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Osteria Battaglino: The Pleasure of Sharing a Meal in Piemonte

Chef Marco Battaglino opened Osteria Battaglino with his wife, Flavia, to offer clients excellent food in an atmosphere of convivialità (shared pleasure of being around the table together). This is a deeply inherent Italian value with no English word equivalent. (“Conviviality” means friendly, genial or lively.) Since opening in 2010, they have succeeded on every […]

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Uncorked Travel: Out of the Crowd and Off the Beaten Track

Do you know about Uncorked In Italy Travel consulting? Having lived in Italy for twelve years, I can offer you access to authentic experiences in Italy that are not usually available to tourists. Here is the latest from Uncorked Travelers whose trips I’ve recently helped plan. These honeymooners wanted to visit Sicily including romantic stays […]

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Alta Langa: Trattoria Coccinella

High up in the Alta Langa between Barolo and the sea, the three Dellaferrara brothers run a remarkable trattoria that could be called a ristorante. It has the local, family feel of the former with the elegance and cuisine of the latter. Massimo does his magic in the kitchen while Tiziano and Alessandro strike just […]

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Casa Talìa: Hideaway in a Baroque Town in Sicily

“Talìa” in Sicilian dialect is uttered when you make an unexpected, happy discovery. It’s the perfect name for this unusual boutique hotel/bed and breakfast in the UNESCO protected town of Modica. Arriving by foot in a narrow street, I barely noticed the front door that opens into a secret garden. Each of the ten rooms […]

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Taking the High Road on a Quiet Day in the Cinque Terre

The five picturesque fishing villages of the Cinque Terre have been so inundated with tourists (2.5 million annually) that the Italian government has announced a controversial plan to limit tourism as early as this year. Here’s the skinny on what has happened and when/how to visit. In early medieval times, the villages were developed as […]

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Going Natural in Boston: Puritan & Co.

There is nothing puritanical about Puritan and Co., a farm to table “modern American restaurant” founded in 2012 in the funky Inman Square neighborhood of Cambridge. I find myself going back whenever I’m in the Boston area for the fresh, local, seasonal food and the wine list. It is heavily oriented toward European “natural” wine […]

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5 "Natural" Wine Bars: Drinking Italian Artisan Wine in London

Finding outstanding Italian artisan wines in London is becoming easier. What used to be considered fringe is becoming mainstream in central London. In a few days, I sampled these five wine bars that all had an atmosphere of friendliness and conviviality…as well as quality. 1) TERROIRS 5 William IV St. (Monument Station Tube) Covent Garden […]

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La Palta: Easter Lunch in Emilia

A “Ristorante-Bar” in Italy is unusual enough to sound paradoxical, but La Palta is exactly that. It combines the professional elegance of a restaurant (in this case, with a Michelen star) and the warm friendliness of the neighborhood bar. Somehow, all of this happens in a tiny village along the Tidone River, an hour and […]

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Cooking with the Duchess in Palermo

Duchess Nicoletta Polo Lanza held a group of cooking enthusiasts, aged 15 to 75, spellbound in the kitchen of the historic palazzo where Giuseppe Lanza di Tomasi wrote, The Leopard, one of Italy’s most important novels. (Read post: Living Legends of the Leopard) Her enthusiasm for food and cooking was matched by a remarkable capacity […]

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La Lumie Ristorante: Local, Organic Sicilian Food with Flair

Tucked into a hillside just above the sea between Marsala and Trapani, La Lumie Ristorante is a hidden country retreat. I went for lunch on a hot summer day and sat out on the terrace overlooking the sea and the Egadi Islands. In a residential neighborhood just above the Salt Flats, the restaurant has the […]

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