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Classic Italian Cocktails: Campari, Negroni & Bellini

Posted by: Claudia | April 23rd, 2016 | No Comments »

The Bellini

The Bellini

> Campari Cocktail
The Campari Cocktail is one of the best drinks featuring the distinct Italian aperitif. It is perfect for serving at dinner parties as a nice introduction before the meal. While Campari and bitters define this popular drink, it is important to choose your vodka wisely. Stick with the top-shelf vodkas that are nice and clean and you will have a great Campari Cocktail. Campari does have a very distinct, bitter taste and it often catches people by surprise at first. However, with a little time and dedication you can develop a palate for it and it may just become a new favorite. If a Campari-forward drink like this is too much, you may try easing into the taste with drinks like the Campari Cosmo, Fresh Squeeze, or Pink Campari.

1 ounce Campari
3/4 ounce vodka
1 dash Angostura bitters
Lemon twist for garnish

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 Cocktail

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.
Shake well.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

The Negroni

The Negroni

> The Negroni
It’s the original 1:1:1 cocktail (equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari), but Chiltern Firehouse in London tweaked the ratio on this bittersweet Italian classic. This is part of BA’s Best, a collection of our essential recipes.

1½ ounces gin
1 ounce Carpano Antica Formula vermouth
¾ ounce Campari
1 orange

Stir gin, vermouth, and Campari in an ice-filled mixing glass until very cold, about 30 seconds. Strain cocktail through a Hawthorne strainer or a slotted spoon into an ice-filled rocks glass. 

Using a small serrated knife, remove a 1″ strip of peel from the orange (some white pith is okay); it should be stiff enough to provide some resistance when bent. Twist over drink to express oils; discard. Garnish with 3 very thin orange slices. Source: (from Bon Appetit)

Campari Cocktail

Campari Cocktail

> The Bellini
The Bellini is a popular sparkling wine cocktail and a perfect way to make your favorite wine a little peachy. The recipe is easy and the drink is a lot of fun.
The story behind the Bellini is that is was created in the 1930’s or 40’s at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy by bartender Giuseppe Cipriani. It was named after the Italian renaissance painter, Giovanni Bellini.
Originally, the Bellini used sparkling Italian wine, particularly prosecco, and it is still made that way in Italy. Elsewhere, it is often made with Champagne, though most any sparkling wine will do.
The Bellini is a popular drink for brunch and if you want something a little more innocent, try the Baby Bellini.

2 ounces peach juice, puree, or nectar
4 ounces prosecco or Champagne
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 Cocktail
Pour the peach juice into a Champagne flute.
Slowly top with sparkling wine.
More Tips on Making the Bellini
When it comes to the peach ingredient, you have a few options. Peach juice would be the first choice, though if you cannot find that, I would recommend a peach nectar. If you use a puree, make it as smooth as possible.
Of course, a fresh peach juice from your juicer will make the freshest Bellini, just be sure to remove the pit first.

Fodor’s Restaurant Picks:Taormina

Posted by: Claudia | April 10th, 2016 | No Comments »

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Here are a sampling of restaurants around the classic Sicilian town of Taormina. According to Fodor’s food critics, these 5 eating establishments represent some of the best in Sicilian cuisine.

Table with a View- Bella Blu

Table with a View- Bella Blu

> Bella Blu
A: Via Pirandello 28, Taormina,; Tel#: 0942-24239; W:; Hours: Closed Jan.–Mar.
Fodor’s Review: If you fancy a meal with a view but don’t want to spend a lot, it would be hard to do much better than to come here for the decent €20 three-course prix-fixe meal. Seafood and pizza are the specialties; try the spaghetti with fresh clams and mussels or the pizza alla Norma (with ricotta, eggplant, and tomatoes). You can also opt for the €9 pizza and drink menu. Through giant picture windows you can watch the gondola fly up and down from the beach, with the coastline in the distance. Families will especially enjoy the casual, convivial atmosphere and friendly service.

> L’ Arco dei Cappuccini
A: Via Cappuccini 5A, off Via Costantino Patricio, Taormina; Tel#: 0942-24893; Hours: Closed Wed. and Feb.
Fodor’s Review: Just off Via Costantino Patricio, by the far side of the Cappuccini arch of the name, lies this diminutive restaurant. Outdoor seating and an upstairs kitchen help make room for a few extra tables—a necessity, as locals are well aware that neither the price nor the quality is equaled elsewhere in town. Indulge in the veal cutlet with Etna mushrooms, pasta con le sarde, or a simple slice of grilled pesce spada (swordfish). Reservations are usually essential for more than two people.

