Love, Lust and Lavazza

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May 31, 2019

Can coffee boost the libido?  Une caffe is sexy: it is hot, black, lively and gives you an instant kick. It is full of heady aroma. And yes, coffee CAN be weapon of seduction, “prendere un uomo per la gola”, “take a man by his throat” as they say in Italia …

Lavazza has long understood this with its playful, sensual and even occasionally scandalous imagery. At one time the company received a rap on the knuckles by the Ethical Trade Council of Sweden for an ad campaign it considered sexist …

If you plan to visit Torino with its fabulous and elegant cafes and chocolate shops, do check out the hyper-caffeinated Lavazza Museum which opened in June of 2018 at Lavazza’s Nuvola Headquarters. Here you will experience immersive multimedia installations and learn about global coffee culture, 120 plus years of Lavazza family & company history and view more than 50 years of advertising, which has always been highly imaginative, provocative and edgy. But what kind of coffee museum would this be without a free sample? At the end of your visit, you can try one classic drink and something new, like a coffee-infused cocktail. Another of the many reasons to visit Torino.

Paradise Lost & Paradise Found in Rome

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May 18, 2019

The Eternal City is filled with some of the most extraordinary works of ancient art; one the most beautiful is surprisingly one of the least visited.  It’s the summer dining room from the Villa of Livia, who was the wife of Emperor Augustus. Life-size frescoes of trees, flowers, fruit and birds decorate four walls to create a continuous 360° view. The luxuriant paradise was unearthed in 1863 and dates back to 39 B.C., now housed in Palazzo Massimo, Rome’s Archaeological Museum (located near the train station and Santa Maria Maggiore).

Allow yourself to be completely immersed as Livia’s garden casts its enchanting spell. A lush Eden grows improbably beyond an illusionistic fence where birds take flight in sky whose color variations create a mesmerizing atmospheric effect. You can almost detect the rustling of wind through the leaves. Scholars have recognized a plethora of vegetation including umbrella pine, oak, red fir, quince, pomegranate, orange, myrtle, oleander, date palm, strawberry, laurel, cypress, ivy, acanthus, rose, poppy, iris, violet, chamomile, chrysanthemum, fern and more! Livia lived to 83, extraordinary for the time, and was the only woman to be deified for her service to the Empire.

Palazzo Massimo also has an extensive collection of statuary, mosaics, frescoes and coins. Be sure and visit the next time you are in Roma!