If you visited reSapiens in the last couple of days, chances are you might have seen an error page or an empty WordPress site in its place. Also, it you’re subscribed to our newsletter, you got a newsletter with a standard “Hello world” article.
I sincerely apologize for that.
Here’s what happened: I was moving reSapiens to a new (virtual) home, and the delivery truck got lost and circled around internet cables trying to find the address of the new home. The agency forgot to put the number plate on the house.
And for the geeky ones: The DNS propagation took a bit longer than expected and a combination of server and browser cache prevented me from completing the site migration. Meanwhile, a clean WP site was installed on the new server to wait for the domain to point to the new nameservers.
A new reSapiens is coming soon
It’s been years without major changes in the way reSapiens works and serves information to its readers. The internet has evolved a lot since, and as every other outdated site, we need to adapt in order to survive.
A refreshed, redesigned reSapiens will be released in the coming months, improving loading speed, navigation and general User Experience.
See you soon with the good old recipes, amazing places and a few new services. 🙂
Venice is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations thanks to its splendid architecture and artwork, unique canal system, but above all, thanks to its romantic legends.
The entire city, along with its lagoon is listed as World Heritage site.
The city sits on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges, in a lagoon of the Adriatic sea in the Veneto region in northern Italy. It is connected to mainland Italy by a road and railway bridge.
Since the city is slowly sinking due to climate change and rise of the sea levels, I’d strongly recommend you visit it in the next couple of years.
Have in mind though, that as any other popular place, it can get overcrowded and overpriced.
Venice is divided into neighbourhoods called sestieri: San Marco, San Polo, Castello, Dorsoduro, Santa Croce and Cannaregio. The neighboring island of Giudecca is part of Dorsoduro.
Fun fact: Venice has been known as “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”.
Here’s our list of things you should see and do in Venice.
1. Explore St Mark’s square
St Mark’s square is the first stop for travellers that come by cruisers or ferries from neighbouring resorts. The magnificent square is surrounded by monumental structures like St Mark’s cathedral with it’s world famous bell tower, the clock tower or Orologio and Doge’s palace (Palazzo Ducale). It has been the central square of the city for centuries.
If you can, it might be a good idea to find and book an entry to the campanile (bell tower) for breathtaking panoramic views of Venice.
Fun task: try finding the statue of the tetrarchs and learn more about them here.
2. Take a tour of Palazzo Ducale
This masterpiece of Venetian Gothic architecture was built in 1340 as the palace of the doges, the supreme rulers of the Venetian republic, which once controlled most of the Adriatic coast. In 1923, the Doge’s palace was converted to a museum, and is today one of the top attractions in the lagoon city.
The famous Bridge of sighs (Ponte dei sospiri) connects the Doge’s palace with the new dungeons. As the prisoners, most of them sentenced to death, walked over the bridge, they could see the beautiful city through the tiny windows of the bridge for the last time, and they sighed, and that’s how the bridge got it’s name. The bridge was designed by Antonio Contino, nephew of the architect of the Rialto bridge, and was built in 1600.
4. Grand canal
The Grand canal meanders through the centre of Venice, splitting the city core into two. Four beautiful bridges adorn the 3.8 km long and 30 to 90 meters wide canal. The oldest and most famous bridge is Ponte di Rialto, described below.
This canal is the main transportation artery of Venice. Public transport is provided by water buses (vaporetti) and private water taxis, and many tourists explore the canal by gondola, as mentioned below.
5. Ponte di Rialto
Ponte di Rialto is the oldest and most beautiful bridge spanning the Grand Canal. This icon of Venice was built in 1591, succeeding a wooden bridge of similar design. It is a covered arch bridge 28 meters long. The bridge is lined with rows of shops spanning on each side of the central portico.
6. Santa Maria della Salute
The magnificent white marble church, sometimes called simply Salute, towers over the city at the end of Grand Canal, near St. Marks Square.
Santa Maria della Salute was buit in 1631. In 1630, Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague. As a votive offering for the city’s deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health.
Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death.
The gondolas are one of the most iconic symbols of Venice and a ride can be very romantic. Taking a gondola ride is one of the most recommended experiences in the canal city. However, having in mind the following advice could prevent you from serious disappointment.
Since riding a gondola can be very expensive, it might be a good idea to share a ride with a couple more people. It is also worth knowing that some gondoliers are willing to negotiate and lower the price a bit.
Also be advised that because of the odours of the canals in summer, the ride can be less romantic than you’d expect.
8. Find the house of Casanova
The world’s most famous lover lived (and loved) in Venice. The house where he allegedly lived is located in the very heart of the city. While enjoying a gondola ride, the gondolieri will try to tell you about the house. Giacomo Casanova was born, in 1725, in a building adjacent to Palazzo Malipiero. From 1740 onwards, he lived in the Palazzo and became a confidant of Senator Alvise II Gasparo Malipiero.
9. Enjoy world-class art in Guggenheim museum and La Fenice opera house
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum on the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro district. It is one of the most visited attractions in Venice. The collection is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an 18th-century palace, which was the home of the American heiress Peggy Guggenheim for three decades. It includes works of prominent Italian futurists and American modernists working in such genres as Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract expressionism. It also includes sculptural works.
