10 Mouth Watering Street Foods In Italy

Italy is known for many things; the beautiful Riviera beaches where people love to sunbathe, the masterpieces of art from a history of exceptional painters, the cobblestone streets present throughout the city, and their special love for food. Yes, when you visit Italy, you visit a city that takes a special pride in its cuisine. Fortunately, if you are craving authentic Italian cuisine, then there is no need for you to spend your entire budget on Michelin-starred restaurants. Authentic Italian cuisine also includes “cibo di strada” or street food.
 

In ancient times, the poor people of Rome could only afford street food. Nowadays, top chefs have put their own spin on street foods and revolutionized it into a culinary treat. Street food is present everywhere now and its diversity is incredible. Every city has its own specialties. To sift through the massive range of street foods available, Mauro Rosati, Italian food editor and author of Street Food Heroes: Guide to the best Street Food has this to say, “Street food is now quality food. Street food also helps to socialize. Among young people, perhaps because of social networks, there has been a kind of alienation during meals. Now, people are more inclined to talk and eat together, and street food has helped in that.”
 
The street foods listed below are those which everyone should try while in Italy. They are the best, but still they are just the tip of the iceberg in the number of amazing cuisines present in Italy.
 
1. Take-Away Mozzarella Caprese Cone available from Momo Food in Caserta
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-1-Caprese 

This caprese (tomato salad and mozzarella) is shaped like a cone and can be a perfect treat for you if you’re in a hurry, but want to have some takeout. It’s a simple and elegant dish with roots in Italian cuisine.
 
2. White Flatbread Pizza with Sliced Meat at All’Antico Vinaio in Florence
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-2-Pizza 

The flatbread pizza with sliced meat at All’Antico Vinaio makes visiting Florence all the more tempting. All’Antico Vinaio offers rare local meats at reduced rates, making it a favorite of Italians there.
 
3. Chianna Beef Burger at I Torelli in Florence
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-3-BeefBurger 

One of the highest quality meats is considered to be of the Chianina; cattles of Italian breed. I Torelli prepares beef burgers by cooking them on the grill. These burgers are then served on a bun topped with sesame seeds alongside a delicious sauce stewed with onion, as well as ketchup, grilled vegetables, and mayonnaise.
 
4. Spiral potatoes at Ape Magna in Rome
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-4-Potatoes 

This cuisine comprises of a single spiral of potato measuring 12 inches that is fried in hot oil. Need we say more?
 
5. Piadaburger at Cinemadivino in Faenza, Ravenna
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-5-Piada 

A Piadaburger is two round flatbreads filled with sausage, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, caramelized onions and paprika accompanied with fresh chips. A must try for everyone!
 
6. Focaccia di Recco at Panificio Moltedo dal 1874 in Recco, Genoa
 
Mouth-WateringStreet-6-Foccacia 

The perfect soft-cheese pizza is waiting for you at Panificio Moltedo dal 1874.
 
7. Polpetta at Bopetta in Bologna
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-7-Polppeta 

Meatballs served not as a side to spaghetti, but as a star in their own dish. This is among the best of what meatballs can offer you.
 
8. Puncake at Ta Da, Microcucina Girovaga in Lecchiore – Imperia
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-8-Pancake 

It’s a new take on a traditional American breakfast dish. These ‘puncakes’ are reinvented pancakes. They utilize five different types of dough like wheat flour, cocoa, chickpea flour, chestnut flour, and classic.
 
9. Pizza a Portafoglio at Di Matteo in Naples
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-9-Pizza 

This one is a transforming pizza. Never again do you have to be far from the taste of pizza in takeout when you are in a hurry because now you can simply fold it up and consume it like a sandwich. So much convenience!
 
10. Sfogliatelle at Mignon Eccellenze Napoletane in Milan
 
Mouth-Watering-Street-10-Sfogliatelle 

Sfogliatelle riccia is homemade filo dough with sweet ricotta, cinnamon, with a candied fruit stuffing. It’s sold in a little blue truck in Milan.
 

 

Little Toddler Dances In Heels To ‘Single Ladies’

This is, without a doubt, a brilliant performance. For a toddler to put on such a display in her mom’s high heels is nothing but pure amazement. The heartwarming clip shows a cute little toddler taking her talent up on the face of her favorite singer, Beyonce. She stands in front of the television while the Texas-born singer does her thing by blasting out her record hit, ‘Single Ladies’.
 
The little girl puts on a remarkable performance as she parades around in an adorable and talented way while putting on a pair of her mom’s high heels, perhaps to complete Bey’s video looks. The clip commences with the toddler giving a quick twist before moving closer to the television so as to study and copy Beyonce’s exact moves in a detailed manner.
 

With her confidence, she seems to be so used to the heels in a manner that would leave many grown up ladies jealous of her incredible agility. The six inch heels appear to be no problem to her as she shows off her sweet dance moves. Her dress code may not be up to the glamour of Beyonce, but her blue and white all-in-one still works perfectly for her and goes a long way in showing that she is definitely a fast learner.
 
