Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I also went to Milan, Verona, Parma and Treviso to see family and friends. I stopped and gave a seminar at BigRock training center. BigRock is located in the bucolic countryside of Treviso, in a large farmhouse, within an area starred with startups, that is quickly developing to become a technological hotspot in Italy, under the protection of, among others, venture capital firm H-Farm.

After visiting the school, and seeing the students work, I have to say I was very impressed with the improvements in CG training in Italy, which unfortunately used to be very hard to come by when I approached the subject about a decade ago. If most of these promising students should end up sticking in Italy, I think good things might happen there too.

An Italian Break

It has been a long and engaging year working on an undisclosed project, for an undisclosed Pixar short  - I know that's not very informative is it? Ok I can say it will be screening in theatres before Monsters University. More news to come soon.

So now that the project has wrapped, I took some time off to spend in my dear home town of Torino. I did not stop there all the time though. With my dad, we took some time to go up to the top of the Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Western Europe. The weather did not seem to agree with us though, so we settled with travelling under the tallest mountain in Western Europe, and go to France instead. The french border patrol seemed less than eager to let us pass, perhaps because of my Californian driving license... but eventually gave in.

So we could enjoy the snow and the wonders of Savoiarde cuisine: Charbonnade (grilled meats), Raclette (French cheese molten by coals and served over potatoes) and Vin Chaud (mulled wine).

Back in Italy, on my way to an interview for a local radio, I found that street signs are either getting more graphic, or our cycling habits have been affected by Carmageddon

It's good to find that some things have not changed though. I filled up with what I consider our staples, such as espresso, or polenta with sausages, all the way to some of our specialties, like donkey salami and gnocchi alla bava (drowling gnocchi, served with a Fontina cheese and nutmeg sauce).

Our cuisine keeps surprising me with things I didn't know even as a local. Note to self: try making ravioli with walnut cream, or veal escalopes with hazelnut gravy. Also, check if in San Francisco you can get fresh hops, to cook in omelettes. Mmmm I am getting hungry as I am typing, at 2am.