> La Giara
A: Vico La Floresta 1, Taormina; Tel#: 0942-23360; W:; Hours: Closed mid-Nov.–mid-Mar. No lunch.
Fodor’s Review: This restaurant, named after a giant vase unearthed under the bar, is famous for being one of Taormina’s oldest restaurants. The food’s not bad, either. The kitchen blends upscale modern techniques with the simple flavors of traditional specialties. It specializes in everything fish: one spectacular dish is the fish cartoccio (wrapped in paper and baked). You can also extend your evening at the popular, if touristy, piano bar, or at the dance club that operates here on Saturday night (and every night in August). There’s a terrace with stunning views, too.

> La Piazetta
A: Vico Francesco Paladini, off Corso Umberto, Taormina; Tel#: 0942-626317; W:; Hours: Closed Nov. and 2 wks in Feb. No lunch Mon.–Thurs., June –Sept.
Fodor’s Review: Sheltered from the city’s hustle and bustle, this elegant little eatery exudes a mood of relaxed sophistication. Classic dishes such as risotto ai frutti di mare (with seafood) are competently prepared, the grilled fish is extremely fresh, and the service is informal and friendly. The modest room has simple white walls—you’re not paying for a view.

> Vecchia Taormina
A: Vico Ebrei 3, Taormina; Tel#: 0942-625589; Hours: Closed Wed. and Jan. and Feb.
Fodor’s Review: Warm, inviting, and unassuming, Taormina’s best pizzeria produces deliciously seared crusts topped with fresh, well-balanced ingredients. Try the pizza alla Norma, featuring the classic Sicilian combination of eggplant and ricotta—here, in the province of Messina, it’s made with ricotta al forno (cooked ricotta), while in the province of Catania, it’s made with ricotta salata (uncooked, salted ricotta). The restaurant also offers fresh fish in summer, and there’s a good list of Sicilian wines. Choose between small tables on two levels or on a terrace.

Bologna’s Ristoranti: Fodor’s Best…

Posted by: Giovanna | April 9th, 2016 | No Comments »

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Here are four of Bologna’s better ristoranti…according to Fodor’s:

> Da Cesari
A: Via dei Carbonesi, 8 (South of Piazza Maggiore) W: Hours: Closed Sun., Aug., and 1 wk in Jan. Reservations essential.
Fodor’s Review: “Just off Piazza Maggiore, this one-room restaurant has white tablecloths, dark-wood paneling, and wine bottle–lined walls. Host Paolino Cesari has been presiding over his eatery since 1955, and he and his staff go out of their way to make you feel at home. The food’s terrific—if you love pork products, try anything on the menu with mora romagnola. Paolino has direct contact with the people who raise this breed that nearly became extinct (he calls it “my pig”). The highly flavorful meat makes divine salame, among other things. All the usual Bolognesi classics are here, as well as—in fall and winter—an inspired scaloppa all Petroniano (veal cutlet with prosciutto and fontina) that comes smothered in white truffles.

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> Da Giannini a La Vecia Bulagna
A: Via Clavature 18, Piazza Maggiore; Tel#: 051-229434; Hours: No dinner Sun. Closed Mon; Reservations essential.
Fodor’s Review: “Locals simply call it “da Gianni,” and they fill these two unadorned rooms at lunch and dinner. Though the interior is plain and unremarkable, it doesn’t much matter—this place is all about food. The usual starters such as a tasty tortellini in brodo are on hand, as are daily specials such as gnocchi made with pumpkin, then sauced with melted cheese. Bollito misto (mixed meats boiled in a rich broth) is a fine option here, and the cotechino con purè di patate (a deliciously oily sausage with mashed potatoes) is elevated to sublimity by the accompanying salsa verde.

> Divinis
A: Via Battiebecco, 4/C; Piazza Maggiore; Tel#: 051-2961502; W:; Hours: Closed Sun. Reservations essential.
Fodor’s Review: “Bottles lining the walls on both floors of this spot are a testimony to its commitment to serving fine wines, whether by the glass or by the bottle. The wine list runs to 102 pages—and terrific food accompanies the wines. Cheese and cured meat plates are on offer, as are superlative soups, salads, and secondi on a menu that changes frequently. Special events, such as wine tastings and tango dancing, happen throughout the week. Divinis’s continuous opening hours, a rarity in Italy, are an added plus. You could have a coffee at 11 am or a glass of wine well after midnight.