She flawlessly swings from side to side while there appear to be moments that you would misjudge that the oversized high heels might be her downfall, but that doesn’t come to fruition as she maintains incredible balance. When Beyonce waves her hand to the lyrics, the toddler is not left behind as she also moves in the same way.
 
The video, which was posted by a Facebook group based in Brazil, has garnered more than 10 million views and shows just how amazing this little toddler is incredibly good at doing her thing, albeit in super-sized high heels.
 

Que gracinha. ^_^

Posted by Cifras on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

 

 

Grappling With Depression

People always confuse depression with sadness. They fail to realize that the intense sadness they feel, coupled with a loss of appetite, lack of interest in activities and lowered concentration levels is a mental disorder called depression. When you are sad or feeling blue, this emotion may last for a few days. Depression, however, is a more serious disorder and it can last for weeks, months, or even years. Depression tends to put you off the most mundane of everyday tasks, like dressing up, looking good, eating, socializing and working.
 
It gets difficult to recognize a person suffering from depression as the symptoms of this illness are not physically visible or obvious to the eye. The most reliable way to know that you are grappling with depression is self-awareness. Our body throws us warning signs that we need to pay close attention to. Depression can be cured, but it needs to be brought to the attention of a doctor or a mental health professional at the earliest sign of trouble.
 
Let us read through some important aspects that must be explored in order to understand depression.
 
Truths about Depression
 
depression-1-talking 

As depression is a growing concern in today’s society, you will find many people advising you on what depression actually is and how it must be treated. It’s not something that will go away by itself. A depressed individual must proactively work towards curing his/her depression. Talking about it, especially to a doctor or psychiatrist, is likely to help. If you feel depressed and talk it out with a friend or a family member, you are likely to receive advise such as getting yourself involved in other pleasurable activities. But doing this will seem like a herculean task. Depression makes you lose interest in almost all activities, so forcing yourself to do something may depress you even more instead of making you feel better.
 
Battle of the Sexes
 
depression-2-female 

Depression is more obvious and noticeable in women compared to men. This is because men do not share their feelings the way women do. Women are easier to talk to and they tend to pour out their troubles to loved ones, family and friends. Men, on the other hand, either end up with displaying sudden bouts of anger, irritability and frustration. Depression may even lead to drug and alcohol abuse.
 
Depression Affects the Functioning of the Brain
 
depression-3-brain 

Our brain is the most active part of our body. There are constant signals being passed through the nerves that run through our entire body. When depression kicks in, the brain’s functions start to falter. Certain studies have proven that depression causes abnormal behavior in the brain. The brain is unable to function in a normal manner, thus resulting in lack of concentration, mood swings and provoked thoughts of committing suicide.
 
Antidepressants
 
depression-4-happy 

Depression is a mental illness – and it is curable. With the appropriate treatment solutions, an individual can be back to normal within a matter of a few weeks, but this depends on the level. Depression doesn’t only affect a certain category of people. Anyone can experience depression at any stage in their life. Right from young children, to teenagers, to adults and older individuals, everyone is susceptible to depression. The treatment for each situation and individual would be different. Various antidepressants are available in the market. Upon the health adviser’s prescription, these drugs must be taken regularly and as advised.
 
Also, you need not worry about having to take medications for your entire life. As mentioned earlier, depression is curable, so as soon as you show signs of improvement, your health advisor will alter the amount of medication or have you stop taking it completely.
 
Every cloud has a silver lining! Depression may lead you to believe that there is no hope left, but it’s important to remember that depression can be cured. All you need to do is accept the facts and then seek the right kind of help.
 

 

Top 10 Most Unusual Sports

If you think the usual fare of soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, and football are the only games around the world of sports, this list of Top 10 Most Unusual Sports will help you change your line of thought! In these games, participants are not required to use the standard sports equipment and neither are the games carried out in run-of-the-mill sports arenas. Even though these may stand nowhere near mainstream sports in terms of popularity and fan following, they do have a certain charm of their own.

Warning: Some of these do have the ‘Do Not Try This At Home’ tag!

Cheese Rolling

For all you food lovers out there, here’s a game that, in spite of its association with cheese, will actually help you lose weight! This sport is more of a tradition that began in England over 200 years ago. On the day of Spring Bank each year, a wheel of delicious cheese is rolled down Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester and participants have to run down the hill to chase it. The first person to get to the bottom of the hill is declared the winner. Even Jack and Jill, from the famous nursery rhyme, injured themselves on their way downhill so you can imagine the kind of battering and bruising that is likely to be part of this sport too.

