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  • #46
    Re: Italy Visits,Wineries & Restaurant Recommendations

    thanks - will try the fill the box technique and check it on the plane! Ciao!
    Leah Smith
    ___________________________________ _______
    "Be yourself; everyone else is taken" - Oscar Wilde

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    • #47
      Re: Italy Visits,Wineries & Restaurant Recommendations

      Be sure to check out this recent(today) epic post:
      http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/...d.php?t=240838

      Best,

      Kenney

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      • #48
        Re: Italy Visits,Wineries & Restaurant Recommendations

        Sorry I was late on the Milan question. Didn't see it till today.
        If I had my way, I'd have all of you shot. In the flesh(II) Pink Floyd

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        • #49
          Re: Italy Visits,Wineries & Restaurant Recommendations

          Leah- what worked and what would you pass on from your trip ?

          Some great info in this thread. We're also considering this cruise as an option for an Italy visit http://foodandwinetrails.com/FWM2013?bid=6

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          • #50
            Re: Italy Visits,Wineries & Restaurant Recommendations

            Fred,
            We have been on Oceania and had a great time on similar cruise a few years ago. Holli and I are going to Milan/Florence in 10 days to visit our daughter who is studying(???) in Florence for the semester. We have found Gary York's information and suggestions to be very helpful and greatly appreciate his assistance!!

            I will report back sometime after we return. Oceania itself does great job with food and accommodations. I can also suggest Rina and Scott from www.lovingitaly.com who can meet you in ports of call and escort you to all vineyards and cultural sites. They are fabulous tour guides- even if Scott is a Lebron hater from Cleveland.

            HG
            “Doctor says to a man, ‘You’re pregnant!’ The man says, ‘How does a man get pregnant?’ The doctor says, ‘The usual way, a little wine, a little dinner….’”

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            • #51
              Re: Italy Visits,Wineries & Restaurant Recommendations

              Thanks Howard for the reco. Post back and let us know how your trip went.

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              • #52
                Re: Italy Visits,Wineries & Restaurant Recommendations

                Back from Italy- many thanks to Gary York for advice and suggestions. They were spot on.

                Began the week flying into Milan. Nicer than expected- great shopping on the famous Via Montenapoleone and we enjoyed wonderful lunch at La Salumato di Montenapoleone and of course gelato at GROM. Went later that day to Del Binari - osteriadelbinari.com and had enjoyable dinner as well. We stayed at Principe di Savoia which was a well located, 5 star hotel with great service and free shuttle service to shopping area.

                Train to Florence and the fun began- rented a car from Hertz. Stick shift only and getting the English Garmin was a must. Took us about an hour to navigate out of Florence to begin 40 min drive on A-1 South to Castello de Casole-www.castellodicasole.com near Siena. Spectacular property and spent 5 nights in private villa.

                Next day was on to Montalcino and Valdicava for barrel tasting in am. We tried the 09,10,11 including the Riserva Madonna del Piano direct from barriques. Wines were young but robust. Lunch was at Boccan Divino in Montalcino- a must go with a great view. We 08 Canaliccho de Sopra and 07 La Fiorita- loved them both. The husband of Boccan Divino owner is wine maker at both La Fiorita and Archeval Ferrer.
                Afternoon visit in Montalcino was at Casanova di Neri. Tasted through entire lineup including Cerratalto. We bought a few 04 and 07 Tenuta Nuova for drinking later on in the week.


                Next day was tasting and lunch at Antonori's Badia di Passignano. This is a wonderful visit and tour of the property with a 4 course ( 3 hour) lunch to follow. The price is 180E per/person but we had unlimited pours of 08 Tignanello and 09 Solia to accompany meal. A real treat with great food and waitstaff.
                We actually made it to dinner that night- Il Pozzo in Monteriggioni. Beautiful wine list and pretty good food. It was dark, cold and wet that evening so we could not enjoy al Fresco dining overlooking Tuscany.

                Last visit before return to Florence was Fonterutoli. American style tasting room with 6-8wines poured. We fell hard for Zisola Doppiozetaros a blend of Nero d'Avola, Cab Franc ,and Syrah from Sicily. We bought wines and multiple olive oils from Tuscany and Sicily. We will definitely book lunch at Osteria Fonterutoli on return visit.

                Return to Florence to visit our daughter. Lunch at La Giostra (over-rated)and more gelato at GROM- try the salted caramel and Crema de Grom. Dinner at Tredechi Gobbi- casual but very good. Finally was able to return the rental car to Hertz as well!!

                All in all -wonderful week. A few key take home messages.
                A. Refer to Gary York's notes on this board- invaluable.
                B. If you drive in Italy, a GPS is a must. HOWEVER- many places do not have exact addresses to plug into GPS- i.e Valdicava, Casanova di Neri. Be prepared to get lost!! You must have patience and an Italian speaking co-pilot would help!!
                C.Gelato- do not be attracted by gelato piled high in display case. I am told( by my daughter) that real Gelato is hidden in steel containers and not displayed.
                D. Be careful buying train tickets ahead of time from Trenitalia- they are not good at emailing tickets in either Italy or US. We had multiple problems with ticket links.
                E. Direct train from Milan Central to Malpensa airport is direct but has 7 stops!! Takes an hour for 35 minute drive. However 10 E pp vs 100E cab ride.
                F. Airport hotel- Sheraton Malpensa was very nice and clean and located inside Terminal 1.


                Ciao, HG
                “Doctor says to a man, ‘You’re pregnant!’ The man says, ‘How does a man get pregnant?’ The doctor says, ‘The usual way, a little wine, a little dinner….’”

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