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> Marco Fadiga Bistrot
A: Via Rialto, 23/C; Tel#: 051-220118; W:; Hours: No lunch; closed Sun. and Mon. Reservations essential.
Fodor’s Review: “If you’re looking for terrific food and something out of the ordinary—an Italian restaurant that also serves non-Italian food—dine at this French-styled bistrot: a warren of brilliantly colored rooms lit by chandelier. Chef Marco Fadiga has spent much time in England and France, and their culinary influences show. What’s on offer each night is written on a blackboard, which is brought to the table. You can have marvelous raw oysters, as well as the plateau (a very un-Italian assortment of raw things from the sea). Traditionalists will thrill to his tortellini in brodo, and adventurous sorts might like the tartare di orata (sea bream tartare) served with fresh and candied fruit.

Source: Fodor’s.

Venice’s Best Souvenir Shops

Posted by: Laurena | April 9th, 2016 | No Comments »

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“The minute you set foot in Venice, you’ll be pestered by people offering you “authentic souvenirs” to take home. Keep walking. Give yourself time to choose typical items made by Venetians and available only in Venice.

Here are five souvenirs worth taking home: a straw hat, a pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses, a balsa wood ship model, a ground blown-glass vase, a necklace in Murano glass. according to The Huffington Post, five shops worth checking out:

San Marco A: 4813 Calle del Lovo; Tel#: +39 041 5226454; Hours: (9:30am – 7:30 pm) closed Sunday.
Giuliana, the owner, can be credited with a number of things, such as reviving the traditional gondolier’s winter hat (in black wool and with pompoms) and making the best straw hat. At the workshop of her centrally located shop, she makes women’s hats—also to measure—in straw, fabric and felt (you can have them customized), the original zoggia worn by the doges, and three-cornered hats with prints for costume parties. If you’re lucky enough to own a vintage plane or car, you’ll love her ideas for the fashions of yore: Lindberg’s jacket, Fangio’s pants, and aviator jackets from the Fifties with headsets and goggles. Lastly, there’s the best national selection of excellent panama hats, a favorite among the jet set. Giuliana personally follows their production in Ecuador.



San Marco A: 1280 Frezzeria; Tel#: +39 041 5224140; Hours: 9:30am – 12:30pm and 3.30 – 7:30pm, closed Sunday.
If you want a truly unique pair of glasses, head to Lorenzo and Barbara Fosca, close to St. Mark’s Square. The siblings, who inherited the family business, are experts for frames made of plastic resin, water-buffalo horn, wood, steel, and cellulose acetate (in this case, the type of workmanship makes it possible to insert various materials such as fabric and Venetian murine), made to their designs in the town of Cadore. They are famous for the classic Le Corbusier model (for nearsighted but ever- hopeful architecture students), but their shop window shows all types: optical, folding and even gondola-shaped.

San Polo 2681 Calle seconda dei Saoneri; Tel#: +39 041 719372; Hours: 9:30am – 12:30pm and 2–6pm Closed Sunday
If the shop door is closed, walk a few steps past it: on the left you’ll find Gilberto Penzo in his studio designing some sort of boat. If you have always been fascinated by models of ships and sailing vessels, or even small rowboats built with the same meticulous approach, this will be a little paradise for you. Enveloped in the wonderful scent of wood and glue, you’ll find everything you need and a little more: ship models, construction plans, assembly kits, surveys of historic constructions, rowlocks and votive offerings for sailors.

Dorsoduro A: 1071 Ponte de le Maravegie; Tel#: 041 5282190; Hours: 10:30am – 12:45pm and 3–6:30pm Closed Sunday and Monday
For his Murano vases Massimo Micheluzzi favors red, black and blue, which become intensely saturated through grinding. His designs are graphics that verge on the organic in some cases, and the surfaces resemble enlargements of marine forms.

San Polo A: 70, Sotoportego dei Oresi Tel#: +39 041 5210016.
Marina and Susanna Sent, who grew up in Murano (where their Vasi Micheluzzi. company is located), are respected—and widely copied—designers of necklaces and knickknacks. They create veritable sculptures (they have held numerous exhibitions, from London to Stockholm and around the world), made with handcrafting techniques ranging from murrino glass to filigree. In addition to necklaces, you’ll also find plates in fused glass and glass-fiber lamps. All the items are contemporary and utterly memorable.


