TIPS are my "goodies", by Zeno ... that only few locals know
TIPS are my "goodies", by Zeno ... that only few locals know
I’m Zeno I created FERRARA LOCAL EXPERIENCE & TIPS a small collection of suggestions on the food and some curiosities that only from Ferrara can be known. LIVE LIKE A LOCAL !!! FERRARA LOCAL EXPERIENCE & TIPS is constantly evolving and you can download it here
This is a real pearl. I am the only one to know it besides you, since now you will read this secret I want to disclose you. I live a few kilometres away from the city in the open countryside and every year in June I always observe the glittering of the fireflies with renewed astonishment and enthusiasm. One night while walking throughout the streets around the house, I discovered a little dirt road where every year the magic of the fireflies is renewed: it is a unique, beautiful, magical extraordinary spectacle. Fireflies are able to illuminate the dark, thick wood. This place is located at the intersection of via Cà Bruciate and via Stornara … I recommend you don’t spread the rumour.
I was having dinner with my wife Eleonora and at a certain point I found out that one of the tiles that adorned the table was lifted. Pushed by curiosity, I raised it in order to understand the reason why it was detached. And what I discovered left me open-mouthed… little pieces of paper left by the various customers before me. I started reading them and each of them contains a little story, an inscription, a secret. I don’t tell you the table, but I only tell you that this little secret is at the TRATTORIA IL SORPASSO where there is the extraordinary chef Saro.
Think about it, it’s only 20 meters from the hotel and I’ve found it just a few days ago; the social stationery shop was born in 1881 just below the Archbishop’s Palace. Then for a series of events it reopened in 1889 in Corso Martiri della Liberta’, in a central position. The furniture, all custom made ( o built ), already contemplated the presence of a beautiful original deco style counter, inlaid by Ugo Rossetti and a marvelous mechanical case. Well this chest was used to compile the accounts by Peppino Tibertelli, brother of the famous DE PISIS. Well, now the social stationery shop has moved to Piazza Repubblica for some years, just where we are, just 20 meters from the Annunziata Hotel. This little tip is worth a visit to admire the counter, cashier, two old oil lamps and some goodies like a historic photograph of the Republic Square that Anita Stocchetti will be happy to show you.
There is an enchanting place near Ferrara which is called “AI DUE LAGHI”. The two lakes were born from an old quarry of sand on the ancient riverbed of the river Po around 200 years ago. Now it is a special place where you can spend a day on a green park, refreshing in the clear waters of the lake and having a cocktail at happy hour on one of the jetties, watching the sun setting over the lake. It is an exciting spectacle. You are always in Ferrara but it seems to be in a fabulous place. I only give you a piece of advice: avoid going there on Saturday and on Sunday… it’s too crowded. Do you want to learn something more about it? Click here
This tip is my tip only. It’s a strange thing, but if you think about the end of this story it’s really a pearl that few people know, but maybe because few people walk with head held high to find out all that surrounds us. There is a church door in the center of Ferrara. For a year, unfortunately just one, every month I stand in front of this door and take a picture. Why? Because this door is the target of some young people who occasionally write or draw all over it. This is really a work of art in continuous transformation, but always keeps small traces of the past. I have a passion for this door and every time I look at the photographs of the past I always find a detail that I had missed but I also find funny things. Walk through Via dei Teatini and look at this door with different eyes. And the curious thing is that the small showcase of the old antique shop Il Tarlo is also becoming a work of art. Smeared in writings and drawings too that are being added with time. Here is the little story of the church door.
It is a shop that you do not expect to see, that you cannot find easily, and that still few people in Ferrara know. It’s a little secret that we tell you and that for those who like it is like finding a treasure. Hidden Spirits is a small artisan shop that looks for, discovers and selects barrels of refined Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. Hidden Spirits, “Independent Label” creates bottles in limited edition bottles that give rise to strong emotions.
Spirits are selected with passion and carefully and this allows to create products of undeniable force and complexity that are remembered over the years.
Hidden Spirits is located in the small via Vegri at number 4 or can visit its facebook page here.
