Tuscany Harvest Tour 2014

by admin on October 20, 2014

Ready to embark upon a wonderful week hosting a group of 14 guests in Tuscany.  October 25 – November 1, 2014.  This is Harvest time in Tuscany and we will be sampling the amazing Brunello & Vini Nobile wines, fresh pressed extra virgin olive oil, pecorino cheeses, hunting for tartufo bianci with a truffle hunter and his dog and dining on all of the specialties of the season.  I invite you to join us virtually as we discover all that this region has to offer.

Villaoutside_2 Our Luxury Villa for the week

Vorrei tavolo per un favore

by admin on November 17, 2013

Solo in Roma for Pranzo (lunch).  It was raining and I debated about grabbing a panino or finding a  a small and cozy place to tuck in for a nice long lunch.  I sat across the street earlier having a cappuccino with one of my valued vendors and spotted the perfect spot…Armando al Pantheon just minutes from my hotel.  I strolled across Piazza della Rotunda under my umbrella and upon being  greeted I said, “Vorrei tavolo per un favore”.  The place was a full and bustling little place with only room for maybe 35 patrons and luckily one empty table in the middle. A perfect spot…family run with 3 generations from the kitchen to the waiters.   After hearing about the specials I knew my rainy day was being transformed into an engaging experience.  Being alone I had the opportunity to observe the waiters interacting with their customers sharing their recommendations with enthusiasm and pride and seeing the satisfaction on the faces of their customers as they took their first bite.  I was delighted to see one of my favorite wines on the menu from Tenuta Valdipiatta in the Tuscany region I would be visiting in a few days and ordered a half bottle.  I struck up a conversation with the table of 4 next to me, a delightful couple traveling with their 2 adult daughters. They had visited the restaurant  2 or 3 times, and happily recommended several dishes.  Suddenly I wasn’t alone but part of an Italian scene talking about food, wine and our mutual love of all things Italian.  Waiters were attentive and kind checking in to be sure all was “buono”. This is what I so love about Italy, engage and you will be welcomed and given an experience of a lifetime. Soon to return!

Armando al Pantheon

Cosy restaurant serving local regional dishes and seasonal specialties.

Steamed Artichoke drizzled with extra virgin olive oil

Eggplant with ricotta & basil

The Italian Cell Phone Experience

November 13, 2013

Last time in Italy I purchased an Italian cell phone on the hood of a taxi driver’s car on the recommendation of my driver in Positano…a friend he said and a “good guy”.  40 euros later I had a brand new phone with a headset and charger.  Next to the TIM store to buy a […]

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The Beginning….Roma 2013

November 13, 2013

My base for 5 nights where I walk past the Pantheon each day. Love starting the morning with an Italian Cappuccino! — at Piazza Della Rotonda – Roma. It’s a safe neighborhood centrally located to exploring all of Rome. I start out my day with an amazing cappuccino that cannot be reproduced outside of Italy. […]

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Recharge at Amsterdam-Schiphol

November 12, 2013

Love going through Amsterdam in route to Roma.  Found a great little spot to stay energized and keep the jet lag at bay.  Green turned out to be quite good! Healthy juice bar

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Vatican Gardens Upcoming Visit

October 30, 2013

Received this beautiful photo from Italia Magazine.  I will be visiting the Vatican Gardens on November 15.  The gardens cover about 57 acres, which is most of the Vatican Hill.  The gardens and parks have a history going back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods.  Filled with fountains and sculptures there are also several underground […]

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Tuscany Harvest Tour 2013

October 15, 2013

Follow me on the first Tuscany Harvest Tour starting on November 16th!   A private small group tour based near Montepulciano & Pienza.  We’ll be cooking together, learning to make wine, picking & pressing olives and enjoying the beautiful harvest time in Tuscany.

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Bountiful Bologna

November 8, 2011

October 22-25 My 1st time in the lovely city of Bologna and the Emilia Romagna region.  The old town has beautiful architecture and pedestrian streets lined with the porticos, squares and marbled pavements.  You can wander endlessly with great spots to stop for a café or glass of wine and dine on local cuisine.  Lots […]

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Cooking Tuscan Style

November 5, 2011

October 20 The joy of cooking in each region is both memorable and educational.  Meeting new people joined by a common interest of learning about local and fresh ingredients guided by an expert chef is a wonderful way to dig deeper into the culture and traditions.  We joined 6 other people for a half day […]

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Fabulous Florence

November 2, 2011

October 18 – 22 Four beautiful days to explore Firenze.  Lovely hotel near the Accademia that is very central. So nice to meet personally with hotel staff, friends and colleagues.

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