Venice Weather…YES!

Not to boast or anything, but we’re going to be doing some filming  and promotional work next week in Venice, and the weather forecast is as follows:

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How perfect is that?  We’ll get some clouds for capturing La Serenissima’s mystery, some fairly warm and sunny days for being outside, it won’t be too cold, the summer heat is months away.  Once in a while my timing is good!

Stay tuned, as we should have some good stuff to share.

This is why we stress to prospective travelers the importance of not discounting off-season travel.  Carnivale will be over, summer crowds will also be months away, the airfares are better, the hotels are more cost-effective, and we’ll have any easy time getting in to see attractions…all with spring like weather that’s just about perfect.   Really any time between October’s latter days and the end of April is the sweet spot for Venezia.

Dear Italy: Please Fix This Problem

My hometown has a pretty darn good pizza joint run by a couple Napolitani brothers, Salvatore and Vincenzo.   I remember talking to Vinny about Pompeii when Doug was running a tour there a couple years ago and talking to him about the treasures in near his hometown, and asking whether he was homesick for them.


“Nah,” he said…”Italy is a great country, but the Italians, they’re no good people…they don’t take care of what they have.”  At the risk of sounding provincial, I’d argue that’s not as true in Rome, Florence, Milan, and Venice…but in Campagna?  Perhaps.  Pompeii is not being properly cared for, and that’s got to stop.  It belongs to Italy, yes, but it also belongs to all of us on the planet.  It’s an unparalleled and irreplaceable opportunity to glance back in time and see what an ancient culture–one whose shadow we still live in, whether we realize it or not–actually looks like.

It can’t be allowed to just fall apart.

Fake Italian olive oil removed from Harrods

Good. Protect the real thing!

Italian Insight

The Inspector General’s Department of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture announced today that the world famous Harrods department store in London had removed from its shelves a lot of olive oil which falsely claimed to be made in Italy.

The swift cross-border action was allowed by EU rules in force.

Frauds related to the fake attribution of Italian origin to products are widespread all over the world, and their contrast is understandably a priority for any Italian Government.

Even in Italy itself, you can find fake domestic products. Checks over food and beverages, however, are between the strictest in the world. A specially dedicated branch of the police even exists for this purpose.

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Well, That’s Awful–La Beccherie Closing

A rather iconic Treviso restaurant is apparently shutting down, blaming the recent change in the way Italians eat out and the flagging Italian economy.  It’s true, over the past decade or so more American style eat on the go fast-food joints have started dotting the landscape and changing the way Italians (and let’s face it, the Italians ARE the original slow-food movement, making this a particularly unfortunate bit of globalization fallout) take their meals.  As a result, traditional restauranteurs are feeling quite the squeeze.
isa tiramisu(Mama Isa’s take on tiramisu shown here…yes!)

Suffice it to say, on a Sassi Italy Tour you won’t be eating a lot of fast food.  Fear not!

I’m always a bit skeptical of “this dish was invented here” stories, as I suspect pastries and desserts and entrees evolve more than get “invented,” but to see this place go is disappointing.  Treviso is beautiful, by the way.