Perfect Piedmont: A 5-Day Gourmet Wine Tour

Posted by: Laurena | April 9th, 2016 | No Comments »

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This A&B escorted private tour is designed for gourmands and wine aficionados alike, highlighting the outstanding Piedmont wine estates of Barolo, Barbaresco & Barbera.

This designed as a springtime Piedmont wine tour! Barolo is dubbed “the king of wines and wine of kings,” and today showcases the best of the best. After a pick-up in Tortona, A&B shuttles you to the Langhe (an hour’s drive). We begin at the historical birthplace of Barolo, the Marchesi di Barolo winery. It was here that the Marchesa Giulietta Colbert Tancredi produced the very first Barolo. And it’s here that we’ll have our first tasting over lunch in the winery’s private dining room.

In the afternoon, the focus shifts from 19th century pioneers to 1970s winemaking radicals. Because of Elio Altare’s game-changing innovations, such as green harvest and French barrique, the winemaker was disowned by his father. But his methods have since taken hold, and Altare has been an influential mentor to the next generation.

Then we go back to the 19th century at the Castle of Grinzane Cavour. Now a museum, this was the home of Italy’s first Prime Minister, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour. Like an Italian Thomas Jefferson, this politician was equally adept at wine and became a seminal figure in the creation of Barolo wine in the 1800s. At the museum, a film will provide an excellent historic overview.

A welcome dinner follows in the medieval city of Alba, which introduces the elegant cuisine of Piedmont. Here menus are loaded with plin (tiny meat-filled ravioli), countless renditions of risotto, meats braised in Barolo, and delectable hazelnut-and-chocolate desserts. 

Brunate, Cannubi, Bricco Lucciani…. These are among the historic vineyard names that resonate with Barolo connoisseurs. Today A&B clients taste cru Barolos from these and other star vineyards. We start at Paolo Scavino, a leader in the 1970s renaissance of Barolo wine and considered a modernist winemaker. You’ll see his impeccable cellar, which makes impeccable wine. Be prepared to be amazed…

After lunch in the village of Barolo, we have to opportunity to taste several Barolo cru side-by-side at Damilano. This winery controls over half of the historic Cannubi vineyard and has parcels in other prized sites, such as Liste. Yet while aiming for quality, Paolo Damilano and enologist Beppe Caviola have also prioritized value. As a result, theirs are among the best price-value Barolos around.

Next, we head to the small family-run estate of G.D. Vajra. Founded in 1972,Vajra hews to tradition in its Barolo, but also isn’t afraid to experiment with unorthodox varietals, such as Riesling. We finish up the day with dinner at a Slow Food restaurant in Alba. 

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Founded in 1870, Aldo Conterno was the first to export Barolo to the U.S. Today, the fifth generation runs the show, adhering to a traditionalist approach to Barolo while prizing fruit and freshness. Our eloquent host Giacomo Conterno will entertain and enlighten as he walks us through the family’s Monforte estate and pours both classics (Barolo) and novelties (Super Piedmont blends).

Aldo Conterno Montforte winery

Aldo Conterno Montforte winery

Then we head south into the Alte Langhe, the higher elevation zone of the Langhe, where hazelnut groves and pastures replace vineyards. Our destination is a cheese farm in Murazzano, a DOP area known for rounds of fresh cows’, sheep’s, and goat’s milk cheese. We’ll tour the family-run farm, where mama makes the salumi and daughter the cheese, then enjoy a buffet lunch.

Elvio Cogno Winery

Elvio Cogno Winery

Afternoon takes us to another Barolo tasting: Elvio Cogno. Located near la Morra, this estate was run by a lawyer from Turin before being bought by the Cogno family and completely renovated. Here they resurrected the nearly extinct nascetta grape, which you’ll taste, as well as their stellar Barolos. We then return to Alba for dinner on your own. 


Today the A&B escort will take you to the village of Barbaresco, on the alluvial banks of the Tanaro River. Here Nebbiolo makes a more silky, elegant, perfumed wine, representing the “queen” to Barolo’s “king.” We’ll start with Marchesi di Gresy. Barbaresco’s oldest and largest winery in private hands, this modernist winery owns Martinenga, the only cru belonging to just one owner. Here Barbaresco sees some time in barrique. That stands in contrast to our second winery, the Produttori del Barbaresco, one of Italy’s most highly respected cooperatives, which makes benchmark Barbaresco in a traditionalist style. We’ll hear how its 55 growers decide when to pick, how to pay, and what to bottle as a cru.