Wife Carrying

If you thought that the only time a husband carries his wife is over the threshold of their new home, you may want to reconsider after reading this. This sport of Finnish origin is as exciting as its name – Eukonkanto. The game involves husbands carrying their wives over their shoulders. The wives wrap their legs around the husbands’ neck and their hands around the husbands’ torso and hang upside down. The tricky part is that this isn’t a simply race, and the husband completes it only after crossing a number of hurdles and obstacles. And if you’re wondering what the winning team earns – it’s the wife’s weight in beer, definitely enough motivation for husbands everywhere!

Dog Surfing

All you animal lovers are going to adore this sport! Animals aren’t just cute, cuddly, huggable pets that we have as companions. No! They are capable of doing unimaginable stunts, for example, dog surfing. The Dog Surfing Competition initially started in San Diego, but due to its eminence, has now become a famous sport all over southern California. One can actually witness the amazing stunts of dogs riding the waters and taking on the best surfers, one wave at a time!

Unicycle Polo

We all know the usual game of Polo that involves mallets and balls. But Unicycle Polo – now that is something you definitely wouldn’t want to miss. The participants follow similar rules of the Polo game, however, the only difference is that all participants are playing while balancing on (and some crashing and falling off) unicycles!

Blind Soccer

The game of soccer is challenging enough, but the joys of the game are known to cross barriers of language and race! With blind soccer, the visually impaired can also participate and enjoy the game with the same amount of passion and enthusiasm. The key to knowing the ball’s position lies in the ball itself. The soccer ball is filled with pebbles, so that it makes a sound while rolling around and visually impaired players can judge its exact location accordingly. All the participating players are legally blind, even the goalkeeper!

Quidditch

Adopted from the famous Harry Potter franchise, the game of Quidditch is quite similar to the one played by the wizards at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, barring the magical powers of flying on brooms of course! The International Quidditch Association was founded at Middlebury College in Vermont and within a few years has expanded to include a number of teams from almost every continent in the world.

Extreme Ironing

The participants of this game proudly call themselves ‘ironists,’ owing to the fact that the main task in this sport is to iron clothes. So where is the extreme factor? Well, these so called ironists go to the most extreme locations and positions to do their ironing. Some hang off cliffs while they iron, some do it atop a moving vehicle, some even do it underwater, while others prefer to iron their clothes while waterskiing. The sport requires that the participants click a picture of themselves in the act of ironing. Here’s a sport that doesn’t just give the participants an adrenaline rush, but also gives them creaseless garments for the awards ceremony!

Ferret Legging

Scottish Games – Ferret Legging from Matthew Brackney on Vimeo.

 

This somewhat sadistic sport includes quite a good deal of self-inflicted pain. This game is played by participants fastening the ankles of their pants and releasing two ferrets in their pants. The audience then waits and sees which of these courageous participants can endure the biting and scratching until they finally give-in. The record for this sport was set way back is 1981 when a participant, Reg Mellor, endured having the ferrets in his pants for five hours and thirty minutes. No one has been able to break this record since. Now who would want to try this?

Street Luge

This sport is otherwise a simple race down a race track, except for the simple modification that participants lie on their backs on skateboards big enough to hold the entire human body and then leave the rest to gravity. The main focus of concern is the safety of the luge and the smoothness of the race path. The one to reach the finish line first is obviously the winner!

World Gurning Contest

If the ones on this list were not weird enough allow us to round things up with the World Gurning Contest, a contest for participants who can pull off the ugliest face! The meaning of the word ‘Gurning’ is to pull off an ugly face and this contest was started way back in 1297 at the Egremont Crab Fair, UK. Eyes popping, tongue twirling, cheeks bloating, nose wrinkling – you can see all of this and more at the World Gurning Contest.

While some of these sports seem funny and entertaining, some are precarious and life threatening as well which calls for some stringent safety precautions. The entertainment factor is usually the highest though, so if you’re tired of the usual, any of the sports on this list of Top 10 Unusual Sports should get your spirits soaring!
 

Logitech Mini Boombox

Where there is technology, there is Logitech. Mini Boombox is a magnificent portable speaker offered by Logitech which can easily be paired with your iPhone, iPad, laptop, Android device, or other Bluetooth-enabled devices. As the name suggests, it is a mini speaker which is quite small in size, but creates ample sound from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
 
It uses wireless speaker technology and is Bluetooth enabled so you can simply play, switch, and change to the music of your choice via your smartphone or other devices. The speaker has a built-in acoustic chamber which augments the quality of the sound.
 
Logitech-Mini-Boombox-1-for-Smartphones-and-Tabs 

It has a built in rechargeable battery as well which gives you an excellent standby time of 10 hours which simply means no charging worries. The idea is to let you enjoy your music while keeping your environment surrounded with what you wish to play.
 

It is a very light weight portable speaker which you can simply slip into your bag and carry anywhere you like. It promises to augment the sound of your phone and other devices, and it’s really good at doing so. It has some touch sensitive buttons on top which shows you various options to choose from.
 
