I'm running late with posting these, aren't I?
So sorry, I seem to be out of the regular (I blame the flu) -but, better late than never. If you might have missed it, the first part of this story is HERE. Go and take a look at it.
Now, where were we?
Oh, yes: I woken up on a rather chilly morning and realized I'm really in Italy.
It was 5:30 AM, we have barely had any sleep, however - we were ready to go!
This is the back side of the Vila (ehmm; I meant Hotel), taken from the parking lot. Strangely, only 5 minutes of driving, and we were in civilization, in a small town of Cuggiono.
This is the program.
And there, it said: 14:30 - introduction of our guest from Nature Park "Beljanska bara" - that's us. Right across it was our stand.
Our stand being set up. We were very lucky to get the best position - the very entrance into the park. so, everyone who intended to go to the park had to pass by. Oh, and on Sunday - that is a LOT of people.. as we were about to find out.
This is Villa Annoni.
Now it is the building of the Mayor of Municipality.
It is a majestic neoclassical villa that was commissioned at the end of the eighteenth century by wealthy landowner Milan Alessandro Annoni (1767-1825) who in Cuggiono possessed extensive grounds. The family descended from wealthy banker Paolo Annoni (XVII century), and he wanted at all costs to emerge in the greatness and beauty as well as other families who despite having large property did not boasted the traditional nobility.
The villa of Cuggiono, despite its nature as a country residence, was then conceived as dall'Annoni the clearest image of his wealth and why the complex was filled with pomp and monumentality, however, in agreement with the neoclassical tradition.
The first project of the villa was laid out in 1805 by the most famous architect of Milan at the time, Leopold Pollack who was at the service of the Austrian imperial court. On the death of Pollack in 1806 the project was not yet completed and for this he was replaced by the Milanese architect Giuseppe Zanoia who had worked with Pollack and brought to fruition in the specific part of the park and the dependencies of the villa. Alexander himself Annoni actively collaborated in the drafting of the project. The villa was finished in 1809 and 24 October 1810 the archpriest Cuggionese, Paolo Gnocchi, blessed the chapel of the villa.
It's me. (I guess this is one of the rare times you get to see the whole picture of me, since usually I'm the one holding the camera)
It's Italy - of course they have statues all over the place. And it is quite natural to have two gigantic lions on each side of the entrance.
The panda symbolizes protected area - and the Park is one.
Let us go inside.
It's pretty big and divided into sections (on the map it's quite visual). First is the part with the threes, where some of the threes are insured up to 150.000 EUR!
Second part is the Lake, followed by the vineyard. And at the ending there (on the picture here, that'll be the upper right area) is the agricultural land.
I grabbed few minutes before the Fair starts to take a walk.
The arches at the entrance.
I haven't mentioned the story behind the Villa Annoni.
It was built to appear like an English Vila at the time. You are about to see exactly that.
As I left the "three" section I came across a lovely cottage.
It had a strange feeling to it. Something inside me was whispering "Hansel & Gretel", but it's really just a cottage for the tools for the vineyard, decorated so it blends with the surrounding..
I came to the lake. The Sun started heating the air, so the walk became pleasant. I had rare opportunity to get really close to the black swans.
They truly are gracious creatures.
Now.. I have just told you that the Vila was built to resemble the English one.
Cross my heart, the first (and only!) word in my mind was:
(the home of Mr. Darsy).
Does it not honestly give you just the feeling Elizabeth Bennet had? The long yard stretching far, and focusing your eyes on the glorious Vila. Breathtaking!
On the other hand, Vila was created so that it's owner could, from the main room, take a look through the window, and see the monument some 500 meters away (across the lake). I had the fortune (and the Guide) to get inside the Villa Annoni and to take the same look. And I understood why it was made that way. The look was truly.. royal.
I had to go back, since the Fair (the main event, and the reason of my arrival in the first place) was about to start.
This is the barbecue and the large pot to your right is going to be 50 liters of beans (let me convert that for those using imperial sizing: that's 13 US gallons or 88 pints). Lots of beans..
This is the Sausage Master!
and in his hands is the sausage made by the traditional recipe and.. it's in the Guinness Book of Records as the Largest sausage coil. Take a look.
Last preparations. And a look at all of our home made produce that we brought with us (thank you Customs, for NOT opening our bus truck!)
The bacon from a special species called Mangalitsa.
Also famous for the fact that it's fat has no LDL cholesterol. I'm shrugging my shoulders: yes, it's FAT, and yet again NO, it's not bad for you.Mangalitsa (US spelling), Mangalitza (UK spelling) or Mangalica (original Hungarian spelling) is a name for three breeds of pig bred especially in Hungary known also as a curly-hair hog. It belongs to European unimproved lard-type breeds (as well as Iberian Black and Alentejana pigs) that are descended directly from wild boar populations. The Mangalitsa pig is unusual as it grows a hairy 'fleece', akin to that of a sheep. The only other pig breed noted for having a long coat is the now extinct Lincolnshire Curly Coat of England. The Mangalitsa was formerly bred as a lard pig, and animals were large and round. Because of the drop in demand for lard, the breed's popularity has declined and it is now regarded as a "rare breed"
Bacon. Cured and smoked.
Locally, among us and in your homes, we call it the "Adidas bacon" - see the stripes?
As a special part of the program, we came with these wonderful boys and girls from our own Folklore Ensemble, and they came dressed up in our old Ethnic clothes.
Unavoidable group picture of the dear girls.
Yet another look at the Villa Annoni before we take a stop for this time.
We were working for 12 hours on the Fair. We had 50 liters of beans, 30 kilograms (approximately 65 pounds) in barbecue meat, equal amount of sausage. We had some 25 kilos of jarred Ajvar and 10 kilograms of home made jam.
It was ALL GONE. And we gave it all for free.
Until my third (and last) part.. see you!
Oh.. one more thing.
(absolutely not related to anything written above)
I just came back from my hairdresser.
I had my color freshened and my style polished-up
Is it good?
Until next time - a big hug to all of you!
♥♥ Pinky Honey