Our third visit is Albino Rocca. Now run by the founder’s granddaughters, it represents a typical Barbaresco winery: small production (around 50K bottles) and family-run, with the winery and household sharing one property. Dinner is at an osteria is one of the tiny Barolo villages.

Our last full day in Piedmont will on Barbera, Piedmont’s most widely grown grape. Until the 1980s, it was little more than a rustic table wine. But thanks to key innovators, it’s been transformed from a farmhouse quaffer to a wine of great character and finesse—another prized plum of Piedmont.

The story starts at Braida, the estate of Giacomo Bologna. Now deceased, this man single-handedly revolutionized Barbera d’Asti. We’ll hear this Cinderella story and taste through the estate’s bottlings, which range from a dry frizzante Barbera to barrique-aged powerhouses.

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Then we head to Castagnolo Lanze, headquarters of La Spinetta. The Rivetti brothers have made succulent Barberas since 1985, but have also pioneered single-vineyard Moscato and added Barolo and Barbaresco to their portfolio, which achieved instant cult status. (In 2001, they also expanded to the Tuscan coast, founding Casanova della Spinetta.)

Brezza Winery

Brezza Winery

We return to Alba for some time on your own. You can search for older Barolo vintages in well-stocked wine shops, pick up white truffles and yummy chocolate-hazelnut candies in the gourmet shops, or visit the baroque and medieval churches. Our farewell dinner is in Barolo at the Brezza winery, where we’ll sample their wines in the restaurant of their B&B.

Private A&B car & driver to the airport of your departure.

A&B Concierge-Managed Travel

Posted by: Giovanna | April 9th, 2016 | No Comments »

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Imagine during your trip having on a private car and driver on call 24/7 or a professional guide. With A&B’s concierge-managed travel service our team follows you across the Italian Peninsula to ensure your every want and every need is attended to. Forget about lost luggage, or arranging a walking tour or cooking class or making a spa appointment or private transfer between cities …A&B handles it all.

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For the most demanding travellers A&B can also arrange exclusive services such as personal shoppers, private yachts, jets or helicopters, cooking lessons, private touring with your own personal guides and drivers. At A&B we are not only committed to providing you with an unforgettable trip to Italy, we are also committed to ensuring your happiness and comfort from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.

Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines – 2015

Posted by: Claudia | February 23rd, 2016 | No Comments »

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Wine Spectator’s recently published list of Top 100 wines of the world includes 18 great offerings from Italy.

Among those in the Top 10 were il Poggione (#4) a Brunello di Montalcino of 2010 vintage and and Amarone from Masi(#8) a 2008 vintage. Other wines for making the top 20 highest rated wines was another Brunello from Altesino and another a Brunello from La Serena (#13). Interesting the Altesino Brunello had the highest score of all of the 100 wines on the list with a rating of WS 98 points.

The complete list of Italian offerings that made the Wine Spectator list were:

#4 / Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino / 2010/ WS 94 pts
#8 / Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Serègo Alighieri Vaio Armarone / 2010/ WS 95 pts
#13 /La Serena Brunelli di Montalcino / 2010/ WS 96 pts
#18 / Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli/ 2010/ WS 98 pts
#27 / Livio Sassetti Brunello di Montalcino / 2010/ WS 95 pts
#41/ Podere Sapaio Bolgheri Volpolo/ 2012/ WS 93 pts
#43 / Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino / 2010/ WS 94 pts
#46 / Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico / 2011/ WS 90 pts
#50 / Bartolo Mascarello Barolo/ 2010/ WS 97 pts
#52 / Brancaia Toscana Italiana / 2012/ WS 94 pts
#55 / ArcanumToscana Il Fauno / 2010/ WS 92 pts
#62 / Odero Barolo / 2011/ WS 93 pts
#67 / Feudo di Santa Croce Primitivo di Manduria LXXIV / 2013/ WS 91 pts
#71 / Antinori Bolgheri Suoeriore Guado al Tasso / 2012/ WS 95 pts
#74 / d’Angelo Aglianico del Vulture / 2012/ WS 90 pts
#87/ Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna/ 2013/ WS 90 pts
#89/ Zisola Sicilia/ 2013/ WS 90 pts
#93/ Schola Sarmenti Nardo Nera Riserva/ 2012/ WS 90 pts

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy

Posted by: Giovanna | February 22nd, 2016 | No Comments »

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As of July 2014, Italy has 51 total sites inscribed on the list, making it the country with most World Heritage Sites (followed by China with 48 sites). The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.