The product is a good return for value as it is priced much lower than other bigger speakers available on the market. Due to the backlit panel installed, the various options are visible even in the dark. Additionally, it is easy to use these options either at daytime or at night.
 
It incorporates the goodness of a speakerphone which enables you to take calls using the Bluetooth technology and gives you clarity of sound you’d enjoy.
 
The Logitech Mini Boombox is one of the favorite speakers among users who wish to connect wireless speakers with their phones, tablets and other devices to stream sound over a desired distance. If you share the same interest, then the mini boombox is definitely worth considering.
 

 

James Bond 007 Facts You’ve Never Heard Before

It’s been over half a century since the first James Bond 007 movie hit theaters and captivated the audience with a perfect mix of passion, crime, action and romance and since then, several movies featuring the English spy have awed us.
 
Now, everyone knows that the hot spy likes his martinis shaken, not stirred but there is a lot more to know about James Bond than just his drinks! Here are a few facts even the suave spy may not have checked out before.
 
During his entire career, James Bond has been shot at 4,662 times. One can only imagine the number of holes the spy’s body may have had to hypothetically endure!
 
Liam Neeson is famous for his action stunts and is often featured on his movie posters with a gun in his hands. It was hence quite a shocker when the star turned down the role of Bond. Even more surprising was his reason – he said he was not interested in action movies! Liam Neeson was not the only other actor offered the role of James Bond. Veteran actors Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were offered the role too. But both of them were of the opinion that the role of James Bond must only be played by a British actor and hence they turned down the offer.
 


 
For years, the oldest actress to play the Bond girl was Honor Blackman who was 39 when she played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Well, Monica Belucci is ready to change all that in Spectre. She’s 50 and is the oldest on the block. Calling her old would of course be entirely untrue. One look at her will tell you how easily she can give any other Bond girl a run for her money!
 

 
While we see Bond girls changing in every movie, Maud Adams was the only one to play a Bond girl in two – The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy – and even starred as an extra in A View to A Kill.
 

 
The famous Sean Connery sported a toupee in all the James Bond movies that he appeared in. The actor had actually started losing his hair at the young age of 21 and hence had the need to use hairpieces.
 

 
Daniel Craig is one of the most privileged James Bonds. Not only did he have some of the hottest women starring with him but also during his tenure as the Bond spy, Daniel Craig was allowed to take any Aston Martin from the Aston Martin Lagonda Limited factory, and this special offer is valid for life!
 
via guim

via guim


 
In 22 films, James Bond has killed 352 people. Violent? Well, one among them was particularly so. Pierce Brosnan was the most dangerous Bond, as he alone killed 47 people in Golden Eye.
 
via imcdb

via imcdb


 
Brosnan proved to be a destructive Bond as far as cars went too. Tomorrow Never Dies saw 15 BMW 750s being wrecked!
 

 
The first James Bond though was actually an American! Barry nelson was the first to play the spy in a televised adaptation of the movie we later came to know as Casino Royale.
 
 
Pierce Brosnan had to sign a special contract while he was signed up with the Bond movie franchise and the contract has a special clause – Pierce Brosnan was not allowed to wear a tuxedo in any other film that was not a James Bond film.
 

 
While taking special martial arts training lessons for one of the Bond films, actor Sean Connery angered the instructor. The instructor was none other than the veteran action star Steven Seagal and Seagal actually broke Connery’s wrist in anger!
 

 
President John F. Kennedy was a huge fan of the James Bond movies. He even watched an early print of the Bond movie From Russia with Love at the White House. This one happened to be his last film as he died the next day.
 

 
The fandom the franchise enjoys is such that avid fans keep a close watch on the every detail related to the sophisticated spy and these interesting facts are sure to add to their list!

Featured image via showbizmonkeys

 
 

6 Unexpected Reasons To Get Into Gardening

There is no way to deny the benefits we receive from gardening just by the foods we cultivate or the flowers and fauna we get to enjoy in our gardens. If you have a large fruit and vegetable garden, it will over flow your kitchen with marmalades and jams, tomatoes, beans, ginger and garlic, potatoes, onions and whatever else may strike your fancy! Gardening offers other less visible, and yet equally supporting benefits. Why do you think that gardening is now beginning to get included in prisons, nursing homes, as well as community centers for the old, homeless or abused populations along with at-risk youths? It all has to do with the feeling of well being you achieve from a rigorous weeding and pruning session and the benefits it has for your health and mind.
 
Here are a few!
 
1. Stress relief along with a self esteem boost
 
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A study conducted by Dutch scientists asked two harmonious groups to complete one pre-defined stressful task. After the task was completed, one of the groups was instructed to garden for around 40 minutes, while the second group was told to read indoors. Afterwards, tests were conducted and the gardening group reported better moods along with lower cortisol levels when compared to the reading group. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced when a person is under stress and it influences your mood along with a lot of other chronic ailments such as immune function deficiency, tendency to gain more weight, memory depletion, and heart disease.
 
