The Wine Routes of Orvieto

When visiting the region of Umbria, and specifically the city of Orvieto, rich in art and history, you might want to pay a visit to some of the city’s most prominent restaurants for local and truffle-based dishes. But a good meal should never go unaccompanied by the perfect wine to pair the dishes with, and Orvieto is a city well-stocked in this department.

Castelluccio di Norcia - Umbria, Italy

Amazing landscapes of Umbria – Italy.

Strada dei Vini.

Indeed, the Association “Strada dei vini Etrusco Romana” in the province of Terni was born to showcase the typical products of the local tradition, especially the wines and wineries that grace the territory. During your stay in Orvieto, you might choose to follow this wine route in order to experience the world of wine production, through the visit to many different associated wineries and wine cooperatives. The wine route takes its name from the Etruscan and Roman heritage of the territory, and if you were to choose to visit some of the wineries along the road you will see experience first-hand how the production of local wines has been refined and perfected through the years, and some of the cooperatives might offer wine tasting experiences and tours.

Orvieto Wines.

The most prominent local productions include some D.O.C quality wines, such as the Orvieto D.O.C, a sweet, amber-colored wine best drunk along with pecorino cheese and honey, or paired with fish-based dishes. Or again the Rosso Orvietano D.O.C, an excellent red wine to pair with game, roast and savory meat-based dishes. Others local wines include the Lago di Corbara D.O.C, a ruby red wine great with red meat or poultry, and the Colli Amerini D.O.C wine.

More prestigious and certified productions of red and white wines follow along the route, in the many associated wineries that have endorsed the project, but the experience doesn’t stop here, because a number of restaurants serving traditional and regional dishes have also taken part in the wine route. Along it you can also find hotels for a comfortable stay or oil mills to complete your exploration of Italian tastes and customs.
To name a few of the wineries you can find on the route, the “Argillae” wine house offers tours and a taste itinerary during which you can also purchase their products, and visits must be booked before-hand on the winery’s website. Or the “Castello delle Regine”, a family-run business that includes a winery, oil-mill, restaurant with local Umbrian cuisine and that offers wonderful week-ends for wine lovers: for € 90 per person you will get an overnight stay in an apartment, dinner and breakfast and a complimentary bottle of Castello delle Regine wine.

The wineries that take part in the Orvieto “Strada dei vini Etrusco Romana” wine route are many and variegated, each with its own products and traditions, but if you follow your nose and taste buds, you’re sure to find excellent wines!

 

10 (and growing) Best Travel Blogs About Italy.

Here below we have compiled a list of the best travel to Italy blogs, they contain precious information about getting around Italy, shopping, sightseeing, and a lot precious information that will help your travel in Italy.

Takelessons.com has compiled a useful list of the best blog about Italy to read http://takelessons.com/blog/useful-italian-phrases-abroad-z09

Italy Magazine has been around for a long time and it has a wealth of information about travelling to Italy. Check their list of the best blogs to read in 2013 http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/italy-blog-awards-2013-winners

Wandering Italy blog covers many interesting areas such as Puglia, Tuscany, Rome, Verona and Cinque Terre. http://www.wanderingitaly.com/blog/

Expat blog published this interesting list of Blogs written by expats in Italy, it is definitely interesting if you plan to visit Italy and get info from who is living there as an expat http://www.expat-blog.com/en/directory/western-europe/italy/

Venere is an Italian property booking site with an updated blog with plenty of information abut travelling to Italy check it out http://www.venere.com/blog/

Rick is an American expat who has written a blog full of interesting information about Rome http://rickzullo.com/

Villa San Raffaello has a blog about Le Marche Region, often considered the hidden gem of Italy. If you plan a trip to see their wonderful sea and countryside check their blog http://www.villasanraffaello.com/le-marche-italy-blog.html

Dream of Italy has compiled an interesting list about getting around in Italy, if you plan to take trains, or drive yourself on the autostrada check this blog post http://www.dreamofitaly.co.nz/About+Italy/Travel+Tips/Getting+Around.html

Ecobnb a suistainable accomodation website has interesting blog post about eco tourism in Italy http://ecobnb.com/blog/

RailEurope has some tips about getting around in Italy and have a cheap holiday. Check it out here https://www.raileurope.com/blog/11210-italy-travel-tips?

If you are wondering where to go in Italy, check this quick list of the best destinations in the country. http://travel-italy-holiday.com/about/ courtesy of Colin de Cristofaro.

Not really a blog, but interesting photography workshop in Cinque Terre run by Ugo Cei check it out http://www.mediterraneanphototours.com/cinque-terre-and-the-italian-riviera/ become a master photographer while visiting the stunning Italian riviera.