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Cultural (47)
1. 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (1997)
2. Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy (2003)
3. Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (2015)
4. Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (1998)
5. Archaeological Area of Agrigento (1997)
6. Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (1997)
7. Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites (2000)
8. Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua (1997)
9. Castel del Monte (1996)
10. Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena (1997)
11. Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci (1980)
12. Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula (1998)

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13. City of Verona (2000)
14. City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto (1994)
15. Costiera Amalfitana (1997)
16. Crespi d’Adda (1995)
17. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (1996)
18. Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (2004)
19. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (1995)
20. Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (2006)
21. Historic Centre of Florence (1982)
22. Historic Centre of Naples (1995)
23. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (1980)
24. Historic Centre of San Gimignano (1990)
25. Historic Centre of Siena (1995)
26. Historic Centre of the City of Pienza (1996)
27. Historic Centre of Urbino (1998)
28. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily) (2002)
29. Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.) (2011)
30. Mantua and Sabbioneta (2008)
31. Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (2013)
32. Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (1987)
33. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (1997)

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34. Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps (2011)
35. Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (1997)
36. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (2008)
37. Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (1979)
38. Su Nuraxi di Barumini (1997)
39. Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (2005)
40. The Trulli of Alberobello (1996)
41. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera (1993)
42. Val d’Orcia (2004)
43. Venice and its Lagoon (1987)
44. Villa Adriana (Tivoli) (1999)
45. Villa d’Este, Tivoli (2001)
46. Villa Romana del Casale (1997)
47. Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (2014)

Natural (4)
1. Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands) (2000)
2. Monte San Giorgio (2003)
3. Mount Etna (2013)
4. The Dolomites (2009)

World’s 50 Best Restaurants – 3 from Italy

Posted by: Giovanna | February 22nd, 2016 | No Comments »

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#2 Osteria Francescana
A: Via Stella 22, Tel#: +39 059 223912
Style of food: Contemporary Italian
Standout dish: The crunchy part of the lasagne.

“Italian fare with artistic flair from charismatic chef Massimo Bottura…Despite the fact that Massimo Bottura frequently travels the globe, has built an international reputation and has seen his recent book, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, published in several languages, his food remains deeply Italian. In fact, his dishes are a joyful celebration of Emilia-Romagna ­ the chef¹s food-producing home province of northern Italy in which his elegant restaurant resides. Bottura is renowned for his twists on Italian culinary mores ­ Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano sees the region¹s famed cheese served in forms and textures most diners will never have experienced, for example ­ but his menu also includes deliciously executed classics such as tagliatelle with hand-chopped ragu and risotto cooked with veal jus. In parallel, the Sensations tasting menu experiments with local, seasonal ingredients to extraordinary effect. From snacks such as exquisite rabbit macaroons through eel ravioli to suckling pig with balsamic vinegar,
dining at Osteria Francescana is an exploration of the region¹s produce and traditions delivered in a supremely contemporary fashion. It¹s also a reflection of Bottura¹s inquisitive nature; he is always looking at how to evolve his country¹s food, inspired by art, music, his family and his travels. Now 20 years old, the restaurant is located in Modena¹s quiet back streets and houses a series of striking modern artworks across several dining spaces. The faultless service and imaginative wine programme is directed with quiet charisma by Beppe Palmieri. But it¹s in the kitchen, as well as in Bottura¹s inventive imagination, that the real magic is produced.