2. Heart health benefits and smaller stroke risk
 
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Regular gardening is just one of the many ways available to achieve a target of 2.5 hours of moderately intense exercise weekly. Along with this, gardening provides you with a reward and motivation to go ahead and do it instead of jogging on a treadmill like a hamster on a wheel! For those who are above 60 years of age, gardening has been known to reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks by 30%. How can such old people garden? Here is the answer: they use raised flower beds and patches of land on which they do not have to bend. Along with this, exposure of around 10-15 minutes per day with no sunscreen will help your body produce vitamin D which helps us ward off osteoporosis, heart diseases, as well as cancers.
 
Try fitting in 15-minute stretches of gardening at various sunlight filled hours to ensure that it does not take away from your schedule and you still gain the numerous benefits associated with the activity.
 
3. Hand strength and dexterity
 
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With age, thinning dexterity and strength based in our hands gradually narrows the ranges of activity that are possible for us. Gardening helps keep those important hand muscles vital without any sort of exercises. Research has resulted in the conception of rehabilitative programs that are for stroke patients and include various gardening tasks as it is a productive way of helping them rebuild strength in the hands. However, there are things you need to be aware of. For instance, stressful gardening can lead to repetitive stress injury, tendonitis, or even carpal tunnel syndrome. Practicing hand-healthy gardening is a must by using simple warm ups, body positioning as comfortably and ergonomically as required, along with changing the tasks regularly before straining becomes evident. Alternatively, using your dominant and non-dominant hands will keep the strain off one hand as well as involve your brain in processing while keeping it healthier.
 
4. Increased brain health along with reduced Alzheimer’s risk
 
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A long term study that followed 3,000 people for nearly 16 years tracking each and every mental development, found that people who gardened regardless of anything else in their lives, had a reduced risk of dementia by 36%! Alzheimer’s is known as a highly mysterious disease as the factors that influence its occurrence and development are poorly understood. But this relation could be due to the fact that gardening involves so much of ourselves: our strength, our endurance, our dexterity, our learning, our problem solving skills, and our sensory awareness.
 
5. Immune system regulation
 
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One of the funniest coincidences, the dirt under your nails is helpful to you as it has friendly bacteria! Found commonly in garden dirt and ingested via breathing or on produce, the Mycobacterium vaccae helps fight allergies, asthma, and psoriasis. A majority of these illnesses are due to a weak immune system and hence mycobacterium vaccae helps strengthen the immune system. It also helps relieve symptoms of depression and helps us lead a healthier and happier life.
 
6. Depression along with mental health
 
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A morning routine around fresh green plants and multi-colored flowers is well known for the “lift” it brings to anyone’s day. But is there any medical proof? This can be found in the horticultural therapy field that is going strong and providing positive results for patients suffering from depression and other related mental illnesses. Numerous benefits emerge from a varied combination including physical activity, a healthy awareness of the natural environment, cognitive stimulation, and the satisfaction received from the work. You can build up the therapeutic aspects of your garden by aiming for a grouping of food produced (vegetables as well as fruits), scented, as well as flowering plants to allow all your senses to flourish. By adding a comfortable chair or seat in the garden, you can relax and enjoy your hard work and marvel at nature when you need to take a break.
 
All this hard work can lead to heat stroke and dehydration so ensure you are drinking enough water as well as keeping an eye on the signs of fatigue your body is showing. By having various types of plants like we suggested above, you can enjoy the ‘growing’ view of your garden; one day one plant may blossom and the next another one may bear a fruit. The excitement of what you’ll see today will keep your mind fresh and lively.
 
A famous biologist named Edward O. Wilson termed this phenomena “biophilia.” It’s when we are instinctively drawn towards other living and growing things – to be a part of the web of life.
 

 

Playing Soccer on Rio de Janeiro Beach - 2014 World Cup

Top 10 Things To Do In Brazil

It’s true that football has shaped Brazil’s national identity, but after watching the great soccer action, this vast country still has a lot to offer. In Brazil, there are so many things to do, places to see, events to attend and tourist attractions to visit. In the metropolitan cities where great football clubs play matches every week, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, you can enjoy exciting entertainment and excellent cuisine, both local and international.

 

Rio de Janeiro

 

Rio is Brazil’s most popular city. The world’s largest carnival takes place here. Rio also served as Brazil’s capital for several decades before the new capital, Brasilia was built. So when you are not watching matches at the Maracana stadium, what are the things you should do here? First you should get a nice map of the city and get oriented.

 

1. Go to Rio’s Splendid Beaches

You will find beautiful beaches in Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon. When you arrive at any of these beaches, you will have a chance to taste one of Brazil’s most popular local drinks called caipirinha. Caipirinha means “a little cowboy”. It’s made from lime wedges, cachaça, which tastes like strong white rum, and sugar. This drink is very tasty and costs just about $3 at one of the beach kiosks, but you should drink a small quantity at a time to avoid getting intoxicated.

