|Preparing carciofi alla Vetrallese|
|original article “The armored artichoke honored at Ladispoli “|
International Daily News, Rome, April 28, 1979
The years go by but thankfully somethings stay the same:
like the Festa del Carciofo in Ladispoli.
To celebrate this annual Festival dedicated to local artichokes
I scoured 50yearsinItaly's archives and found this vintage article full of historical carciofi trivia.
This weekend the annual Artichoke Festival will be held in Ladispoli, 40 kilometres north of Rome along the Via Aurelia. Why should a common vegetable rate a festival complete with music, marching bands and free cooked carciofi to all-comers?
|Castello di Palo Laziale, now La Posta Vecchia hotel|
The prince’s castle can be seen in the neighboring village of Palo Laziale and it once housed the wealthy Paul Getty who installed a pay phone to keep his guests long-distance calls to a minimum.
Today (ed. note 1979) millionaires and princes have given way to new residents: a colony of about 3,000 Russian refugees make their temporary homes in Ladispoli while awaiting their visas from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Throughout history, the delicate artichoke has been connected with illustrious men and women. Catherine de’Medici brought them from her native Florence when she went to France as queen and at the wedding feast of her friends the Marquis of Loménie and Mlle. De Marigue in 1576 she almost died of an indigestion having gorged herself on her favorite dish-artichoke hearts cooked with roosters’ combs and livers in Marsala wine sauce.
|Jefferson's notes about crop rotation at Monticello|
Thomas Jefferson discovered this flower-like green during his diplomatic missions to Paris and had them planted in his gardens at Monticello upon return to the new United States. It was an Italian, Philip Mazzei, his friend, confidant and neighbor who supplied him with the seeds.
|gardens of Monticello|
The artichoke has had many admirers among the popes of past years. Monsignor Mastai Ferretti, the future Pope Pius IX, enjoyed many lunches at Piperno’s in the Ghetto in the 1830s.
So much did he
like the carciofi alla giudia (Jewish style artichokes) that he nicknamed
Piperno “Michelangelo of the Artichoke”. While a
guest at the Franciscan monastery in Jerusalem in 1964 Pope Paul VI was served "artichoke hearts Venetian style".
|a young Pius IX|