Eleonora and Chiara have realized their dream: a shop that is only dedicated to women, to their dreams, their look and the pleasure of finding and wearing something unique, beautiful and of high quality. You will always find a smile that welcomes you and the chance of having a chat in LASCIATE ENTRARE IL SOLE. It’s a few steps from the Annunziata hotel in via Voltapaletto at the number 7 or here
After having breakfast, a lot of guests asked us if it was possible to have Simona’s recipe of “tenerina di zucca” or of her fantastic orange jam. So my mother asked Massimiliano or Anna at the front desk if they could write the recipe and give it to the guest. And they did, but this happened too often. Therefore, one day I said to my mother, Simona, “Let’s do a good thing: we write all the recipes of both salty and sweet dishes, print them and put them in a binder and we leave them at our guests’ disposal so that they can take them and bring them home. ”
We did so and since then a lot of our guests mention in their reviews SIMONA’s recipes.
It’s a small project realized by some great dreamers. Some posts have appeared on Anais’s page. In these posts, some images depicted small tiles with various drawings, encouraging the reader to find them around the city, on stripped and abandoned walls of historical and anonymous palaces. Pushed by curiosity, I immediately rode my bicycle to find these square tiles. They are really hard to find even for the people from Ferrara who are experts of all the streets and have a great photographic memory. But when you find them, they are marvelous: white, clean, small and with these laser engravings. Photographing them is poetry and this kind of urban art is really an idea that only great dreamers can conceive.
Do you want to find out them too??? Here are some tips
What’s with the pizza and chickpeas wrapped in paper? This little story, it all seems disconnected but actually they have a very close tie. In Ferrara there are three historical places, which I love, where pizza and chickpeas are still served as they once were, wrapped with a piece of paper. No dish and no cutlery. Strictly handmade these delicious delicacies made by woody ovens with old iron pans for pizzas, and copper for chickpeas. AWESOME !!! And the fascination of this historical sites too, with their defects and their merits. Please try them … if you are willing to wait a bit The three places are: Pizzeria Orsucci, Pizzeria Orsucci da Armando and Pizzeria da Giuseppe.
Curiosity: If you order “with” or “without” it is understood that you are talking about anchovies
Marco Gruppioni is a man from another time, even if he is as young as I am.
It is big, with a reassuring face, big hands, but his handshake is delicate in order to measure his strength. He is a good man but in the positive sense of the word. And these great qualities and the passion he has for raw materials has led him to realize his dream, his passion. As you have probably understood, I like telling stories of great dreamers who have realized what they have always dreamed, because they embody the real passion for their job and create things that make you feel happy. It’s enough to talk to them in order to feel good, they are like medicine for the spirit and give you a lot of energy.
Well first Marco created IL TEATRO DEL GELATO where he creates fantastic ice creams, there are few tastes but of high quality. And then he added RUKET a workshop that makes “bean to bar” in chocolate.
These are his words: “Our story is a small, artisan story which is full of quality. It is the story of a shop, which is entirely built with the care of once. It’s a bit like the products we make. Our story is especially the one of a huge passion for natural things.
It is this passion that made us open IL TEATRO DEL GELATO in 2003, in Sant’Agostino, in the province of Ferrara, where every day we prepare fresh, natural, simple ice cream for our customers. In a word, our ice cream is special. It is our passion that has pushed us to go further, trying to reach the origin of taste, to reach the most sublime point of sweet art: chocolate.
It’s an excellent product, which is created through the selection of the best raw materials, a careful processing and artisan care of each small step of the path until the final product. The artisanship of our chocolate is the result of simple but patient workmanship. We use few ingredients, which are highly selected, processed as little as possible to preserve the original qualities of the raw materials. To this, we add a production that respects the necessary to obtain an excellent result. That is how our chocolate is created. ”
It’s 20 minutes from Ferrara but at a click here.
Every Christmas the magic is recreated: in December, the garden of the lawyer’s villa, located in via Cassoli at the number 12, is decorated with a thousand of lights and ornaments and every Christmas is the most photographed garden which is observed through the gate. Not all the inhabitants of Ferrara know it, but if you are here in Ferrara in December, it’s really worth taking a picture of the garden and posting it on your social accounts.
