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Twinning Association Coudoux (Bouches-du-Rhône.FR) / Baone (Venetie.IT)

In this topic, you (re) discover some elements that will allow you to enjoy a life art Italian!



The Italian flag was strongly inspired by the French tricolor.
Indeed, in 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte troops victoriously through the Italy. Therefore, many republics are born and adopt the model of a flag with three equal strips.

The current version of the flag

Following the Treaty of Vienna, the Italian flag is prohibited, and for more than thirty years. In 1848, Charles Albert of Savoy adds on flag the shield of Savoie. That we know today, without the famous shield, was officially adopted in 1948, but was already being used in 1946.

The colors

Several theories attempt to explain the choice of these colors:
  • The most common is to say that these colours were inspired by the uniforms of the Italian legions who supported Bonaparte, including the Lombards.
  • There is an alternative explanation based on the literature. These three colors represent the three virtues required to Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy: the green for hope, white for the faith and the red for charity.
  • A last version combines the green hills of the Apennines mountains, white snow and red for the blood shed during the wars of independence in the 19th century.


Freedom, mobility and ease of use.

The Vespa is patented April 23, 1946 by the Piaggio company. The name of WaSP Vespa was chosen by Enrico Piaggio himself.
Industry asked to create a modern, cost-effective transport mode, which can be both led by men than by women, and not messy clothes. The duckling model is presented but not convinced. A new project was entrusted to the engineer Corradino D'ascanio, Piaggio Vespa was born! From 1950 to 1953 the brand is established in the world. In the end, the Vespa will be built in thirteen countries and marketed in one hundred fourteen. The first Vespa are manufactured in Pontedera in Italy. During the 1950s and 1960s, they will win a huge success and will be immortalized in a hundred films including Roman and La Dolce Vita holidays.
During this period the Vespa 400, cart with four wheels and two side doors is designed. For the 50th anniversary of the brand, the firm launched the vespa with a four-stroke engine.
This two-wheeled subsequently became both a symbol of Italian creativity and extraordinary commercial success, which continues until today with 90,000 copies sold in 2006 and 16 million since its inception. This year marks the end of the sale and manufacture in Europe of the flagship model, the Vespa PX, following the European legislation on too polluting two-stroke engines.
Worldwide, the Vespa became a product typically Italian, synonymous with freedom, mobility and ease of use.


Giancarlo Tironi (Ita) reaches the Arctic circle.
Carlos Velez (Arg) crosses the Andes (Buenos Aires to Santiago of Chile).
Roberto Patrignani (Ita) went from Milan to Tokyo.
Søren Nielsen (Sue) went to Greenland.
James P. Owen (Usa) United States to Tierra del Fuego.
Geoff Dean (Aus) toured the world.
1980: participation of 4 Vespa in the Paris-Dakar rally, 2 will be upon arrival.
Pierre Dellière (Fra) reached Saigon in 51 days. Departure from Paris.
Giuseppe Morandi (Sui) travels 6,000 miles, mostly in the desert.
Ennio Carrega (Ita) makes the round trip Genoa-Lapland in twelve days.
Two Danish journalists go to Bombay.
Giorgio Bettinelli (Ita) from 1992 to 2007, made 256 000 km across the world.

FIAT 500 (1957-75): YOGHURT POT

Founded in Turin in 1957 by engineer Dante Giacosa (1905-1996), the Fiat 500 is part of the icons of the 20th century, both symbol of a country, of an era and an art of living...
Since the launch the new Fiat 500 in 2007, the charm operates always, rare blend of technique and feeling!
Fifty years after his thunderous arrival in the automotive world, a small copies of the Fiat 500 million is still in circulation, with more than half in Italy of course. Today, this model is totally obsolete with regard to pollution control criteria. But the Italian Government ruled that 500, become object of collection and veneration, now owned by the national heritage and, as such, could escape a too modern law for it. Soon, the Fiat 500 from the 1950s project will have the privilege to meet his clone of the 2000s.
Note a maximum speed of 85 to 100 km/h. Its production was 3 678 000 copies.


The diffusion of Italian cuisine in Europe is ensured as early as the 16th century by the marriage of the future King of France Henry II and Catherine de Medici moves with any Court of Italian chefs! It has a new modern French cuisine as well as the use of the range.
Traditionally the Italian meal is not, as in France, structured around three dishes. It is structured in the following way: Antipasto, Primo Piatto, Secondo Piatto, formaggio, dolci, Caffè e/o liquore.

The Antipasti
These appetizers are today an introduction at the dinner party. It is a festival of cooked vegetables, marinated and seasoned olive oil herb, but also meats, cheese or fish and seafood according to the regions.

