What are some famous black slopes (ie. for expert skiers) that you would recommend?

The beginning of the Forcella Rossa

I personally recommend the legendary Forcella Rossa slope on the Tofane Dolomites, in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

How to get there

From Cortina d’Ampezzo (Socrepes) take the two cableways to Col Druscie’ and then to Ra Valles. Once out of the arrival station, turn right and take the right hand lane, initially following the Pian Ra Valles chairlift line. Pay attention, you will find a passage not particularly large to your right.

The Forcella Rossa slope starts here with a sign in Italian on the middle of the slope: “Pista per sciatori esperti” (slope for expert skiers only — see below.)

The “Slope for expert skiers” sign. Now it begins…

Description

The second wall (the “funnel”) and the beginning of the third wall

In the shadow of the Tofana there is a track considered really difficult not so much for its steepness in itself (72% on the third, more difficult, wall) as for the reduced width of the track, combined with a generally difficult snow (when it’s icy, the slope becomes dangerous even for expert skiers). The panorama is of the highest quality, descending between the characteristic dolomite rocks.

You are entering the Forcella Rossa slope (n. 51 on the Tofane ski-map).

After the hill the track begins with a fun wall with some rocks on the right side and a wonderful view of the Cortina valley in front of you. After a while you will realize you are actually descending into a funnel with the wall gradually tightening until it is closed by an imposing rock to your left.

The track, now very narrow, around the obstacle on the right side pointing decisively to the right. The track widens first and then retreats into a challenging wall followed, after a 90-degree bend, by another wall, even more challenging, albeit wider. After this second wall, the most complex stretch of the slope ends and it now points decisively towards Rumerlo passing under the cables of the Col Drusciè – Ra Valles cable car.

Does the current Brexit deal benefit both Europe and the United Kingdom? Or is it one sided?

I may have a contrarian view but I believe that the current deal is a great win for the British Government and a big political loss for the European Union.

Thanks to the Northern Ireland issue, Brexit in the current form designed by the tentative Withdrawal Agreement delivers for the U.K. both the end of freedom of movement and also keeps the U.K. in the single market. Continue reading “Does the current Brexit deal benefit both Europe and the United Kingdom? Or is it one sided?”

Is the UK government making a pigs ear out of Brexit?

At the beginning of November 2018, things are changing fast: it seems that parties are now willing to compromise a bit.

From what we can understand from the rumors spilling from Downing Street (caveat emptor, as everything can change in 24h), post Brexit the UK will stop freedom of movement and (possibly) ECJ jurisdiction.

By giving up voice, vote and veto (and still paying considerable amount to the EU budget), the UK is allowed a sort of (very painful and expensive) cherry-picking (ie. it will still be — fully as a EU rule-taker — in the custom union for goods and, possibly in the future, for services under a new Canada-style FTA): in these strange days, this by itself will be a heralded as victory by Brexiters.

Villa Lysis soundtrack

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If you have been recently to Villa Lysis in Capri after they respectfully renovated it to its old splendor, you may remember hearing a CD playing in the background.

The mix of the acoustic guitar playing and the beautiful voice of the French singer were fantastic and absolutely perfect for Villa Lysis.

The CD is the following: Les Amants Solitaires by Nicole Renaud. She’s a French soprano that recently moved to live permanently in Capri. Continue reading “Villa Lysis soundtrack”

Palais Ephrussi in Vienna

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Today we sneaked into the Palais Ephrussi and walked upstairs until the top floor where I came across a nice lady who looked at me and asked me: “are you here because of the book?” ☺️ She was very kind and explained to me the history of the building (now split in two, and the old Ephrussi part is actually not accessible as it is now occupied by a law firm), its renovation after the Nazi seized it and its current tenants. If you have read the ‘Hare with the Amber Eyes’ and happen to be in Vienna, I recommend you to visit it, my friends. 🇦🇹

What does Trump want to prove with the new tariffs being levied on China?

Nobody really knows for sure. Probably not even Trump.

So far, the administration and Trump have not articulated what is realistic and what China could do that would lead the US to stop imposing tariffs.

It must be said that what Trump is doing with the tariff is not something — strictly speaking — new.

The US have a 25 percent tariff on imported trucks that goes back to the Chicken War” of 1963 with the European Union, where the European Union kept the US chicken out of their market, and in retaliation the US imposed a 25 percent tariff on trucks. Continue reading “What does Trump want to prove with the new tariffs being levied on China?”

Why is the EU fighting so hard to stop the UK from leaving? Why not just let the UK go?

Think of the EU as a club where members don’t trust each other.

So this EU club set up certain rules that all members contributed to draft and agreed upon: if the rules are breached by one or more members, the other members can rely to an agreed juidicial body that will keep things in order.

One day, one of its most active, rich and powerful members decided that he has enough and wants to leave the club.

If the EU club still wants to exists, it must keep the sets of rules that all of its members previously agreed upon, even if one member, no matter how rich or powerful, decides to leave the club. Continue reading “Why is the EU fighting so hard to stop the UK from leaving? Why not just let the UK go?”

To what extent is the value of Coinbase tied to the value of Bitcoin?

Not much as their revenues are made of commission (in the form of buy/sell spread on the actual market price) on the transactions made on their exchange.

In this respect, Coinbase is basically like a traditional Bank operating in the FX market: regardless of a certain market movement in price, the Bank will always buy at a little below the market price and sell at a little above market price, thus always making a profit.

For this reason, Coinbase value is more tied to the average number of daily transactions effected on its exchange rather than to the value of Bitcoin.