Saturday, 26 April 2014

Eating in Italy or: Eataly

A few years ago, during our stay in the Piemont, a region in the North of Italy, we visited Torino. A city with tons of history, including the car factory with their test driving circuit on the roof top: Lingotto. On top of the building the Agnelli family, who founded FIAT in 1899, now runs an art gallery. Of course we had to see the exhibition. The truth is: people (like us) visit the gallery, because it allows you an easy access to the rooftop. I don't know how it is today, but a few years back we walked all over the roof and beyond.

In case you wonder what this has to do with Eating and Eataly, please be patient. I am developing an arc of suspense here. Or: I just love to show you these photos which date back to 2009.
 Around the old factory you see housing districts where the factory workers used to live. 
  Now that the car production is no longer situated in the Lingotto, the building has been transformed to a hotel and a shopping mall.
 This is the Agnelli gallery on top of the Lingotto, in the back you can see something interesting which is close to a heliport.
This is the turn for speed!

This is how I remember me on top of the Lingotto: casually chique, very classy and cool. Taupe T-Shirt, some Silhouette-shades, navy blue capri pants. Not so bad, my memory over all, I mean, this looks damn cool, right?
 ... until I see the whole picture:
  Those sandals! Oh my. Sorry for that! 

Btw: it is almost impossible to find a cool posture while standing in the steep turn. So I won't excuse for akward posing. I did my best not to fall over!
 *SIGH* What a beauty!! 
At both ends of the building ramps led the cars to the testing circuit.
I don't know about you, but I find these structures absolutely breathtaking!
I have never been to Detroit, but this is probably the better version of a past time. In Detroit many structures have been abondoned and destroyed. I am so happy, the decided to look after the Lingotto.

 They probably had no eyes for the view.
Torino underwent difficult times, due to the changes in the automobile industry during the second half of the 20th century.
Today other, new industries offer jobs. Retail is big in Torino.
Which brings me to Eataly! Back in 2009 Eataly was exotic, something new, something exciting. Today it is still exciting, less exotic and not new anymore.

For those of you who have never heard of Eataly before: It is like a high-end IKEA fo food. Ok, maybe not the best picture. But it explains a lot.

The Slow Food movement originated in the Piemont (please correct me if I am not well informed=wrong). On a former vermouth factory now a supermarket for Italian food offers only the best products which can be found in the different regions in Italy.

When we chose our apartment in Rome (oh no, Rome again! Yes! :-)),  I deliberately chose an area close th Ostiense, because that's where Rome's Eataly is located.
"Our" street in Testaccio, walking distance from Ostiense
The living room windows
You could not enter the building without walking past the concierge. I call this authoriatrian architecture.

While being in Rome we visited Eataly probably three times!? I did not just enjoy the best pizza Marinara during our stay, but also enjoyed a lot of people-watching. Italians love food. Sunday afternoon the place reminded me a lot of IKEA. Crowded with people all ages, united by their passion for food. Slow food.

This shelf offers a range of Risotto rice. Not "rice" overall, only the risotto rice. Italians who shop at Eatly must be world-experts for Risotto. 

The photo above only shows a small part of the rice section. Inside Eataly the same effect set in that affects me while eating: I can not take food photos. So I asked Mr Paula to take photo for me. I was simply way too excited, walking up and down all the aisles. 

I see these photos for the first time. Mr Paula probably took them because the cans and bottles look really nice. I agree!

 I have spotted these honey jars in a posh grocery store in Hamburg last year.
 In the back you can catch a glimpse of the overall atmosphere: relaxed, cool, it does not look like a supermarket at all.
 Could be Mr Paula fell for the Italian word "intero"?
Next the the cowmilk they sell soy- and rice-milk. The Italian soy milk was delicious.    

The prices are no bargains. But people line up at the cashier stations. In the end it's all about priorities. Of course Rome does not exist of Eataly alone. There is Vanni ...
 And then there is Giolitti ...
 Ad incredibly tasty bread and pizza of all kinds from the Panificio ...
Wooden boards outside the bakery invite the clients to stop here and eat their fresh pizza. 

You could say the experience in Italy educated me. Today I had the choice between conventional lemons from Spain or organic lemons from Italy. Guess which lemons I brought home. Not these from the Villa Borghese:
It is time to leave Rome. We are moving on. All except this little gem, who loves to return every single day:
Do you notice? This time I left out the worms. de-grossing the content so to say.

I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen recently. One, because it is THE place for bird watching. Two, because love cooking. The label "vegan" is going to grow larger soon.

Attila Hildmann is the author of vegan cookbooks, which helped me to not only change my diet to vegan, but mostly to ENJOY the vegan diet. His books have been translated to English recently and I will feature some of my all time favourite recipes here. Sharpen your pencils!



  1. liebe paula,
    das sind ja echt eindrucksvolle bilder mit dir und den kurven. und so wenig los dort. danke fürs zeigen - ich muss auch endlich mal wieder nach italy, vielleicht im nächsten sommer...*träum*
    viele grüße aus Berlin

    1. Nicht, dass ich dich da auf falsche Ideen bringe! Zuerst kommst du bitte nach Wien!

      Kurven ... eindeutig zweideutig. ;-)

      Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob das legal war, wo wir herumgestiefelt sind. Vielleicht waren deshalb so wenige Leute dort?

    2. Egal ob legal oder illegal, die Fotos sind großartig geworden. Und ja, natürlich komme ich zuerst nach Wien. Ich komme am 7.3. und muss am 9.3. weiter nach München. Nach Italien möchte ich doch erst im Sommer ;)