Grappa is a fantastic way to finish any meal in Italy, but especially in the more northerly cities and towns. It certainly has escaped being known as a peasant’s beverage and is truly a refined treat.

Charles Scicolone on Wine

I like grappa. I often drink it after a nice meal as a way to relax and to help me to digest. I put a few drops in my espresso, for what Italians call caffè corretto. I drizzle grappa on my lemon granita and other flavored ices and even have it with chocolate. A number of years ago Michele and I wrote and article for Gourmet Magazine called “Cooking with Grappa.” The beautiful grappa chocolate cake appeared on the cover of the magazine.

A friend invited me to a wine tasting. When I arrived, one of the wine reps told me that there was a grappa seminar starting in five minutes, would I like to attend. He knew me well enough to know that I would say yes.

Alessandro Marzadro Alessandro Marzadro

The speaker was Alessandro Marzardo, third generation of the owners of the Marzardo Distillery that was founded in 1949. The…

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It’s the only word I can think of to describe being in Venice and to have nothing to do but follow around a rather overexposed and tabloid-celebrated actor who decided on La Serenissima for his paparazzi-bait ceremony–but such is the life of a paparazzo I guess.

Gondola and Vaporetto

Fortunately we don’t have anything scheduled there until the week after.  But I would imagine the word “circus” is going to prove appropriate.

What To Eat In Venice

When we hear from people went to a particular region and didn’t like the food, we also invariably heard from someone who didn’t partake of the recipes the region in question is known for.  Just like you don’t go to Texas for the sushi or Seattle for the southern BBQ, don’t go to Venice looking for an exquisite pizza experience.

Some of the most remarkable flavor experiences you’ll ever have are found in the Veneto.  Travel with us, and we’ll direct you to locally owned family run osterie and cicchetterie that will be guaranteed to impress!


Italian Art 101 – Lacoon and His Sons, Vatican Museum

A great discussion of one of the magical pieces of work we love sharing with our clients.


The Vatican Museum is one of the must-see spots in Rome and one of the most popular museums in the world. And rightly so. Over 70,000 priceless works of art are on display and countless more are tucked away in its archives. But instead of heading straight for Raphael’s beautiful paintwork in the Stanze della Segnatura or Michelangelo’s breath-taking Sistine Chapel I suggest you take the long way round and start with the Greek and Roman sculptures. And one in particular – Laocoön and His Sons in the Octagonal Room.


At first glance there is an energy to the statue as the father and his two sons writhe and twist in battle with two snakes. The agonized expression on the father’s face as he fights to save his children adds drama and pain to the piece. And the quality of the work is breath-taking as the sculptor depicts the muscles…

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Drawing From The Masters This Spring

We’re proud to announce that the Bemis School of Art’s collaboration with Sassi Italy Tours and our Drawing From The Masters program is formally open for registration.  The initial departure is this February but fear not, more will follow in the future; some slots are already taken but a few remain and we strongly encourage you to contact Tara Thomas and get your deposit in now.  A course description is included at the registration link, and more information can be found here and a FAQ can be found here.


Brunelleschi’s Magic

As I recall from the Nova special on this on PBS a few months back, experts are pretty sure Brunelleschi used a series of ropes from the floor (similar to the first theory examined in this video), making some of this seem a bit dated.  But nonetheless a great peek into the genius of the man who made one of the world’s great structures a possibility.

We have many tours lined up for this fall, but still have some openings–come see it with us!