5 Restaurants in Salento for Your Palates only

Written by Paola Fiocchi, Director, Passepartout Homes (www.passepartout-homes.com)

Having visited the region of Salento in Puglia for the past 8 years, I can pretty easily assure you, you won’t have a bad gastronomic experience in the heel of Italy.

Wherever you will end up eating, you will be greeted by welcoming hosts and mouth-watering dishes, made with simple ingredients. From starred restaurants to shacks on the beach, Salento knows a thing or two about good, honest food and wine.

crystal clear water of Salento

Salento in Puglia offers sun, crystal clears waters and excellent gastronomy.

Puglia provides most of what Italy consumes. Most of the grains for pasta, fish, olive oil and wine come from here. The region is covered by vast areas of ancient olive trees so it will come as no surprise that Puglia also produces over 70% of Italy’s olive oil (and 15 percent of the world’s olive oil). The region is also producer of 25 DOC wines most of which come from the Salento area.

Some of the region “signature” dishes include “orecchiette” (or “small ears”) because of their resemblance to small ears. Enjoy orecchiette with fresh tomato sauce, basil and strong ricotta cheese. Orecchiette with “cime di rapa” (sort of broccoli) are also a region’s favourite.

For breakfast head to the your local bar where locals enjoy a cup of freshly brewed espresso coffee and warm “pasticciotto” standing at the counter. The best pasticciotti can be eaten in Galatina where Pasticceria Abalone has been creating these pastries since 1745.

You will not get hungry during the day as there are plenty of snacks and appetisers available, including “frittini” , a mix of fried appetisers, “friselle”, a snack made of crunchy dry bread best served dipped in water and topped with fresh tomatoes, basil and extra virgin olive oil and “pucce, a sandwich made of pizza dough and stuffed with cured meat, cheese or vegetables; not to mention the round shaped “tarallini” crackers available in different flavours, excellent with a glass of cold rosé wine on the beach.

Here are my top 5 recommended places to eat in Salento. Spoil alert, expect the lovely aroma of freshly prepared meals and the warm welcome of their owners.

L’Altro Baffo in Otranto, where Chef Cristina Conte will serve you traditional Apulia dishes interpreted in a contemporary key, where tradition meets innovation. Expect freshly made pasta, fresh fish and seasonal ingredients. Our favourite dish is “chitarrine ai “ricci di mare” “, fresh pasta with sea-urchins, for those of you with really fine palates! A family run business located in one of the most scenic spots of Otranto under the shadow of the Aragonese Castle. Reservation highly advisable.

Lo Scalo in Alessano, a historic seafront restaurant built along the rocky coastal route between Tricase and Leuca. Seafood dishes will be prepared according to the catch of the day and served in an enchanting setting by the water. As dessert, excellent is “pasticciotto” with lemon custard. Reservation highly advisable.

Agriturismo Le Site in Corigliano d’Otranto, where most of the ingredients used in the kitchen are cultivated in the Agriturismo’s own fields. Excellent meat and an abundance of vegetables are served by this family run enterprise. Le Site also produces its very own olive oil as well as home-made jam and liquors, available for purchase at the restaurant. Le Site also offers a number of guests rooms for those looking for a lodging.

Cantine Menhir Salento located outside Otranto is a producer of some of the best wines of Salento, including Negroamaro or Primitivo. Here you can also reserve a table at their “Osteria Origano” where excellent traditional Apulia dishes are served. In summer you can dine al-fresco in their Mediterranean garden and may be entertained by live music.

La Porta Antica in Sternatia is a traditional trattoria where excellent pizza, meat and fish dishes can be savoured. Their speciality are the “antipasti” which I highly recommend to try in abundance. Portions are very generous! It is very popular with locals and during the weekend and summer months it can be very crowded. reservations recommended.

 

Berlucchi Sparkling Wines: a Brief History

The history of Berlucchi, the well-known Italian sparkling wine, is strictly connected to the engaging events experienced by the company that has the same name, and which is today on the top of the global oenology.

belucchi2

Berlucchi Winery Franciacorta Brescia Italy

The company was born in 1961, thanks to the lucky encounter between Guido Berlucchi, young countryman who was producing a simple wine called “Pinot del Castello” and Franco Ziliani, an ambitious winemaker, led by great dreams and expectations, who was interested in the idea of producing bubbly wine already at a early age, but he would have never imagined to reach such a great success.

The Beginning. 

