The Windows of Asti, Piemonte, Italy

Perhaps best known for its annual Palio, a 700-year-old bare-back horse race replete with pageantry and tradition, Asti also has a lot to offer architecturally and gastronomically. The Northern Italian city once had more than 70 towers, which symbolized wealth and power. While there are less of them punctuating Asti’s skyline today, the city also features impressive churchesContinue reading “The Windows of Asti, Piemonte, Italy”

Piedmont, Italy: The Wine Landscapes of the Langhe

In the vineyard-dressed landscape of the Langhe, in Italy’s Piedmont region, hillsides rise steeply on one side, then drop off more gradually on the other. The name ‘Langhe’ is believed to have Celtic roots, meaning ‘tongues of land,’ alluding to these steep hillsides, and the area’s raised valleys. Our host, Marco Scaglione, from Meet Piemonte, described it thisContinue reading “Piedmont, Italy: The Wine Landscapes of the Langhe”

The Renaissance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard in Milan

“The discovery of a good wine is increasingly better for mankind than the discovery of a new star.” Leonardo da vinci In 1482, Leonardo da Vinci moved to Milan, where he would work for the ruling Sforza family doing engineering, sculpting, and architectural projects, and most famously, painting his mural masterpiece, The Last Supper. What’s less known, though, is that theContinue reading “The Renaissance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard in Milan”

Pastoral Piedmont: An Agriturismo & Epicurean Experience in Italy

When you think of Italy, it’s likely that home-cooked pasta, verdant agricultural landscapes, and gourmet food products like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and traditional balsamic vinegar come to mind. A lesser-known concept is that of the agriturismo — a compound noun that marries the Italian words for ‘agriculture’ and ‘tourism.’ As the name implies, an agriturismo is a place where visitors canContinue reading “Pastoral Piedmont: An Agriturismo & Epicurean Experience in Italy”

Piedmont, Italy: Monferrato’s Slow Food, Wine & Truffles

Motoring through Italy’s Piemonte or Piedmont region, I sometimes felt as though I’d been whisked back in time a few decades, perhaps even centuries. The dramatic hills of the Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato districts were wrapped with rows of grapevines and orchards, crowned with handsome fortresses, and dotted with villages wearing terra-cotta rooftops. Large-scale industry was largely absent from this swathe of the Northern ItalianContinue reading “Piedmont, Italy: Monferrato’s Slow Food, Wine & Truffles”

Magnificent Motors: The Enzo Ferrari Home Museum in Modena, Italy

Seen from above, Modena’s futuristic Enzo Ferrari Home Museum is said to bring to mind the hood of a sleek, buttercup-yellow roadster. At ground level, the sparkling-glass gallery is a state-of-the-art showroom – one that contrasts with its Old World, red-brick neighbor, the building in which Ferrari was born in 1898. Admittedly, despite having maneuvered aContinue reading “Magnificent Motors: The Enzo Ferrari Home Museum in Modena, Italy”

A Perfect Pair: Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese & Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in Modena, Italy

Modena cheese maker Carlo has been producing Parmigiano-Reggiano for more than 50 years. Still, the farmer-turned-cheesemaker does not tire of the prized Italian cheese. “I always have Parmigiano-Reggiano in my mouth (when not at work). I constantly keep eating it,” he joked, as we toured the Hombre Organic Cheese Farm in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, just outside ofContinue reading “A Perfect Pair: Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese & Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in Modena, Italy”

Delving into the Details at the Modena Cathedral in Northern Italy

The Modena Cathedral offers an elegant canvas onto which to watch the world go by in this enchanting northern Italian city. Commuters pedal past its weathered walls on bikes; a gentleman reads a newspaper on its stairs, made smooth from hundreds of years of wear; children ride sculpted lions, which appear to blush at times because of their pink marbleContinue reading “Delving into the Details at the Modena Cathedral in Northern Italy”