 

Caipirinha - 2014 World CupIpanema Beach - 2014 World Cup

 

2. Try Local Barbecue

If you like to eat very tasty meat, you should try out the local barbecue (popularly called churrasco). You can get this at a good churrascaria. Here you will be served by an endless procession of Gaucho-dressed waiters, called passadores. As they pass by your table with beef, chicken or pork, you can point at the part that you want them to cut for you. When you are satisfied, you can simply turn over your coaster from the green side to the red side to stop the waiters from coming to you. In addition to meat, you can also enjoy salad, sausages, sushi and grilled fish.

 

Brazilian Barbeque - 2014 World Cup

 

3. Eat Local Pizza

Pizza lovers should try out the pizza rodizio right in the Dock restaurant on Avenida Atlantica in Copacabana, close to the popular Copa Palace Hotel. You will be offered a wide choice of assorted pizzas, both “sweet” and “salty”. The portuguesa and margarita taste great.

 

4. Shop at Night Bazaars

In Rio, very close to the Dock, along the sidewalk, you will see Copa’s night bazaar. There are scores of kiosks and tents where you can shop for colorful beach wraps, t-shirts and other souvenirs for yourself and/or loved ones. Bargaining is allowed here, so you should be able to get between 10 to 20 percent off the initial price.

 

In addition to the night bazaar, you could also shop at the market at Uruguaiana. It’s Rio’s brand of a Turkish bazaar. To get to this market, take the metro to the Uruguaiana station; an escalator will drop you right in the center of the market. Here you will find an assortment of kiosks, fixed shops, stalls and pushcarts. You can buy beachwear, leather goods, tennis shoes and even electronics.

 

5. Enjoy Live Music

Your stay in Rio would be incomplete without enjoying some live music. One of the local favorites is samba. You can enjoy samba music round the clock at Beco do Rato – a small club located in the Lapa neighborhood. It is easier to get here by taxi. You can sit at the small tables inside and have a cold beer, or stand outside and enjoy the music.

 

Christ the Redeemer - 2014 World Cup6. Visit Christ the Redeemer

This statue of Jesus Christ is an icon for Rio and Brazil. It was built between 1922 and 1931 from soapstone and reinforced concrete. From 1931 till 2010, it was considered to be the largest statue in the world. The statue is 30 meters high and it stands on an 8 meter pedestal. It is located on the peak of the Corcovado mountain in Tijuca Forest National Park. At night, the statue glows beautifully. In 2007, it was chosen as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

 

 

Sao Paulo

 

Sao Paulo is home to some of the richest football clubs outside of Europe, including the 2012 World Club Cup champions – Corinthians. It also has one of the best organized state football leagues. Sao Paulo was the venue of the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup match between Brazil and Croatia. However, this city is well known for its food, markets, museums and architecture. If you are coming to Sao Paulo for the first time, here are some of the things you will definitely enjoy in this city.

 

7. Eat with Samba MusicSamba - 2014 World Cup

On Saturdays, you can enjoy lunch in several of the city’s bars while you listen and dance to live samba music. The locals (called Paulistanos) use this Saturday samba tradition to relax at the end of the week. One of the best places to enjoy traditional Saturday food (called feijoada) is Bar Samba at Vila Madalena. This special meal consists of rice, beans, dried meat, farofa, kale and oranges. The show starts at 1p.m and continues till late at night. You need to get there very early to get a seat.

 

8. Visit the Benedito Calixto Market

Apart from Samba Saturday, another great way to spend your Saturday in Sao Paulo is to visit the Calixto market. The market opens early in the morning with the sale of handicrafts and antiques. By noon, live music and dancing begins in the central food court. Here you can enjoy another popular Brazilian style of live music called chorinho. In fact, several people troupe to the market just to listen and dance to this.

In addition, you can also get nuts, dried fruits, coconut water, Brazilian sweets and other traditional Brazilian food such as acaraje and esfiha. As you are leaving the market area, you will also see several shops selling several traditional instruments.

 

9. Go to the Museums

The Museum of Art in Sao Paulo (MASP) is the best art museum in the city. It contains the finest collection of art in Latin America. Several extraordinary temporary exhibitions are held in this museum. This museum is open, free of charge, to the public on Tuesdays.

 

MASP - Sao Paulo Museum of Art - 2014 World Cup

 

 

10. Experience Exceptional Architecture

Before you leave Sao Paulo, you should take time to see the works of Oscar Niemeyer – one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. A good example is the Latin America Memorial which was designed in honor of the struggles and sacrifices of the early Latin Americans to provide a venue for public events and celebrations. The buildings are architectural masterpieces.

 

 

 

Top 5 Beach Vacations for A-Listers

When celebrities go on vacation, they tend to opt for private islands and exclusive resorts where they are protected from the sweaty masses, and can play and be pampered in the lap of luxury.
 