Osteria Francescana

Osteria Francescana

#27 Piazza Duomo
A: Piazza Risorgimento, 4, Tel#: +39 0173 366167
Style of food: Modern Italian
Standout dish: Eggs and eggs salad

“Local produce treated with respect in the heart of truffle country Famed the world over for its truffles and elegant wines, Alba is the foodie capital of Piedmont ­ a region that itself lays claim to being the
gastronomic heartland of Italy ­ and is, therefore, the perfect location for Enrico Crippa¹s chic modern Italian restaurant. The chef makes full use of the natural resources at his disposal, showcasing the region¹s fabulous produce (including vegetables from the restaurant’s own smallholding) in dishes that respect Italy¹s culinary traditions, while exploring new frontiers. This approach also reflects Crippa¹s CV, which includes spells working with some of Europe¹s most influential chefs from Ferran Adrià and Michel Bras to the godfather of Italian cuisine, Gualtiero Marchesi. Classics such as suckling pig with asparagus or Fassona veal tartare are offset by more daring modernist dishes on the menu. Think olives that are actually made with minced veal and langoustine or fake pepper created from tuna and anchovy pastes. Crippa¹s time in Japan, where he opened a restaurant in Kobe for Marchesi, is also referenced with the use
of dashi stock and tempura, while Alba¹s most famous export takes pride of place on a luxurious seasonal white truffle menu. The restaurant, which is the result of a collaboration with a local family wine business, has a stellar cellar containing wines from many of Italy¹s greatest vineyards, including a wide selection available by the glass.

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# 34 Le Calandre
A: Via Liguria 1; Tel#: +39 049 630303
Sarmeola di Rubano, PADUA
Style of food: Modern Italian
Standout dish: Extra virgin olive oil risotto with capers, coffee and rose

“Witness the evolution of tradition in Padua…The Alajmo brothers burgeoning dining group opened its first restaurant outside Italy last year in Paris, but standards remain stratospheric at the Paduan restaurant where one of the most intriguing stories in modern Italian gastronomy began. In 2002 Massimiliano Alajmo ­ then 29 ­ became the youngest chef ever to win three stars shortly after taking over the kitchen from his mother. A decade or so later Le Calandre continues to evolve. The menus have now been shaken up, primarily to allow the restaurant to keep in step with the seasons more easily. Guests now choose from three simple cartes, each containing a dozen or so dishes. There¹s a classics menu ­ including Max’s famed cuttlefish cappuccino and his hand-chopped raw Piedmontese beef with black truffles ­ which is offered alongside a menu that¹s quite modern and another that¹s pitched somewhere between the two. But even Le Calandre¹s more overtly modern food is still grounded in Italian culinary tradition ­ and what tastes fantastically good. The restaurant remains a family affair with the more flamboyant brother, Raffaele, overseeing the dining room. Max¹s oldest daughter Adele may only be eight years old, but she apparently makes an excellent risotto al Parmigiano, so the future of the restaurant looks assured for the next generation at least.

le calandre ristorante padova

le calandre ristorante padova

Source: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants,

Nine Neighborhood Roman Trattorias

Posted by: Lorenzo | February 22nd, 2016 | No Comments »

 Checchino dal 1887

Checchino dal 1887

These historic, family-run trattorias offer traditional dishes from the Roman cooking tradition: a tradition of the territory, ‘poor’, essential, simple and proud, which is based on ingredients coming from farming and rural tradition. Among the highlights of Roman cuisine are pasta dishes like the Grigia (with bacon and cheese), forefather of other more famous recipes, the Amatriciana, the Carbonara and the Cacio e Pepe, as well as other pasta dishes prepared with vegetables (chickpeas, broccoli, beans and potatoes). Essential ingredient of meat dishes is the quinto quarto (the fifth quarterbutcher’s leftovers) –tail, suckling veal entrails, suckling lamb, offal, tripe and sweetbreads- traditionally accompanied by seasonal vegetables.

> Sora Margherita
A: 30,Piazza delle Cinque Scole; Tel#: 06 6874216.Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
For 12 years Lucia Ziroli has been running this small and simple trattoria, built in 1927 in the heart of the Roman Ghetto. Paper tablecloths and a lot of comments and write-ups on the walls. On the menu, only dishes of the Roman (also Jewish) cooking tradition. Not to be missed are all the dishes prepared with fresh Ricotta cheese, the Chicken with Peppers and the classic Veal Meatballs. On Summer, a must are the Aubergine Parmigiana and all deep-fried dishes. Restricted selection of wines from Lazio and Velletri wine from cask.

Da Armando al Pantheon

Da Armando al Pantheon

> Da Armando al Pantheon
A: 31, Salita dé Crescenzi; Tel#: 06 68803034.
In 1961, Armando Gargioli opened this small trattoria just a few steps from the Pantheon. Today, Armando’s sons Claudio and Fabrizio and nephews Fabiana and Mario offer customers freshly made dishes and an excellent service. On the menu, classic first courses made with Martelli pasta, cut with bronze dies, and among the second courses: the Veal Saltimbocca, the Spelt Dumplings and the Beef ‘Picchiapò’ style. Some old recipes that remind to the imperial cook Apicious are the Guinea-Fowl with Mushrooms and the Duck with Prunes.

