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MONACO OF BAVARIA (Germany) - In declining consumption of bread, fruit, vegetables and olive oil while increasing the consumption of fat and calories: Well 6 on 10 Italian families have changed over the years their eating habits to the detriment of health, especially of heart.


This is from Monaco of Bavaria, where 35 thousand cardiologists from across the continent take part in the annual Congress of the European Society of Cardiology (Esc), complains that in Italy the Mediterranean diet  menu seems to be at a standstill and is increasingly unused. And from Monaco in the opening day of congress, is also 'appeal of Roberto Ferrari, the first Italian head of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC): "Enough with the attacks on the Mediterranean diet - says -, we return to sound Power 'Made in Italy' ".


But why this happens? It's a  fault of price increases? "Perhaps - answered Ferrari - but not alone. It shows a recent survey of FAO in the last 45 years the Mediterranean diet was gradually abandoned in its own places of origin.

A pity - comments the professor - because healthy eating is the most effective way, in order to remain healthy "and thus to prevent cardiovascular disease and not just those. In Italy it is estimated about 15 million hypertensive, 3 million to 4 million diabetics and of heart.




A citizen has over 5 cholesterol values too high. In this situation, just to strengthen the scientific evidence and improve the level of awareness of citizens on this theme was born in Italy the first 'Centre for the enhancement of the Mediterranean diet'. "A permanent structure, with a home made available by the Region of Sicily, a partner in the project which will involve the most relevant disciplines," continues Professor  Ferrari, which is of the Scientific Committee chairman. In addition to cardiology, are also involved oncology and diabetes, but also the metabolic diseases and paediatrics. "Why this diet - insists Ferrari - is really the 'winning weapon for the prevention of diseases so-called' daughters of welfare '."


The Centre, which will have a dedicated site and will be operational from mid-September, provides for the participation of some of the most authoritative Italian experts. "The first initiative - adds prof. Ferrari - will be the definition of 'Recommendations on nutrition and health': a shared document that will contain analysis retrospectives on the studies published and speeches of the experts to highlight the benefits of the Mediterranean diet compared to the others. A role of excellence that we hope will be recognized also by UNESCO, "said the cardiologist Italian recalling the petition, which has also joined Italy, which requires that the Mediterranean diet becomes' heritage of humanity. "We will seek to bring forward this cause - concludes Ferrari

on which UNESCO will decide in May 2009."



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Health Benefits of Trekking

Posted by ninny83 Jul 7, 2008

Walking for hours without haste, in a healthy environment, where the air is clean, has a positive impact on all aspects of muscles and ligaments, joints, heart and lungs.


The cardiovascular system in particular is the one who is most affected by the beneficial effects of trekking. The heart gets used to support a job not very intense but prolonged.





This involves an enormous advantage because it increases the amount of blood that the heart can pump to each beat and therefore decreases the speed at which the heart must beat in order to provide adequately day oxygen throughout the body.



Decreasing the heart rate, both in terms of rest and stress, the work of the heart becomes cheaper because the heart muscle tires less to carry out its function.



In addition, the blood vessels grow and become more flexible so that blood pressure tends to lower.





This brings great benefit to the whole body, particularly the heart and muscles, because it develops coronary arteries, which are the vessels supplying blood to the muscle tissue of the heart, and increase the number of the capillaries of muscles which, receiving more oxygen, that can better perform their work.



Trekking improves the respiratory function. When you walk a long time, the frequency of respiration, inhalation and exhalation, tends to increase and, in particular, increases their size so that each inspiration is introduced into the lungs a greater volume of air.



In this way the muscles included in the thoracic cavity enlarge and then compress the lungs. This is a gymnastic that makes them stronger and resistant improving the breathing function.



Do not forget that the trek has also considerable psychological benefits, equally important.



Walking needs to download the nervous tension: the aggressiveness present in every one of us, finds its safety valve and decrease anxiety and tension.



