Posts tagged ‘Italy’

December 13, 2013

Villa Rental in Italy!!

San Gimignano

Italy continues to be a favorite destination for Europe bound Americans. And why not? You will eat well, drink well (cafe & vino), enjoy beautiful panoramic views and scenery, inspirational architecture, historic sights, incredible museums, fashion, diverse culture, and welcoming locals. Living in a rental villa gives one the opportunity to live like a local, shop where the locals shop, and truly immerse yourself in the culture. Unpack once, cook when you like or enjoy the vast variety of local restaurants, have a chef come into your ‘home’ for a cooking lesson, and dine on the results. Day trip to surrounding towns, wineries, shops, and galleries on your own schedule or not.

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November 25, 2013

Wine Maker for a Day in Chianti

A ‘WOW’ experience in the heart of Tuscany! Spend the day with a top notch wine maker in his Chianti cellar tasting and blending your very own personal vintage. The barriques of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, and Syrah that you will use for blending your wine, come from the vines on the 150 acre estate. Your local oenologist will coach and guide you, with his 20 plus years experience, to assure a memorable wine. After a lunch break in this historic castle, you will bottle the wine which will be delivered to your home two months later. Of course, you will have designed your own personal label for your private bottling.

Though I did not have a full day to blend my own vintage, I can assure you that my recent tour of this historic Chianti winery, followed by an intimate wine-paired five course lunch, was one of my most memorable Tuscany experiences.

Aside from having your own personal vintage wine, adorned with your unique label, the opportunity to understand the blending process with an expert is a very special event !

January 31, 2013

Dining with the Mayor of Rome

Dinner with the Mayor of RomeI just returned from a tourism symposium in Rome. The first evening, after a day packed with informative meetings, Mayor Gianni Alemanno of Rome hosted a gala dinner for about 60 of us. The event took place in the Palazzo Esposizioni Museum after hours, which meant we were treated to a private viewing of the ‘On the Silk Road’ exhibition.

Rome never fails to lift my spirits and make me feel priviledged to be there. To walk past ancient structures mingled with the new, the many beautiful piazza’s, fountains, and historic buildings and monuments in this very ‘lived in city’ is a joy.

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December 21, 2012

CHRISTMAS TREES AROUND ITALY

Buon Natale 2012 e Felice Anno Nuovo ~ 2013 !

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December 11, 2012

Brunello di Montalcino

case basse brunello brunelloIn a move to increase wine tourism, the Brunello di Monalcino Consortium recently launched a free app for travelling iPhone and iPad users. Called iBrunello HD, the app features a host of information on the area and its wineries, the different types of wines produced in Montalcino, plus news, events, photo galleries, and more. App users can also personalize a travel itinerary in the area. ‘We’ve launched the tool to meet the needs of the new “smart” tourists and wine lovers, who want to visit an area quickly and easily,’ said Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the consortium.

On a sad note, Wine Spectator covered the story about last week’s vandalism at a Montalcino winery  –  Late at night Dec. 2, someone entered the cellar of Gianfranco Soldera’s Montalcino winery, Azienda Agricola Case Basse, and opened all the spigots on his casks of aging wine. Soldera lost more than 16,500 gallons of wine, his entire production of wines aging in botti, spanning six vintages from 2007 to 2012. Italian authorities are investigating. “You can imagine the damage, because six vintages are involved, but it’s not just the economic damage, the present, it’s the future,” Soldera told Wine Spectator.  Il Poggione’s Alessandro Bindocci, son of Consorzio president Fabrizio Bindocci, expressed solidarity for Soldera on his blog Montalcino Report: “The territory of Montalcino is a small and tranquil territory where many people still leave their doors of their homes unlocked. To find out about these sad events is shocking and it brings forth the spirit of solidarity that distinguishes the producers of Montalcino.”

November 6, 2012

Visit Italy next year.

As the year is winding down, clients are beginning to think about next summer’s holiday.  I admit that I am biased, but I can promise, a visit to Italy would not disappoint anyone in the family.  So many opportunities present themselves that the only problem is narrowing down the itinerary.  Rome has enough to take in, that one could never go too frequently. Tuscany, whose heart is Florence is much the same way….just more easily accessible rural options. A favorite being the medieval hill town of Siena where many of the  buildings and art works date from about 1260-1348 when Siena was one of Europe’s wealthiest cities.  Highlights are the  unusual fan-shaped piazza where the palio horse race is run twice in the summer and its magnificent Gothic duomo.  Lucca is my favorite walled city, west of Florence and we have just added a lovely 3 bedroom rental apartment right in the historic center, ask me about it (invitationtotuscany.com).  Then there is Veneto..with Venice as the crown jewel, Piedmonte, the Lake District, on and on.

Have a look at this brief video – you may get inspired !

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