October 31, 2017

You Say Rosato, I say Rosé | Roma to Sonoma

Technically, it’s the French who say Rosé; the rest of us have merely adopted their usage of the word. And it’s right that we use the French word because France is the indisputable king of Rosé wine. From Côtes du Rhône to Provence, Rosé has been a French favorite since long before the recent international boom in popularity. Scoffed at for decades in the U.S. due to its distant cousin, White Zinfandel, Rosé hasn’t gotten a lot of respect from the typical wine drinker since it went out of fashion in the 1990s. That’s why, when I lived in the Salento region of Puglia, Italy almost ten years ago, everyone was…

August 9, 2016

The Baths of Bormio | Roma to Sonoma

  Bormio, just south of the Swiss border and smack in the middle of the Alps, is only a few hours from Milan. You won’t be the first to make the trek, however. The natural hot springs here, now a lovely resort called the Bagni di Bormio, (the Baths of Bormio), have been in continuous use for thousands of years. Pliny the Elder was already going on about their beneficial properties back in the first century A.D. And throughout the ages, Leonardo Da Vinci, European royalty and the like, regularly flocked here to “take the waters”. The Hotel Bagni Vecchi (Older Bath Hotel) is a smaller, cozier, and more traditional Valtellina…

August 9, 2016

Florence – Food & Wine Recommendations | Roma to Sonoma

these STOPS ARE LESSER-KNOWN-BY-TOURISTS AND GREAT options for your travels through Bella Firenze. Caffè Italiano Located right off Piazza della Signoria, it’s remarkable that this charming spot isn’t overwhelmed by tourists. A coffee and tea lover’s paradise, you can lounge for hours reading newspapers or books supplied by the owners or, better yet, play one of the board games available upstairs in the quasi-family room. Lunch menu changes daily, and the food (pasta, sandwiches, meats, etc.) is all honest family fare. But the real draw here is that it is a historic place to enjoy a coffee and a chat. Via Condotta, 56/r Tel. 055.289.020 www.osteriacaffeitaliano.com L’Enoteca Fuori Porta Located in…

July 29, 2016

Salento: Italy’s Best Kept Secret | Roma to Sonoma

  Years ago, I lived in the seaside village of Otranto, Italy, and studied Italian at Porta d’Oriente, a school that advertised a half-day sea/half-day school approach to learning. Since then, I have dreamt of this region of Italy known as Salento. It seems God has blessed this part of Italy with special treasures: turquoise water, rock cliffs, long stretches of natural beaches, and bleached-white buildings that make up the tiny villages that hang over the sea. This is all topped off with a special southern hospitality which its natives lavish on visitors. I fell in love with the seemingly untouched beauty, the seafood and the spice that I was…