Great Documentaries On Venice

Thought of posting this the other day when word of Leonard Nimoy’s condition was public, but held off hoping he’d get better.  Unfortunately today we learned that was not to be.  But it’s a great way to remember that iconic, sonorous voice of his, enjoying this informative documentary about how and why Venice was built.

We all have to go sometime, and seeing Venice before you do is almost mandatory.

What Is Prosecco, Anyway?

Not just any sparkling white wine from Italy, mind you.  This is a quick but insightful piece on what exactly prosecco denotes.  We’re planning on doing some more exploring of this region soon and will have reports…stay tuned!  Thanks Dream of Venice for posting this.

Penny Sadler Valdobbiadene

(Photo by Penny Sadler).

Interview of the week: Mama Isa about cooking and travel

An interview with one of our favorites, Mama Isa

Ilana on the road

Cooking is a relatively new passion, but I also loved to travel and thus, when I find good opportunities both for travel and learning to cook I wish I have enough time and resources to spend my life in a kitchen in the middle of a nice cute location in the middle of nature. But I only wish and write about my wishes. Some were able to achieve this dream. 

I discovered the wonderful work that Mama Isa is doing on Facebook and Twitter and decided to dare to ask her an interview. With a strong academic background, she decided to spend her life cooking and helping people to learn how cook. Let’s read some of her advices and stories!


You are historian by background. How did you decide to make history in the kitchen? 

I spent five years at University of Venice and ended up with a B.S…

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Nan Wood Surveys The Front Range: Sassi Drawing’s Latest Gem

Sassi Drawing and Sassi Italy Tours proudly present the latest masterpiece from Raphael Sassi.  It will be displayed at the Carla Massoni Gallery in Chestertown, MD beginning next week.  In addition to guided tours for aspiring artists and drawing from the masters, Raphael is available for private commissions.  Contact him here or at @SassiDrawing on Twitter and Facebook.

Barolo:The “New” High Priced Wine

I’ve been worried this would come to pass, and I suppose it was somewhat inevitable. The best kept secret in the world in 750ml form wasn’t going to stay reasonably priced forever as wine becomes ever more the status symbol for people looking to engage in conspicuous consumption.

Fortunately the people driving up the prices on Barolo are a long way from discovering Dolcetto, Negroamaro, Primitivo, Nero D’Avola, etc…Italian wine will remain a remarkable bargain for the value oriented enthusiast for the foreseeable future we’d argue.

Charles Scicolone on Wine

This is  an excellent article as is the link below on what is happing to the price of Barolo. I was at a Barolo tasting before I left for Naples and all the talk was how the price of the 2010 Barolo was high and was going to go even high.

Barolo Superstar

by Daniele Cernilli ,  Doctor Wine 02-02-2015

Exactly one year ago I wrote an editorial for Doctor Wine entitled: Barolo, the next icon (LINK). I would never have imagined predicting so precisely what then took place in the following, even if there were many elements to make such a forecast. Due to the combination of some disappointing vintages in Bordeaux and Burgundy and an extraordinary one for Barolo, vintage 2010 for the Italian wine had an enormous success among the world of wine’s ‘big spenders’ and it is now almost impossible to find a bottle.

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Shopping on Murano

A great primer on visiting one of the treasures of the Venetian lagoon from Laura Morelli that’s worth reading. One of the perks of traveling with us is a helpful steering away from the more touristy hawkers when you get off the vaporetto and toward the more relaxed glass factories where you can just take it in. Some great food to be had on Murano as well!

Fun With Wine And Google, Verdicchio Addition

We are forever bugging our friends over at Sovereignty Wines to expand upon their Italian white wine selection (they have a good one already, but one can never be too careful, eh?) and they graciously keep us trying new labels all the time.  They were nice enough to source Belisario‘s Le Salse, a DOC verdicchio from Matelica.  Is verdicchio trebbiano?  Is turbiana trebbiano?  Is trebbiano in central Italy the same as in Lugana?  The Internet speculates on this subject at great and fascinating length.  All we know for certain is that this straw yellowish green wine is perfect with seafood and grilled or sauteed veggies and rich cheeses.  So where is it from?


Belisario 1Matelica is found in a valley in the Marche region about halfway between Ancona and Perugia.  Cantine Belisario is found in the heart of this ancient city:

Belisario 2

Upon a closer look, this is certainly a place that looks like it’s worth exploring!

Belisario 3

So what do Matelica, and specifically Belisario’s location, look like according to Google at the ground level?  Not disappointing in the least:

Belisario 4


In addition to the post war modern warmth of the place and knowing that the wine is good, the suggested images Google offered up served as invitation enough to dig further; pretty soon Matelica and Cantine Belisario have made their way onto our list of places to investigate in person, and soon.  See what we mean for yourself:

Belisario 5 Belisario 6


When we visit, we’ll take in the Apennine Mountains off in the distance, and then we’ll take in the enoteca here, which looks amazing.  If we’re not heard from for a long time, it’s because we took a job in the winery.  More tempting employment we cannot imagine.