Moving in a natural environment, without annoying noises in an atmosphere unpolluted, has a positive impact on the mind. The feeling of calm and serenity contributes to relaxation.



Trekking is also a source of cultural knowledge, because often you can visit not only landscapes but also villages and fascinating towns.



In short, it is an inexhaustible source of personal enrichment in many points of view and that is why, perhaps, that is continually expanding.



Who starts never stops.



Photo Credit: Trip Adventure Organization "Trekking on Mount Etna and Aeolian Islands"



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Hiking on Mount Etna Volcano

Posted by ninny83 Jun 4, 2008








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Here a quick summary of what I've learned touring Italy by bike.



Adventure Travelers have different needs and requests in respect to the other "mass tourists"


A - Apply for your passport at least 3 to 4 months prior to your travel date.


B - Look into picking up travelers insurance and question your medical insurance about coverage while traveling to Italy.


C - Check and Confirm your flight, accomodation and customs.


D - Pack light. Casual outfits for sightseeing and daytime, and pack a few dressier outfits for dinning in the evenings.


E - Be sure to contact your tour company and confirm your itinerary, baggage transfers and meals



Some things I've learned from this trip


  • If you have to transfer your bike with you by train be sure:

    • To buy a ticket for your bike

    • To know which trains actually allow bikes

    • To know which car the bike will go in

    • Trains don't wait in stations for very long

  • Breaking away from a group bike tour is the only way to see Italy!

  • Take care of equipment to take with you

  • Verify if there are bike services along the trip

  • Verify if there are super markets along the trip

  • Verify if you can put your bike in a garage

  • Make sure that you drink enough water


If you like you can read the complete trip report here



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Travel with a bicycle is a great way to combine the joy of being active and the pleasure of discovering new sights.



Tuscany is the most known region of Italy, where bicycle.



Here some good news about all you need to do to organize your independent bike tour of Tuscany.



You can choose 2 types of tour: One-day and multiple-day tours.






  • Riding on the famous "strade bianche" around Siena, wide trails and dirt roads that crisscross the haunting landscape of the Crete Senesi.

  • Combine bike and wine tasting in the Chianti region.

  • Visit medieval villages

  • Cycling up to the Tuscan hills and Tracks is a good way to stay fit while travelling


Top Bike tours:


  • The Chianti Bike Tour

  • Bike Tour in Castellina in Chianti

  • Bike Tour of Greve in Chianti

  • Siena and Florence city tour


Tips for Bike in Florence:


Florence is the most important city of Tuscany, its cycling paths are very good to visit all of its attractions.



The best way to visit the Florence City Center is by bicycle. You can enjoy the landscape, palaces, architectures, arts, people with your bicycle.



The city center is forbidden to cars, so you can go there renting a bycicle.



To park you bike you can use the bike stands all over Florence: In the train station, Piazza Strozzi, Via della Ninna near the San Lorenzo Market, Palazzo Vecchio and large public parking lots.



Equipment You'll need:



The first thing that should be done is hook up with a good bike shop. See for more info and have some ideas about prices and bicycles.



What to see in Florence:



  • Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Dome di Firenze is the city's beautiful cathedral.

  • Giotto's Tower - adjacent to the Dome, you can climb the tower for a magnificent 360-degree view of the Dome, Florence, and the surrounding area. Very good as a substitute of stepper (You have to do 414 steps to arrive in the top)

  • Baptistery famous for the Paradise door and beautiful interior.

  • Palazzo Vecchio - old city palace/city hall, adorned with fine art.

  • Ponte Vecchio the oldest and most famous bridge over the Arno.


What to see in Siena:


  • The Piazza del Campo, the unique shell shaped piazza at the centre of the city, and twice a year the racetrack for the Palio.

  • The Palazzo Pubblico, Siena's City Hall.

  • The Dome, Siena's magnificent black and white Italian Romanesque cathedral.

  • The Pinacoteca, full of Sienese paintings.

  • The Palazzo Salimbeni, built in 1472, is the world Headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena.


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