It Primo Piatto
It is the most typical dish of Italian cuisine.
It is composed, to choose from, risotto, soups minestrone type or course of pasta: spaghetti, pappardelle, farfalle, tagliatelle, fusilli, penne, rigatoni, orrechiette...
There are more than 300 varieties of pasta in Italy: long, short, round, twisted, coloured, stuffed, cooked or baked, dried, fresh water.
Uncertainties remain as to their origin.
According to legend, Marco Polo would have, the first made in Venice of the noodles from China in 1295.
But the pasta could have existed in Italy before, as in parts of Etruscan reliefs on a tomb from the 4th century BC in the area of Palermo.
There is also mention of this food in the Greek and Latin of the 5th century literature, but without being able to determine with certainty whether it was lasagna or pies.                                         
Whatever pasta passion does not date from yesterday!
Small anecdote: a French consumes 7 kgs of pulp per year against 28kgs for an Italian!

It Secondo Piatto
Main dish, are the meat or fish with vegetables and polenta. Here again, there are many specialties by region.

Among the hundreds of regional specialities, many have a protected designation of origin: scarmozza, gorgonzola, mozzarella, parmigiano-reggiano, not to mention one of the oldest cheeses in the world: pecorino romano, already known from the time the shepherds occupied the region of Rome 2,000 years ago!

I Dolci
The dessert is, like the other dishes, varied depending on the region. Ice occupy an important place in Italian cuisine. It tasted more often out, cone or small cup at the gelateria.
Other specialties: sabayon, the cannolo, the struffolo, the panna cotta or even the famous Tiramisu, which means pulls me up or more poetically, take me to heaven...
It is in the 18th century it began to be known outside Italy thanks to many Italian cookbooks authors who add to cookies called ladyfingers recipe.
A legend says that during the Renaissance the Venetian was the tiramisu to eat with their lovers in the evening, believing that it would give them more energy during their sex.
Another version says that it is the Venetian prostitutes working above the cafes, which have been purchased by night to give courage and energy!

An Italian meal ends with an espresso or espresso, key part of Italian culture.
It is served by an inordinate number of preparations. We know the cappuccino, the machiatto, the ristretto... but there are many versions: with an ice cube to cool, a lemon peel, milk goat (in Sardinia) or with a hint of Nutella!
Contrary to what one might think the first espresso machine is not Italian but French!
During the exhibition universal Paris of 1855 Edward Loysel of Santais this hydrostatic percolator Loysel, a machine able to produce large quantities of coffee in record time.  This innovative machine would also prepare tea, beer... And above all, it is the starting point, allowing the Italians to create machine espresso at the beginning of the 20th century. The story thus began in France and not in Italy... cock-a-doodle-Doo!
The coffee was then called Espresso made at the specific request of the client by Achille Gaggia, inventor of the true espresso in 1948.


We can cite:

  • The grappa, grape marc spirit
  • l'amaretto, of bitter almonds. It is the best-selling Italian liqueur in the world
  • Limoncello, lemon obtained by infusion liqueur
bark of lemon in alcohol with addition of water and sugar
  • the marsala liqueur wine


Its origin:
Fundamental to the food in the Mediterranean basin, the pizza has a history of 3,000 years.
The Romans and Egyptians were already a dough similar to that of the pizza, but without condiment, while primitive man ate cereals chopped, steeped with water and cooked over the fire.
The word pizza appeared in 997 in latin: it means then fouace and wafer. But it is in Naples, in the 16th century, that there is evidence in its current sense.

For a time, pizza allows the Baker to check the correct temperature of the stove before place the bread, or to take advantage of the last embers.

Until there simple galette of cereal or bread dough, it is only after 1492, when Christophe Colomb view and brings back the tomato from the new world, that pizza began to take its current shape with seasonings...
Indeed, between the 18th and the 19th century, the habit of eating the pizza begins in the streets of Naples. Boys working in pizzerias wore the pizzas on their head in typical stufa stove in Tin, which kept the heat. During the day, the boys wandered the streets to sell pizzas with different seasonings and ingredients.

The first modern pizza was made in Naples in 1780 by Pietro Colicchio. After more than 200 years, this pizzeria are still!
In 1889, Raffaele Esposito, successor of Colichio, considered the best pizza maker of his time, was invited to the royal palace in Naples, to the King of Italy and his wife Queen Margherita pizza. He prepares different pizza and innovates with a special recipe in the colours of the Italian flag with tomato, mozzarella and basil.
The Queen likes to write a thank you letter still in possession of the pizzeria.
And the pizza maker gives the name of the sovereign to her recipe: Margherita.

After trying to enter the pizza to the heritage of the Unesco, the Italy created a traditional speciality guaranteed label and published the characteristics of true Neapolitan pizza in the Italian official journal in 2004.

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