The wine produced by Berlucchi with dedication and ambition, using grapes cultivated close to the Borgonato castle, presented unfortunately a problem of stability: once bottled, it tended to roil. And at this point Ziliani other than solving the inconvenience, confessed to Berlucchi his lifelong dream: to produce wines similarly to the French Champagne, high quality sparkling wines which can compete with the centuries-old French tradition.
The challenge was really ambitious even because, until recently, in Franciacorta we could only find very mediocre red wines, impossible to compare to the Champagne, beloved by Ziliani, who decided to start his ambitious project during his wine making training.

The First Italian Bubbly.

Giorgio Lanciani, Guido’s colleague and friend, takes part in the project.
In 1954, the three founded the “Guido Berlucchi & C.” Of course, their project took some time and many attempts before the production in 1961 of their first 3000 bottles of sparkling wine: the “Pinot di Franciacorta”.
The judgements were  immediately positives: the product was excellent and it could be compared with French Champagne.
The success of the new Italian wine was so overwhelming that the demand of production raised to the point that we can actually say that a new myth was born: the one of Franciacorta.
The winning characteristic of the product was the perfect price/performance combination: in fact it is Ziliani who believed that the selling point of their sparkling wines was the availability and the accessible price.
Now the production never stops; on the contrary, it continues to grow, thanks to the positive feedback of the consumers. The company can now get rich in new labels and renovate with new knowledge and technology.
The sparkling wine Berlucchi, in its classic variation, is straw-coloured with green reflections. It smells like white flowers and ripe fruits. Its flavour is embracing, fresh and lively.

Berlucchi 1961

The First Berlucchi Sparkling Wine made in 1961

The headquarters of Berlucchi wine is still today in Borgonato, community of Franciacorta, in the province of Brescia. The wine cellar is open from Monday to Friday (and a weekend per month from April to September) for guided tour and tasting itinerary. Don’t forget that you need to book a week earlier.

Coffee: Become a Master Barista With This Masterclass in Italy

Being a barista is something that can be done wherever there is a coffee house, but the role finds its roots in the Italian tradition of coffee making, and with the Terzi Coffee School you can finally learn this incredible and refined trade.

terzi

Terzi coffee shop where you can become a certified barista.

The Terzi Coffeehouses of Italy provide the chance to take part in lessons and courses at the Terzi School for Coffee and Foodies, located in Vignola, no matter your starting skill level. Coffee lovers, baristas and tourists who seek a truly Italian hands-on experience will be taught by an English-speaking (other languages available) master barista all about the different types and techniques of coffee making and most of the classes – that range between short, half-day ones, one-day experiences and multi-day classes – also include breakfast, lunch and/or dinner of the best local Emilia Romagna dishes.

The aim of the owner of Caffè Terzi of Italy, Mr. Manuel Terzi, is to spread his knowledge and coffee expertise to anyone who’s willing to learn. The school doesn’t just cater to those who wish to become more familiar with the world of coffee, but also to foodies and food-lovers, and the school offers insight about the best dishes of Italian cuisine, the best pairings between coffee and cheese, information about coffee beans and all you wanted to know about the history of coffee, the methods to harvest and grind the beans, the equipment needed for the Italian techniques as well as the other methods of extraction available and also how to make the perfect drink (you can learn over 125 coffee drinks!), latte art, and the perfect cappuccino.

There are many online courses about the art of coffee making, but the Terzi School offers a first-person experience, with focused training, not detached demonstrations. The participants will take part in the activities and will be engaged in an all-around experience in a friendly atmosphere, with small classes that allow for individual attention for optimal learning. The course will be tailored on your needs, and there are many curricula available on the school’s website to choose from. Registration is easy and the prices range from 35€ for a simple lunch/dinner to join your friends who have taken part in a class (this option doesn’t include the class itself), to 195€ for a 4hrs class where you can learn how to make the perfect espresso or cappuccino, and up to more expensive classes for the coffee die-hards who want to know everything about coffee roasting. Barista classes are available for beginners (3.5hrs/195€), intermediate participants (4.5hrs/250€) or advanced baristas (8hrs/495€), so that anyone with any level of experience can find the course that best fits their wishes.

The world of coffee is wonderful, and perhaps a bit complicated at first glance, but the Terzi School of Italy just opened its doors and it’s a chance to learn all you wanted to know about coffee you just can’t miss.

Gelato Museum and Masterclasses in Bologna

Tourism in Italy revolves around two main aspects of our culture: food and art. For people visiting this amazing country there are plenty of chances to experience them in a multitude of ways, but few of them allow tourists to savour both at the same time.
The production of homemade gelato is one of such art forms and thanks to the Carpigiani brand, one of the best known artisan gelato foundations in the field, tourists and visitors will have the chance to learn and experience the world, history and culture of Italian gelato.