In the 19th century, La Fenice became the site of many famous operatic premieres,among others the work of some of the biggest names – Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi. Its name reflects its turbulent history and “rising from the ashes” after losing three theatres to fire since the late 18th century.
10. Get a Venetian mask
Masks have always been an important feature of the worldwide famous Venetian carnival. Maskmakers (mascherari) enjoyed a special position in society, with their own laws and their own guild. Venetian masks can be made of leather, porcelain or using the original glass technique. The original masks were rather simple in design, decoration, and often had a symbolic and practical function. Nowadays, most Italian masks are made with the application of gesso and gold leaf and are hand-painted using natural feathers and gems to decorate.
Bonus: Visit the neighbouring islands Murano and Burano for a less touristy take on Venice. Murano is famous for it’s traditional glass manufacture. Burano, with it’s colourful houses, attracts artists from all around the world.
Tip: Most guides might highly recommend you to try a gelato, but from my experience, it’s just your everyday ice cream with a fancy-sounding name and overpriced.
If you want to enjoy one of the best biscuit milkshakes, you can make the Plazma shake at home very quickly and easy. For those who don’t know, Plazma is a biscuit made in Serbia, in some countries also known as Lane.
Ingredients (1 cup)
1 cup of ground Plazma
1 tbsp of whipped cream
Replacement: if you can’t get ground Plazma you can replace it with the regular one, or another biscuit (Petit beurre is a decent replacement). In that case, smash the biscuit a bit before putting it into the blender.
Preparation (5 minutes)
Pour the milk, cream and Plazma in a blender or mixer and mix it for about 2 minutes. Pour in a glass or cup. You can decorate your Plazma shake with a chocolate syrup or a cookie.
If you make it with the mixer, you will get the crunchy structure like the one in the image above. If you make it in the blender, you’ll get a more consistent – mortar-like structure, like in the photo on the right.
If you want a Choco Plazma shake, just add 2-3 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
Serving recommendation: If you have straws, do serve the shake with them. It’s much more fun to eat it this way. 😉
Prebranac is a traditional dish in Serbia, popular in other Balkan countries, very cheap to make, nutritious and best served in winter.
While it might look hard to make, prebranac is actually fairly easy to prepare. It has just four ingredients plus a few spices.
If you prefer it to have a slightly more soup-like taste, you can also add one sliced leek before baking.
This is a vegetarian recipe, but you can also add a sausage or some dry meat. In Serbia people tend to eat it when fasting.
Tip: Soak the beans overnight.
Ingredients (for 6 people):
500g white beans
3 larger onions
4 cloves garlic
100 ml oil
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaf
Preparation (cooking 1-2 hours, baking 1 hour)
If you forgot to soak the beans the night before don’t worry, you just have to repeat step 1 below twice.
Put the beans in a larger pot and pour water to cover the beans and a little more (two fingers). Add a bit of baking soda to ease the explosive effects of the beans. Bring to a boil and let boil for five more minutes.
While the water boils, mince 2 onions.
Drain the beans and add fresh water to cover the beans and onion, which you can now pour in. Add salt to taste (some people add it at the end, but I find it easier to taste it than to guess if it’s salty enough). Let it simmer on medium head for about an hour or two (try it from time to time to see if the beans are cooked). You’ll know the beans are cooked when they start releasing their “flour”. When the beans are cooked, let the excess water evaporate.
Preheat the oven at 200o C. Slice the remaining onion.
In a casserole or oven-suited pot prepare the roux: pour oil to cover the bottom and a little more, fry the sliced onions, minced garlic and two teaspoons of cayenne pepper. If you like it more dense and creamy, add a bit of flour too. Remove from fire and add the cooked beans. Add black pepper and 2-3 bay leaves. Stir to blend it all.
Put the casserole in the oven and bake at 150o C for another hour.
Prebranac is best served with roasted bell pepper salad or sauerkraut. It can be served as a side dish or as a main course.
Halfbike is a new revolutionary personal human powered vehicle, a hybrid design combining features of a bicycle and a tricycle, flexible and easy to carry around, and, what’s most important, it seems it’s fun to ride.
The designers took the core driving mechanism of a classical bicycle (a wheel connected to a crankset) and redesigned pretty much everything else. The result – a vehicle that trains your balance and reflexes in a new way.
Halfbike is available for purchase on Kickstarter. Shipping begins July 2015 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Prices start from $349.00 for the limited edition.
Carbonara is a delicious and nutritious way to prepare pasta. This recipe is common among the Balkan countries and differs form the original Italian in having sour cream and garlic, while the Italian version is a bit simpler and weaker in taste.
Ingredients (4 portions)
300g of fusilli (or spaghetti, macaroni, etc…)
300ml sour cream
200g bacon, pancetta or prosciutto
3 cloves garlic
a bit of parmesan or other grated strong cheese.
salt, black pepper, olive oil
Preparation (15 min)
Add water (enough to cover the pasta and a bit more) to a pot and bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, add a teaspoon of salt and a bit of oil so the pasta doesn’t stick. Cook them to be “a dente“, meaning they’re cooked, but not overcooked.