> Matricianella
A: 4, Via del Leone; Tel#: 06 6832100. Closed on Sundays.
The two brothers Giacomo and Grazia Lo Bianco have been managing, together with Chef Giovanni Fabbrotti, this famous trattoria for over 20 years. Fish courses are proposed only during Summer months. A wonderful cellar offers over 700 Italian wines.

> Hosteria da Pietro
A: 18, Via di Gesù e Maria; Tel#: 063208816. Closed on Sundays.
Just a few steps from Piazza di Spagna you will find this pleasant, informal trattoria. A long mirror is located in the main hall, with all the comments by the most famous guests on it. Its young owner Pietro Massotti always welcomes customers warmly. The outside tables are available only in the evening. It offers all the dishes of the Roman tradition, including an exquisite Vignarola (Roman Spring Vegetables). Very delicious desserts, made by Mr. Masotti’s mother-in-law. The cellar is home to rare Venetian wines, like Dal Forno and Quintarelli.

> Checco er Carettiere
A: 10-13, Via Benedetta; Tel#: 06 5817018, or 06 5800985.
Located in the Trastevere district, this trattoria/tavern was created by Checcoin 1935, and it is currently managed by Checco’s granddaughters Assunta Porcelli –known as Susy- Stefania and Laura. Before, there was only a tavern, and people used to come there to drink wine bringing some food with them. Today, it is made up of a small osteria of ancient origin and a more elegant and expensive restaurant, whose walls are covered with old pictures. The osteria still has old beams and frescoes, tablecloths in straw paper, an informal service and a cheaper daily menu.

Trattoria da Augusto

Trattoria da Augusto

>Trattoria da Augusto
A: 15, Piazza Dé Renzi; Tel#: 06 5803798. Closed on Saturday evenings and on Sundays.
In this small trattoria, located in this silent little square in Trastevere since 1954 and managed by Sandro and Anna Silvestri, is not possible to reserve a table. Simple environment, friendly atmosphere, paper tablecloths and a quick service. Table D’hote menu with Beef Stew, Beef Braised and Chicken Roman Style.

> Checchino dal 1887
A: 30, Via di Monte Testaccio; Tel#: 06 5743816 or 06 5746318. Closed on Sunday evenings and on Mondays.
A large trattoria –once inn with kitchen service- in the very heart of the Testaccio district that has been managed by the Mariani family for 127 years. Checchino’s three children still offer their guests the ‘Padellotto, the Ox with Meat Sauce and the Roman Oxtail Stew, invented by their great-grandmother in 1890. A wide cellar in Mount dei Cocci, with over 400 Italian and French labels.

> Sora Lella
A: 16,Via di Ponte Quattro Capi; Tel#: 06 6861601
In 1959, multi-awarded Roman actress and Chef Elena Fabrizi, also known as Sora Lella, opened this trattoria on Tiber Island. Managed by her son Aldo and then by her nephews Mauro, Renato, Elena and Simone, it still offers the genuine dishes of Roman cooking tradition, prepared with DOP, uncontaminated products from Lazio. Three internal rooms with the walls covered with black and white photos and an amazing view on the river Tevere. Old recipes like the Pasta with Broccoli and Skate or the Homemade Tonnarelli ‘Cuccagna’ Style, with 16 secret ingredients. Master ice maker Renato proposes special ice cream Flavors, like the Criollo Chocolate with Candied Orange Peel, the 80% Chocolate with Cinchona Barolo or a 75% Ricotta with sour cherries. The cellar hosts 500 Italian wines.

> Da Bucatino
A: 84/86, Via Luca della Robbia; Tel#: 06 5746886. Closed on Mondays.
Since 1980, this big Roman trattoria in the heart of the Testaccio district has been managed by Paolo Di Stefano and the other member of his family. They use to serve Bucatini with a bib that has the words: “If an illness makes you feel in bits, just come to Testaccio to eat”. Pizza is available only at dinner. A very suggestive dish is the Carretto delle Svogliature, with seasonal vegetables. Not to be missed are the special Coconut Tiramisu and the Millefoglie Crumble. The cellar is home to over 300 wines, divided per region.