Necker Island
 
Owned by Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, Necker has been host to some of the most famous people in the world including Mariah Carey, Kate Moss, Rod Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. Kate Winslet was of course staying at the Great House when it burned to the ground in August 2011.
 

Necker Island © Copyright 2014 Virgin Limited Edition

Necker Island © Copyright 2014 Virgin Limited Edition

 
The 74-acre island in the British Virgin Islands was purchased by the magnate and father-of-three back in 1978 and opened as a luxury retreat in 1984. The rebuilt Great House has eight bedrooms, a bunkhouse for the kids, plus a master suite and there are an additional six one-bedroom houses. If you don’t need to rent the entire island (for roughly $62,000 a night), you and your significant other can enjoy a week’s stay for approximately $30,000.
 
Hawaii
 
The eight islands of Hawaii have long been a favorite beach vacation destination for celebrities with A-listers like Katy Perry, Will Smith, Kim Kardashian, Charlize Theron and Cameron Diaz being spotted in the surf.
 
Kauai seems to attract many of the rich and famous, some of whom enjoy their time at the St. Regis Princeville, a 5-star resort on Hanalei Bay. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have been known to stay at the enormous hideaway, which features its own waterfall, working cattle ranch, and de rigeur spa.
 
Punta de Mita, Mexico
 
Following Lady Gaga’s 2011 visit, Punta de Mita has seen its share of famous visitors like Kirsten Dunst, Charlie Sheen and Hilary Duff gracing its beaches. Although it’s quite a small village, its beachfront location and proximity to Puerto Vallarta attracts A-listers who want a break from the hustle and bustle of L.A. and maybe try their hand at surfing, snorkeling and other water sports.
 
Cabo, Mexico
 
Known to be Jennifer Aniston’s favorite get-away, the former Friends star is often seen soaking up the sun at Las Ventanas Al Paraiso with bikini-buddy Courteney Cox and fiance Justin Theroux.
 

Exterior of Las Ventanas Al Paraiso. ©2014, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, L.L.C.

Exterior of Las Ventanas Al Paraiso. ©2014, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, L.L.C.

 
The draw is the spectacular setting and luxury that can’t be beat, with all the expected requirements for the pampered: custom furnishings, heated infinity pools, chilled Evian spray for too-warm sunbathers and 24-hour butler service.
 
George Clooney, Simon Cowell, Jennifer Lopez and Sheryl Crow are other famous faces who enjoy the resort, located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. It seems that whale-watching and celebrity-spotting are equally rewarding pastimes in Cabo.
 
Bora Bora
 
The St. Regis is just one of the upscale resorts offering private, over-the-water villas, and World-class service on one of the most beautiful and romantic islands in the world, set amid endless Pacific waters.
 

Overwater Villa - St. Regis Bora Bora. © 2010-2014 Societes des Hotels Tahitiens S.A.

Overwater Villa – St. Regis Bora Bora. © 2010-2014 Societes des Hotels Tahitiens S.A.

 
Celebrities spotted on this French Polynesian island include Nicole Kidman, Rob Lowe, Eva Longoria, Sharon Stone, Quincy Jones and Christina Applegate to name a few.

 

 

Nicaragua And Its 10 Best Tourism Attractions

It’s the land of flora and fauna, the land of nature, the land of lakes and volcanoes – yes this is Nicaragua. It is located south of Honduras and North of Costa Rica.
 
The main attractions in Nicaragua are scenic routes, beaches, and the architecture of cities. It’s fast becoming an alternative to popular tourist destinations like Costa Rica and Panama while still being accessible and cheap.
 
Granada
 
1_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

This is one of the most well-preserved Nicaragua architecture and the first big Spanish settlement. The churches and buildings are in Spanish colonial style. Tourists can take a kayaking trip to nearby islets or visit nearby Masya markets.
 
San Juan Del Sur
 
2_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

This is the most popular beach destination in Nicaragua. From experts to novices, all can ride the surf here, relax on the beach with heavenly drinks and play volleyball under the warm, glowing sun.
 
Ometepe Island
 
3_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

Located on Lago de Nicaragua, this extraordinary island is formed from the combination of two volcanoes, Maderas and Concepcion. If you’re in the mood to go hiking on the volcanoes, better start up early in the morning. Hiking, kayaking, and cycling are some other things you can do on the island.
 
New Leon
 
4_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

Up until 1857, this was Nicaragua’s capital. The graffiti and murals scattered around the city are the testaments to the political war between Somozas and Sandinistas. The Museum of the Revolution, an interesting one at that, also documents the history of the Sandinista movement.
 
Cerro Negro
 
5_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

An active volcano, this is the site for many people for volcano boarding. Yes, you heard it right! Organized tours of people hike up the mountain and then fly down the mountain, atop a piece of wood. This is a pretty popular activity here.
 