555 Il Ristoro della Canottieri is here the place where in June, July and August the sun sets on the stretch of water of the big river Po. It is here where every evening you can see a wonderful spectacle that accompanies you for dinner. It is here where Stefania and Marco have realized their dream, renovating the ancient Canottieri site and obtaining an informal, restaurant of high quality and with a relaxed atmosphere where you can taste the tasty dishes created by Stefania. Allow yourself this break, it’s worth it.
To watch the sunsets and discover the dishes just a click here.
A corner of California very close to Ferrara: this is WAKEGARDEN !!!
Around the waters of an old pulping mill, boys and girls are relaxing wearing their swimsuits. They are sleeping and chatting while staying inflatable coloured sofas and they are drinking beer and fruit juices. In turn, they use a table and cross the stretch of water, with slaloms, jumps and evolutions and they are towed in their surfing by a pulley.
Are you curious??? look here
I have been looking for a typical, non-touristic place where you can still taste traditional fish dishes with fresh ingredients of high quality. Finally, this magical place has been reached.
It is called OSTERIA ARCADIA, by the name of Mrs. Arcadia who still works in the kitchen, it is located in the Po Delta and precisely in the hamlet of Santa Giulia, which is a few steps from the river bank. It is small, family-run, Pamela, who works there, is great and there are few proposals, but they are special, because they are created with the fish caught by their fishermen friends every day. They not only catch fish, but also game in winter. And the fantastic thing is that Pamela’s husband, who is a breeder of mussels, has set up a boat to sail among the reeds and the valleys of the delta: it’s a unique spectacle!!! If you want, you can arrange a happy-hour on the free beach and then come back to the tavern and taste their magnificent dishes. A curiosity: only in May and June in the tavern you will find a special menu only for mussels… you can’t miss it
Here you will find all their history.
Alberto Trabatti is a person to know.
He is the roaster who spreads his inviting in all the city when he turns on his machine in order to turn the green grain into a scented coffee.
The story of his adventure told by himself is the following.
“This factory is born from an open drawer, to release the dream kept there until 2004.
There are feelings, colours, scents, gestures that remain imprinted in our minds when we are children, and at a certain point it’s time to open the drawer in which they are trapped.
Coffee attracts. It is a product that evokes ancient rites, traditions, suggestions of distant countries, rare aromas.
Opening another coffee shop to join the hundreds of coffee shops that already work in Italy with only aim of making money was unimaginable.
I deprived coffee of all the superfluous material to get to the substance of the product and to his dignity. Coffee is treated with respect, carefully chosen to meet the palate and to respect the health of the customers, without using too much caffeine, which is worked optimally to enhance the characteristics of the aroma.
The coffee shop called “Artlife Caffè – Penazzi 1926” was born in 2004 in Ferrara, in Piazza della Repubblica, at numbers 27 and 29, almost in front of the Estense Castle.
It was a sign of fate to open it there, but I don’t believe in the fate any more. From Bologna I have followed the invisible traces of past history, creating the laboratory where Mr. Arrigo Penazzi opened his own in 1926. I was called by Genius Loci to continue a story that had been forgotten since the beginning of World War II. Even if since the 1960s, other proselytes of Penazzi spread the smell of coffee in the area of the coffee shop, it was time to follow Penazzi’s footstemps.
The Bottega del Caffè, as it is known in the collective imagination, proposes you to taste and sells the Cru and the Arabica Mixes, following every working cycle manually. But not only Coffee is handled, but you can also find Specialties of chocolate, Biscuits, Panettoni and colombas (an Italian Easter cake in form of a dove), Wines, Baladin Beers, Rums and Rare Distillates, Pasta, and much more to discover. In short, it is worth visiting it, also because the assortment is often renewed. ”
And the story continues here.
I have often passed in front of these two shop windows at Bagaro Street, 76. I always looked at them with curiosity because I saw some mahogany pieces of old radio but I always thought it was just a workshop that repaired things. A nice day pushed by curiosity, seizing the opportunity of a free car place in front of the shop windows, I parked and went in. I was immediately overwhelmed by the WOW effect!!! There was a small private museum of old radios where you can still breathe the fragrance of old copper circuits and valves that heat the shell made from precious wood with artisan processing that you seldom find. For those who like it, it is marvellous. The owner is a fantastic man, he has a great passion and he is looking forward to telling his story and his passion to every customer who comes in. Go there!!! Even just to take wonderful photos.
