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Travelogue

Piedmont 1994

This image sets the stage for our visit to the region surrounding Castelmagno. We came upon Santuario di San Magno, in the Valle Grana as we drove up and up and up into the alps of Castelmagno where we were surrounded by heavy fog and cool air that gave a mystical feel to the place, Continue Reading »

Travelogue

Northern Regions September 2006

Coming in from Austria, the train took us straight to Bolzano, one of the largest cities in the Alto Adige region of Italy. We approached the city along the infamous Strada di Dolomiti that winds its way for miles through the Dolomites. In the valleys apples are grown but we were looking for steep, south-facing Continue Reading »

Travelogue

Bra Cheese Festival 2007

In the glinting dawn sunlight at the Madrid airport, Ihsan made his perennial toast: “Here’s to a great trip, baby!” Valerie and I raised our glasses of bubbling cava, and with a clink and a final sip, we were off. Our final destination after this layover was Bra, a city in Italy’s Piedmont region, where Continue Reading »

Travelogue

VinItaly 2011: Bringing Us Back to the Veneto

After an exhilarating five days of intensive tasting in and just outside of Verona at VinItaly, VinNatur, and Vino Vino Vino, my palate has been reinvigorated and my “wine speak” in Italian has once again been thoroughly challenged and expanded. VinItaly is Verona’s infamous wine expo that brings together over 4,000 producers in a cluster Continue Reading »

Travelogue

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in Reggio Emilia, Italy

Driving through the disorienting January fog along the narrow, winding roads of Reggio Emilia, we were grateful to have a guide. Andrea Bezzecchi had picked us up from the Reggio Emilia train station and was taking us to Novellara, his hometown and the home of Acetaia San Giacomo, where his family has made balsamic vinegar Continue Reading »

Travelogue

Ligurian Olive Harvest

“Francesco!” Monica Cotta wandered through the hilly, terraced olive groves near her home in Pantasina, searching for her father’s cousin Francesco. It was a warm, sunny morning in January, and we were due to help him with the last of the olive harvest. Here in Liguria, where Taggiasca olives produce the sweet oil the region Continue Reading »

Blog Post

Bra Cheese Festival 2007

In the glinting dawn sunlight at the Madrid airport, Ihsan made his perennial toast: “Here’s to a great trip, baby!” Valerie and I raised our glasses of bubbling cava, and with a clink and a final sip, we were off. Our final destination after this layover was Bra, a city in Italy’s Piedmont region, where Continue Reading »

Travelogue

Italy

Italy is our home away from home it seems. We have developed many close friendships over the years that we feel as though we are visiting family with each trip. This is a country that offers a broad spectrum of culinary artistry from the more refined cuisine of the North to the simpler yet no Continue Reading »

Blog Post

Holiday Treats: Sorelle Nurzia Torrone, Panettone and Gianduja

Every year, it is with great anticipation that we order torrone and panettone from Sorelle Nurzia, a small confectioners in Italy. These delicious goodies arrive in the shop brightly packaged, beautiful-looking and wonderfully festive – kicking off the holiday season here at the shop!

Blog Post

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in Reggio Emilia, Italy

Driving through the disorienting January fog along the narrow, winding roads of Reggio Emilia, we were grateful to have a guide. Andrea Bezzecchi had picked us up from the Reggio Emilia train station and was taking us to Novellara, his hometown and the home of Acetaia San Giacomo, where his family has made balsamic vinegar Continue Reading »