Corn Islands
 
6_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

A gorgeous vacation retreat, they are located off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua and offer a host of activities to people such as scuba diving, fishing, relaxing, and snorkeling. Enjoy!
 
Miraflores
 
7_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

This national park has a beautiful cloud forest, small farms, rivers and waterfalls. You can take multi-day treks to the park. They also have programs to teach you how to farm.
 
And the best part: all the proceeds from the park go to supporting the farmers and the community.
 
Volcanoes
 
8_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

Volcano hiking is a popular and adventurous activity. The two volcanoes on the Ometepe are very frequented sites for hiking. Leon, with its plethora of volcanoes, is also a good place for volcano hiking.
 
Pearl Keys
 
9_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

This beautiful island chain, located in Caribbean Sea, used to have 18 pearls, but now has just 12 due to the rising tides. Sandy beaches, reefs, and shady palm trees make this place one of the most coveted tourist destinations.
 
Mercado Artesanías
 
10_Nicaragua_and_Its_10_Best_Tourism_Attractions 

This is a black-basalt Gothic structure with a Spanish fortress. With its turrets, towers, and huge gates, the Mercado Artesanías stands grandiosely. It’s now the most famous market and a major tourist attraction. With its wide and breezy pathways, you can shop around comfortably and browse many stalls offering items such as leather goods, paintings, ceramics, clothing, furniture, and cotton hammocks.

 

 

Fortaleza - 2014 World Cup

2014 World Cup Cities: Fortaleza

If you watched the matches of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in preparation for the 2014 World Cup, you’re probably already familiar with Fortaleza, one of the six host cities for those games. With a population of approximately 3 million, it is one of the largest cities in Brazil. It’s located in the Northeastern part of the country and you can get around the entire area easily by bus, metro and taxi.

 

BEACHES

Beach - 2014 World Cup

 

Since it’s located along the ocean, one of Fortaleza’s major tourist attractions are its beaches. It should average about 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the area during World Cup, which is perfect beach weather.
Head to Mucuripe Beach if you want to get a look at the traditional fish markets of the area. For shopping and dining around the beach, go to Meireles Beach where there’s a daily handicrafts fair. Alternatively, check out Iracema Beach for more of a nightlife / party vibe. This is the easternmost beach, located closest to the center of the city. You can enjoy surfing and kitesurfing at several of the area’s beaches. If you want to enjoy sunbathing, your top choice beach is Praia do Futuro Beach.

 

CULTURE

 

If you want to soak in the culture and attractions of the area then there a few key things you need to put on your itinerary. First off is Theatro José de Alencar, named after the famous author and influential romantic novelist who was also a lawyer. The theatre has live performances almost nightly and is considered one of the major architectural landmarks of the city.
Another landmark is the clock at Ferreira Square, which is considered the heart of the city. It’s a great urban city square and you can enjoy walking around and checking out the historic buildings all around it.
Get some great views of the city from Ingleses Bridge and Metal Bridge. Finally, make sure to see some of the famous cathedrals in this Roman Catholic city such as the Metropolitana Cathedral and the Fortaleza Cathedral.

 

FOOD

 

Make sure to enjoy the traditional grilled meats of a rodizio while you’re in Fortaleza. A rodizio is a type of all you can eat restaurant where the waiters keep bringing you samples of food until you’re full!
Churrascaria Gheller is a favorite restaurant for those meats, not only because it’s tasty, but because dinner is accompanied by the entertainment of a stand-up comedian several days each week. Also, don’t hesitate to try the seafood at the fish market or the nearby beach restaurants since the city is known for its fish.

 

YOU’RE SO HOT!

 

Be careful if you seem to be getting a little more attention than usual from gorgeous young Brazilian women while visiting Fortaleza. Its not that you don’t deserve it, but be aware that Fortaleza is considered the prostitution capital of Brazil.

 

WHERE THE ACTION WILL BE

 

Estadio Castelao - 2014 World Cup

By Fábio Lima/Portal da Copa/Março de 2013 [CC-BY-3.0-br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Fortaleza stadium is called the Estadio Castelao. It was built in 1973, but renovations for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup have seen the stadium’s seating limit increased to 60,342, an underground parking lot with 1,900 spaces, fully refurbished dressing rooms and a new roof. Even access to the stadium has been upgraded. Four exclusive bus lanes, a light rail vehicle line and two metro stations, were created to make it easier for fans to reach the venue. The complex it will form part of will include restaurants, movie theaters, a hotel and an Olympic centre.

 

 

Chile Fans - 2014 World Cup

Chilean Football Fans Storm Into Maracana

On Wednesday, June 18, Chile played Spain at the Maracana Stadium. A group of ticketless Chile supporters decided to find a way into the stadium by going through the Media Center underneath the stands.

 

In the process, they broke down a temporary wall and pushed their way through journalists and TV crew.

 

Although security was slow to react, they were eventually able to detain a large portion of the group.

 

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