exciting dedicated to his study of the flight,observing different kind of birds and their morphology,attitudes and movements,and after an attentive observation,Leonardo developed with his great imagination in a deep research of  experiments with artificial wings of different material,testing the results in a scientific way.

The fifth area is related to the production,when Leonardo started to study the mechanical and dynamical systems linked to the transformation in energy, generating work,famous his experiments and studies in the textile activity of production. The sixth section is like a collection of all the information he had about his different discoveries in different kind of scientific areas and linking all  them in his creations.

Apart this amazing Science walk,the Exhibition offers the visitor multimedia services to know deeper and better the talent of this great genius.

Of course is a great chance to visit Paris,the cooperation between three great Museums displaying these masterpieces today is an opportunity you can not miss to learn more about the most Universal and talented artist of our history in a magnificent scenario asthe splendid and shining Paris.

Francesco Mari

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