Carpigiani Gelato University graduation

The museum is located inside a 1000 square meter industrial structure converted into a creative space in Anzola dell’Emilia (near Bologna), offers workshops, classes and interactive tours that will showcase a collection of 20 original gelato makers, interactive presentations, and over 10,000 historical images, tools and documents that will take you through the history and the improvements of the technologies employed in gelato making through the centuries. In the museum, three main themes will be covered: the evolution of gelato, the history of production technology, and the places and ways gelato is consumed

The main workshops available are those of the Gelato Emotions 2015-2016:

“Taste the History of Gelato” is a tour and gelato tasting experience.

“Discovering Gelato” is a visit of the museum and a tasting experience of the duration of 1h45 with a lesson in gelato making.

“Gelatology” a tasting experience through the history of gelato and a guided tour of the museum.

Other experiences offered inside the Museum include a “Gelato Masterclass”, that will have participants prepare their own gelato with instructors from the Carpigiani Gelato University, and a “Gelato Team Building” activity where participants will create their team and challenge opponents to create the most creative gelato flavour (that will be judged and awarded by a panel of experts).

The Carpigiani Gelato Museum also partners with the Carpigiani Gelato University, a way for those interested in learning and improving their work in the field of artisan ice-cream production through courses and lessons with professionals.

Prices and an extended overlook of the workshops and professional courses offered by the Carpigiani brand can be seen on the Museum and University’s websites. Prepare yourselves for a whirlwind of taste, tradition and creativity!
The Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9AM to 6PM and reservation is required for both visits and workshops and can be done by mailing the Carpigiani 

5 Apps to Discover Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna is synonymous with true elegance and picturesque backdrops. Situated in Northern Italy, this oasis of calm is nestled within a serene and tranquil environment. From its vibrant Byzantine mosaics and university to lavish outdoor cafes and venues, the region is a haven for domestic shopkeepers and international tourists. Whether you love fishing and nautical activities or fine dining and cuisine, Emilia Romagna will truly dazzle the taste buds and senses. While there are several guided tours available, one of the best ways to access information is via apps. The following programs have been heralded for being the ultimate ways to discover this enchanted and fascinating locale.

Le Jour ni l’Heure 1465 : amphithéâtre anatomique, 1637-1649, par Antonio Paolucci dit Il Levanti, archigymnase de Bologne, Émilie-Romagne, Italie, lundi 19 décembre 2011,16:08:22

Bologna Archiginnasio – Oldest University in Western Europe.

Best Beaches in Emilia Romagna

KFrame Interactive is a great app for discovering the sparkling waters and sandy beaches of the region. Designed for Android users, this 5 star app is easy to use and offers timely details and directions. The zoom in and zoom out feature is especially helpful in exploring the rocky shores and miles of coastline that inhabit the region. There are also tons of photos shared by tourists for a true interactive experience. From the hottest nightlife spots to 5-star restaurants and eateries, KFrame offers the perfect Emilia Romagna experience right at the touch of your fingers.

Emilia Romagna Touring Club

The Touring Editor app has received mixed reviews and is designed for Android users. This app is especially helpful in finding the best restaurants and cafes in the region. From traditional Italian delicacies to continental favorites, the Touring Editor is perfect for those that want to have the best culinary experience. The app is also great for locating hospitality venues, hotels, and motels. With its user-friendly interface and all- app compatibility, this program is simply perfect for culinary enthusiasts and aficionados. The app has also received stellar reviews for the most part; however, some users have opted for other apps that offer more intricate and detailed features.

Trenit

Trenit is the premier transportation app for Emilia Romagna. This Android app helps users find train and bus schedules for the region, along with touring guides and even limousine services. From cost-affordable transportation companies to private services, Trenit has received 4 stars and continues to be an app that most everyone enjoys. The Italian Trains Timetable is particularly helpful since it also features transportation hubs and services to and from the region.

Bologna Maps and Walks

This app is for i-Phone and i-Pad users, and is designed to find the best guides tours and walks in the region. The convenient built-in features are also great for creating your own personalized and customized walking tour. In fact, the screenshots easily correlates with real-time information – allowing users to access vital information on where they are and where they are going!

Spas Emilia Romagna

This wonderful app is designed for I-Phone and I-Pad users, and helps customers find a myriad of lavish and elegant spa services. From manicure and pedicures to facials, this unique app is perfect for those that want to experience the sensuality and romance of this beloved region. The app has also received great reviews and client testimonials across the board.