It’s a fantastic, exciting experience which was born from Giancarlo Galassi’s mad, brilliant idea: the ephemeral labyrinth.
Here is the story of Giancarlo:
“In 2007 we began creating a game for our family; In 2008 we said: “Why not?” and therefore we created our first labyrinth / land-art. In 2009 it was more than 40,000 sq. M. (the “Cow”). In 2010, we met Luigi Berardi, a geomantic artist who helped us to grow with ever deeper and more complex issues. With “The Wheel of Time” we started a journey where philosophical and artistic thought grew proportionally with the complexity of the track that inspired in 2011 “The Basilisk”, in 2012 “The Dawn of Man”, in 2013 “Queen Bee Fly”, 2014 “Metamorphosis” and finally in 2015 “Tree of Life”.
We were the first in Italy to create this kind of attraction. From 2009 to 2014 we were the biggest in Europe; The next step was a natural consequence: all the visitors and friends who visited the Labirith “Wanderer Paths” of 2016 roamed in the foundation of the first dynamic labyrinth of the world, the biggest and most unique of its kind. ”
But the experience does not end here, and it is enriched and completed with the areas created in the middle of corn field where gorgeous grills with fire and braces are waiting for you so that you can eat grilled meat and have dinner in the middle of a unique setting.
If you want to find out more and book your experience, you can do it here
You have probably realized that I like workshops and especially the historical ones that still survive in this global and so difficult market. Corazzari’s shop opened its doors in 1967 and now as it was once it is useful for those who need to adjust their slicer or old scale, for those who want to buy a completely renovated old Berkel or even just for those who want to browse through the shelves and his lab to discover old instruments and pieces of the museum. These opportunities cannot be lost because generational changes are always the most difficult ones and future is never certain. If you are in via Carlo Mayr, go to number 67, come in and discover so many beautiful things.
When we restored our annex during the conservation work of the beautiful trellises of the ’300 and the frescoes of the 300-’400, we have found the eagle of the Estensi family and now we can admire it to SUITE LOFT 2 … which is also wonderful.
A curiosity: in 1470 the palace, where the annex was located, was the home of Pellegrino Prisciani, a multi-faceted and famous person at the Corte degli Estensi
Giovanni GAVOCI says this:
“… Our History begins in 1969, in a land beyond the sea. I remember a small shop where my grandfather worked hard, creating almost from nothing things that were so fascinating for me: custom-made shoes. Today, I can say that passion, talent, expertise in the techniques of processing and the choice of materials are the characteristics that distinguish our brand and allow us to achieve world-class excellent results, thus gaining the trust and satisfaction of our customers. ”
Here GAVOCI is a true artist, works with great skill and determination in his small workshop just beyond the ancient walls of Ferrara. I only takes 8 minutes by bicycle and you can go to admire one of the very few craftsmen that still exists.
Here is some preview
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I love this enchanted place. It is located 10 meters from the sea in Vasto, in Abruzzo. Luigi e Betta are the creators of this paradise: BAGNI VITTORIA.
I don’t tell you anything, you must only go there. It’s always crowded, it only has 4 little houses on the sea, but if you tell my name Zeno to Luigi, maybe he will find you a place in his paradise.
Sauris has remained in my heart, like Vasto. I love these places not only for the landscape, but also for perfumes, for light, for colours, or because there are places like PLUME or BAGNI VITTORIA, but because behind these two structures there are magnificent people. I have already talked about Luigi and Betta of Bagni Vittoria.
Now I will talk about Luca and Raffaella of PLUEME. They are adorable, hospitable and their old wooden barn, originally built in 1685 and now completely restored, is a poem. The peace that reigns in that place is a real added value, the mountains around Sauris will leave you breathless. Fortunately, tourism is still a rare thing there. When we have the chance, Eleonora, my wife, and I go with our three daughters there and we go to Plueme to recover strength and energy, walking along the paths of the wood or sipping a good artisan beer in Sauris at the tavern La Pace, which is very close to Plueme. There are still people and places that deserve to be shared and talked about, and these are Luca, Raffaella and Plueme in Sauris.
Here is the number to go to the paradise.