Expo Exposé

“You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, and indeed you did!” as they sing in My Fair Lady. The doubts were many, skepticism abounded. The challenges were remarkable, and yet… the Milan Expo 2015 was a success. Come on, it was! Millions of people visited, the message of ‘Feed the Planet’ […]


The Must is a Must!

It’s that time of year… When driving along country roads, drinking in views of castles and spent vineyards, you reflect on the summer that was and the fall that is, and the wine that will be… And it’s a time to taste the must. I know, the white looks like chicken soup, but it is going […]


Gimme Culture!

There’s something afoot, and it may very well be revolutionary. People are lining up for culture. And this is not Disneyland:   This is the magnificent Renaissance monument, Palazzo Farnese, last weekend, open to the public; and what a public, clamoring to get in!   It’s true, it’s tricky to get into the palace, which […]


Roma, Caput (and not Kaputt!) Mundi

    Back in the Città Eterna, or Caput Mundi – the capital of the world, people! The Romans got it right! And not Kaputt Mundi, like some have recently tried to portray it. From the minute I hit the ground in Termini, I am off and running: ruins, fountains, monumental architecture, churches churches everywhere, palaces […]


The Way We Were

Memories, like the corners of my mind… On a recent trip to Sicily, I was reminded that, once upon a time, we used to eat a different way too. Maybe it was that starlit night in the piazza with the great Baroque basilica front-lit against the black sky… It just evoked another era. Or maybe […]


The Sacred and the Profane

August is a special month in Italy: the entire country closes down for about 2 weeks and it all looks like a Hollywood set — where did all the people go? To the beach, to the mountains, but no one stays in town! It is also the start of the harvest time, and that is […]


Swept Away…

Everyone should take a sailboat trip around Italian islands at some point in their life.   Now when Domenico Modugno sang ‘Nel blu dipinto di blu‘ this is what he was talking about!   A recent cruise around the Egadi Islands off of Sicily’s western coast (departures from Marsala or Trapani – both fantastic small […]


Italy, Land of Chocolate!

It is too hot to talk about wine. So let’s turn our thoughts to something cool… Gelato! When I am in Milan’s Central train station, I often stop to have a Venchi gelato. Venchi is better known for its chocolates; take a look! Delectable, no? Chocolate is one of those things (like wine) that is […]


Che mondo sarebbe senza Nutella? or A world without Italy?

When we were children, there was an ad: Che mondo sarebbe senza Nutella? Would it be a world worth living in? I guess the question I want to ask, along with the fabulous planners of the Italian Pavilion at Expo, is: Is that even conceivable? A visit to the Milan Expo – which, by the […]


Writing About Wine… Since 1300!!!

Sunday was the big Cantine Aperte event: throughout Italy, vineyards opened their doors to the curious and the thirsty, and explained their production to the masses. For those of us who were urban-bound, events like the presentation of a reprint of Arnaldo da Villanova’s Trattato sui vini: Liber de vinis delighted the mind and the […]