While the pasta is cooking, mix the eggs and sour cream.
Cut and fry the bacon until it get’s crispy, then add the minced garlic and fry until it gets a golden color.
Pour the fusilli in a large bowl, pour the mix of eggs and cream, add the fried bacon and garlic. Stir it all in and add the parmesan or grated cheese on top if you like it.
You can serve carbonara with olives, various types of cheese and/or lettuce.
It’s not a joke, the reason you’ll never see a UPS truck take a left turn in the U.S. is that they use less fuel that way. Thus they both save money and reduce emissions by slightly altering their routes.
And the good news is, you can do that too! In fact, many European cities have altered their traffic flow in order to lower the number of left-hand turns as much as possible.
A couple of years ago, UPS engineers studied the routes their drivers used for delivery, and how to optimize their routes to increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and get drivers back to their centers earlier.
After some research, they noticed that UPS truck drivers wasted a lot of time and fuel sitting at intersections and waiting for the chance to take a left turn (essentially going against the flow of traffic). So, they came up with a simple rule: eliminate, or at least minimize left-hand turns. And the results are impressive. Since 2004 UPS has saved an estimated 10 million gallons of gas. Carbon emissions were reduced by 100,000 metric tons – the equivalent of taking 5,300 cars off the road for an entire year.
The theory has also been confirmed by the Mythbusters:
In the Mythbusters’ experiment, it took a little more time to complete the route, but it used about 30% less fuel.
So, are you willing to give it a shot and start driving this way? If not for the environment, then for your own budget!
Opposite to popular belief, pickling is incredibly easy, and takes only a couple of minutes to make pickles a la McDonalds.
You can pickle almost any vegetable and make awesome refreshing salads, eat them on bread or as starters.
Tip: If you want to make a larger amount of pickles, invite your family, friends or neighbours to help you, have fun, and share a couple of jars with them.
In this recipe I’ll use cucumbers (gherkins), but you can also use carrots, cauliflowers, cabbage leaves, broccoli, beetroot, etc. and even combine different sorts of veggies.
Pickles are a also a great way to preserve healthy food for winter, and enjoy your vitamins with a delicious salty and sour taste.
Important: Wash the jars and lids with warm soapy water and let air dry before filling.
Ingredients (for 2x1l jars)
500ml white/apple vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Preparation (10 min)
Mix in the brine – water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a jar or mixing cup and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Take a sip to check the taste is as you like it, if necessary, add a bit more of the missing ingredient and stir to dissolve again.
Slice the cucumbers as you prefer, I usually slice them to tiny circles, but you can also make stripes, or even leave them entire.
Pack the cucumbers into jars tightly, dropping a few peppercorns along the way.
Pour the brine over and seal the jars.
Let them ferment for48 hours. This way the pickles will have couple of weeks shelf life. If you let the pickles ferment for 4 weeks, they should last at least a year.
In the western countries, dill is often added to pickles. In the eastern ones, garlic, hot pepper flakes, cumin, coriander seeds and other herbs can be added.
You could probably guess yourself that Amazon, Facebook and Google are the first results that appear when you type their first letter into Google search. However, I’m sure some of these will surprise you.
These are the first brands that appear in Google’s autocomplete tool for each letter of the alphabet. The guys at Host Advice decided to create a comprehensive alphabet of auto completes according to Google, letter by letter.
The results were analyzed and compared on the global level, as well as local searches from USA, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil and France, so you can also see what are the most popular searches in these countries.
The authors of the infographic have also asked an interesting question, could this become the new phonetic alphabet for the new “internet” generation? Having in mind that most of the internet users know these brands, I think it could very well replace the current one (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie…).
Have you heard of the Pareto principle? It basically says that 80% of the result is achieved with 20% effort and vice-versa.
As usual, I’ve applied this principle to a fantastic recipe found at Jamie Oliver’s site, adapting it to the basic ingredients I had at home. The result was delicious, and it took only 20 minutes of work (plus a little waiting) to complete.
Guacamole is a very tasteful Mexican avocado dip. If you are inviting your friends to a house party you can serve it with chips (corn chips, nachos or something similar), or with lunch.
This is a simple recipe. Across the web you can find countless different recipes, but this is a simpler variation with locally available ingredients. Never let the lack of ingredients stop you from making delicious food!
Tip: Leave the avocado a few days so it can ripen and soften.
2 ripe avocados
3 cloves garlic
1 smaller or a half of a bigger onion
half a lemon (squeezed)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Preparation [10 minutes]
Cut avocado halfway and take out seed. Scoop out avocado with a tablespoon. Using a fork mash the avocado. Sprinkle it with lemon juice.
Chop onion and garlic as fine as you can. I do not recommend the use of a blender, but leave it so you can chew it. Pour the avocado puree.
Mash it until you achieve desirable structure.
Some people prefer adding thinly minced tomato, cilantro or/and mint to increase the effect of freshness, so if you want, try these variations as well.