Adventure, America, Asia, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, UK

Craig Sera Sera

Craig Sera Sera, that’s a wrap from the 12th Bond.. and he’ll sure miss those exotic missions.

So which countries has 007 visited most, other than England where he works?

Well of the 50 he’s been to, Italia would seem to have been his favourite with the spy having touched down in Il Bel Paese eight times. 

Pasta Master

Venice: And let’s catch a gondola back to Padova

Rome, Venice and Como have inevitably been stick-on locations for any filmmaker and international man of mystery.

And this time it’s the European City of Culture for 2019, Matera, which is getting its place in the sun this time. 

With its houses. built into caves, cobbled streets and high arches a dramatic backdrop for the opening scenes.

And Felice Giorni for Matera with the town’s mayor, Raffaello De Ruggieri, predicting its association with Bond will be worth $20 million to the local economy.

In truth this is probably the highpoint of the movie, and all before the credits and Billie Eilish’s disappointing dirge of a soundtrack.

As Daddy’s Little Girl rightly pointed out the best bits were the locales. 

Live and Let Spy

Love a duck: At Epcot Centre, Florida

With Britain and America enjoying that much feted special relationship it is unsurprising that The Oo Es of Eh is his next favourite stop-off.

And we particularly enjoy his forays into Florida and its keys… whose pleasures I had to put off on the outbreak of Covid but where I intend to fulfil just as soon as.

Ski another day

Like an Alpine skier: In the Austrian Tyrol

Next up might be less predictable, Austria, but then we have to remember its stunning snowscapes and Bond’s love of winter sports which of course we share.

Although we have never seen him on the slopes of Soll while we have enjoyed skiing alongside some dapper fancied-dressed folks.

And we look forward to seeing a penguin-suited Bond on the piste some time soon.

For Bond anoraks it’s an easy question but which is the only country in a film title?

The spy who came in from the Red

Dance away: Russia

Yes, the old Soviet Union, or Russia as we knew it in shorthand.

And as well as the titular film From Russia With Love, Bond turns up in Fabergeland another three times.

Turkish crossroads

Hamam bam: Istanbul

It has been the crossroads for espionage since first the first looked out over each other at either side of the Bosphorus.

And, of course, Istanbul, has been an ideal backdrop for Bond’s adventures… and yours, and mine with three films taking in Turkey’s biggest city.

Three’s a charm

Limber up: The next Bond?

And among those countries where Bond has a trio of visits is Hong Kong, Spain, the Bahamas, Scotland, his homeland and Jamaica where Ian Fleming penned the books.

And the West Indies’ biggest island is where we first fell in love with Bond on the Laughing Waters beach in Ocho Rios.

Or Sean Connery to be more precise, even if you were a red-blooded bloke, you actually wanted to be him.

Wear a swimsuit: Craig as Bond

And be with Ursula Andress.

There was much fuss too about Daniel Craig with his take on coming out of the water, ripped and in a pair of budgie smugglers.

Only thing is a budgie has more charisma.

Craig Sera Sera… whatever will be, will be.

 

 

 

Countries, Culture, Europe, Food, Food & Wine

A boy named Tiramisu

They’re the kind of fingers I like.

Ladyfingers, dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa,

And something to keep my mind off my own broken fingertips and nails.

Our friends at Travel Weekly and The Italian Tourist Board have been regaling us with the charms and i cibi of Il Bel Paese all week.

And yesterday the Veneto region laid out everybody’s favourite dinner party dessert for us.

On Zoom (because we didn’t have smellavision).

Tiramisu it transpires has been with us for rather less time than I had thought.

Being served up for the first time at the end of the Sixties.

By chef Roberto Linguanotto at Le Beccherie in Treviso on Christmas Eve.

Whose Tiramisu is it anyway?

And I wasn’t going to be the one to raise with the good people of the Veneto region that our Zoom hosts for the previous day Friuli Venezia Giulia had a claim.

From the Vetturino restaurant in Pieris from 1938.

Anyhoos, as they never say in Northern Italy, tiramisu is celebrated all the world over.

And it’s not just between the regions that it gets competitive with some believing it goes back way further than that to Siena in honour of Grand Duke Cosimo III.

The World Cup

And there is even a Tiramisu World Cup.

The winner of which is uno Fabio Peyla.

Fabio generously treated us all to his creation on our meeting.

Unfortunately though we could not reach into the screen and taste.

Prosecco, another Veneto favourite was.

Just the ‘pick me up’ as Tiramisu means in Italiano for someone who has just broken his fingertips.

You want to make your own, then my go-to baking site is BBC Good Food. Who am I kidding she’s in the kitchen!

Venice is, of course, the jewel of the Veneto region but in truth it is just the most glittering in a crown that is embedded with other gems I’ve found such as Padova.

While Treviso, Verona and Venice’s piccolo fratello Choggia should all be explored.