1. What is your name and what do you do at Select Italy?
Hi, my name is Beatrice Sartori and I’m marketing assistant at Select Italy’s office in Chicago, IL.
2. What’s your favorite Italian destination?
When I was 19 I moved to Milan to go to the university and since then I’ve been living in several cities in the north of Italy. I like Milan for the many cultural events you can find everyday and the shopping (fashion is really in the air in that city); I like Venice because it’s the one and only but I definitely love Verona because is an open museum! Few people know that the entire city (not just a monument or an area, the whole city!) has been awarded World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its urban structure and architecture. Verona is like an old beautiful postcard: green hills in the background, many stone bridges that cross the Adige river, the Arena (a Roman amphitheater, a small version of the Colosseum ), hints of Romeo and Juliet tragedy at every corner, Roman edifices, and Medieval architecture.
3. With whom would you go there?
Verona is the perfect city for a trip with family and friends. I would go there with my mom and brother to visit my sister, who is currently studying in Verona . I would take my mom to see an opera at the Arena and my brother to a concert. If I had a boyfriend and if I were a mushy person (which I’m not) I would definitely spend Valentine’s Day in Verona, because for the occasion the city becomes the most romantic place in the world. The 14th of February Verona is all about hearts, lovers and events like “Un cuore di Baci,” during which brave partners proclaim their love inside a big heart stage in front of the crowd in Piazza dei Signori. Too much for me!
4. Which 3 things should never be missing from one’s luggage when traveling to Italy?
- You should bring cash, not just because you would want to have shopping in all our beautiful stores, but especially because we don’t use the credit/debit card as much as you do in the US. So it may happen that in some places you would have to pay in cash, principally for small bills.
- Remember to bring with you more than one plug adapter! Usually I always forget mine and when I bring it I always think one more would have been useful.
- In Italy you will learn that a pashmina is useful even in the summer. If you are heading to the Bel Paese, you’ll probably go visit our beautiful churches... but if you are sleeveless you won’t be able to enter! A wide pashmina can cover your shoulders while visiting churches and be a nice accessory to use at night instead of a jacket.
5. Which Italian food are you addicted to?
This is the hardest question so far… I have many so let’s start with nonna Idalia’s Sundays specialty polenta e spezzatino (I can’t not mention her secrets, being the best in the kitchen is a matter of importance for Italian grandmas!). This north Italy typical dish is a main course: polenta is cornmeal boiled into a porridge and spezzatino is basically slow-cooked beef with a lot of gravy sauce. In my opinion this is a winter meal but if you go visit nonna Idalia on a Sunday she will serve it to you even in August!
Then I just love all the types of risotto, I could eat it every day and I prefer it over pasta! My favorites are: mushrooms and sausage risotto, zucchini risotto, red wine risotto, Trevisano chicory risotto, asparragus risotto and obviously risotto alla milanese (made with saffron). And, just to let you all know, I’m the best when it comes to cook the perfect risotto… Ask my American friends!
6. Reveal to us a secret about Italy! Food, shop, unique view, restaurant, your favorite T4T…
I have this charming and pleasant memory about Verona that I want share with you! After three years in the chaotic Milan, Verona became my calm place. That city is close to everywhere in my opinion: an hour and a half away from my friends in Milan, an hour away from my family in Trento and half an hour from the Garda Lake. It was simply perfect for me! I loved to live there because Verona has so many picturesque spots, an interesting history and tradition and unique views. And talking about unique views, you definitely have to go to Piazzale Castel San Pietro. The panorama up there is breathtaking, and so is the rise to get there! Going to that place became a cheap alternative to the gym, and even if all the times I was climbing the stairs to reach the Piazzale I was mentally asking myself “why you do this to yourself?”, the answer was clear when I was at the top. That view!
Did I give you one more reason to visit my country?