Italian recipes: mushroom, bacon and walnut risotto | Senza categoria

Italian recipes: mushroom, bacon and walnut risotto

A rustic recipe, perfect in any occasion. Its creamy consistance will surprise your guests! Let’s see how is it made:


  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 bacon rashers (diced)
  • 200g of mushrooms (cleaned and thickly sliced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts – roughly chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

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Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the mushrooms, garlic, walnuts and rice and cook for a minute, stirring to coat the rice with oil. Add the wine, stock, salt and pepper, bring to the boil then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently for 20 minutes without lifting the lid. Stir the reserved tablespoon of olive oil, parsley and cheese through the rice.

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Italian recipes: mushroom, bacon and walnut risotto | Senza categoria

Italian artists: Giorgio de Chirico

Giorgio de Chirico was a surrealist Greek-Italian painter, who founded the artistic movement of scuola metafisica and who spent part of his life in Florence. This town is, in fact, very important in his painting as we can find it in several of his works, like the first of “Metaphysical Town Square” series  called The Enigma of Autumn Afternoon which was painted after a revelation De Chirico felt in Piazza Santa Croce.

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His paintings are expression of an inner reality, which sometimes the artist can see thanks to the revelations; what he represents in his works is a special moment that, being painted, can be relived in time. His dreaming landscapes evoke a haunted, brooding mood, often representing squares, towers, which give to the whatcher an alienating sensation.

He also lived in Paris, where he had many connection with the surrealist poet Guillaume Apollinaire.

Discover your personal painting style and improve it with the drawing and painting courses here at Istituto Galilei!

Italian recipes: mushroom, bacon and walnut risotto | Senza categoria

Italian literature: Boccaccio’s Decameron

The Decameron is a collection of a hunred novellas, written by Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio around 1350. Mostly composed by bawdy tales of love in all its forms, this book played an important part in the history of novels. Its title comes from ancient Greek and means literally “ten days”.

The scene opens with a description of the plague, which was invading Florence in that years. Then, the author presents us the main characters, seven young women and three young men, who decide to escape from the plague refuging themselves in a villa outside the city walls. To let the time pass, each member of the group shall tell one story for every one of the ten nights spent at the villa.

One of the women, Pampinea, is elected Queen for the first day. Each day the company’s previous king/queen elects who shall succeed them and nominates the theme for the current day’s storytelling. Each day has a new theme assigned to it except for days 1 and 9: misfortunes that bring a person to a state of unexpected happiness; people who have achieved an object they greatly desired, or recovered a thing previously lost; love stories that ended unhappily; love that survived disaster; those who have avoided danger; tricks women have played on their husbands; tricks both men and women play on each other; those who have given very generously whether for love or another endeavor.

Boccaccio gives introductions and conclusions to each story which describe the days activities before and after the story-telling. These inserts frequently include transcriptions of Italian folk songs.

The work presents many interesting philosophical aspects. Above all, the medieval concept of Lady Fortune who can be good and bad for everyone, who lets people rise and fall continuously in her weel.  Many of the Decameron’s details have a medieval medieval sense of numerological and mystical significance; for example, the seven ladies are believed to represent the Four Cardinal Virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude) and the Three Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope, and Charity) and the three young men are the classical Greek tripartite division of the soul (Reason, Spirit, and Lust).


The masterpieces of the Italian litterature can be analysed and studied according to your wishes in our Italian language courses.

Italian recipes: mushroom, bacon and walnut risotto | Senza categoria

Art history in Florence: the Vasari Corridor

One of the most beautiful mastepiece Florence can be proud of is the Vasari Corridor, an elevated passageway from Palazzo Vecchio towards Palazzo Pitti, passing through the Uffizi Gallery. Its path covers the Lungarno Archibusieri and Ponte Vecchio, and part of the façade of the Santa Felicita church too. Unfortunatelly, it is mostly closed to visitors.

The Corridor was built in just five months in 1564 by order of Cosimo I de’ Medici and designed by Giorgio Vasari. It was commissioned along with the marriage of Cosimo’s son, Francesco, with Johanna of Austria. Cosimo wanted this corridor in order to move freely between his residence and government palace, avoiding normal streets. At the time it was infact a common  between rich families to feel insecure in public. The meat market of Ponte Vecchio was moved for the occasion because of its smell and in it was replaced by the goldsimth shops that you can still see on the bridge. Furthermore, the Corridor was forced to pass around the Mannelli’s Tower, after the opposition of that family to its destruction.

From the middle of Ponte Vecchio, the Corridor offers a suggestive view of the Arno and Ponte Santa Trinita; the windows that you can see nowadays were built for will of Benito Mussolini. It is also known that Hitler liked the visit to the Vasari Corridor; this fact saved Ponte Vecchio from distruction during the II World War.

In the Santa Felicita church the Corridor has a balcony where the Medici used to follow the mass without mixing with the populace.

In the Vasari Corridor a large and prestigious collection of portraits is showed.

Our art history courses at Insitute Galilei bring you directly where the masterpieces are; take a look on our website!

Italian recipes: mushroom, bacon and walnut risotto | Senza categoria

Italian slang: Spettegolare

This is something that girls and women usually really like as they start to spettegolare (which means “to gossip”) when they are really young!

First with your classmates, then with your bestfriend, but also with the hairdresser and with the shop assistant…everytime is a good chance to spettegolare – to gossip with someone about somebody else! But be careful not becoming too evil…it may cause bad consequences!

Are you interested in learning more Italian colloquial expressions? Take a look to the Italian customizable courses at Institute Galilei, created according to the student’s requests!