If you’ve never heard of Molise, don’t worry. Few have. It’s by far the least-touristed of Italy’s 20 regions, getting only 482,000 visitors in pre-Covid 2018. It’s 55 percent mountains and the rest is mostly rural. It’s not set up for tourists. But for the adventurous — and the hungry — it’s a terrific place to discover another side of Italy. The countryside is beautiful and the food and wine are unique and excellent. It was a great birthday present to myself.
I wrote a couple weeks about the return of wine tastings in Rome. I went to Io Vino’s Sunday which concentrated solely on wines from Le Marche and Campania regions. A total of 80 winemakers gathered in one room. Ever tried them? Le Marche and Campania wines are very underrated. Their headliners are the Verdicchio in Le Marche and Aglianico in Campania.
Besides mass death, one of Covid’s biggest casualties are wine tastings in Italy. They were one of the pleasant surprises upon my move to Rome. So many wine tastings came to town, I never had to rent a car and go winery hopping. Covid sidelined wine tastings for two years and now they’re slowly coming back. I went to my first two weeks ago at Renato e Luisa, my favorite restaurant in Rome, which had a wine tasting/lesson for Cornell University students. More wine tastings are coming.
In the last 13 months I’ve been to 44 different restaurants in Rome. I have revised My Five Favorite Restaurants in Rome list from my last list from 2019. This one has a familiar name on top but all new places below it. Only Renato e Luisa can be found in Lonely Planet. Italy is open for business again. Start your appetites.
I didn’t travel much around Italy last year but in small places I uncovered some really unspoiled gems. Villages in Castelli Romani and Abruzzo dominated this year’s annual list of Underrated Italian Cities but I also dipped way down to Campania and up to Piedmont as well.
Asturian cuisine: Spanish comfort food hits sweet spot with beans and sausage but cider hits a sour note
When you think of Spanish cuisine, you think of tapas. It’s the fun, social way to eat., Go tapas bar hopping and fill up on little plates of local delicacies. In the Northern Spain region of Asturias, nothing is small. Asturian cuisine is hearty, big and flavorful. Sausage. Beans. Soups. Seafood. We spent four days gorging on Spain’s most underrated cuisine. But you can have its sidra.
(Director’s note: I’m a food writer but not a vegan. Still, I respect those who are. I respect anyone who eats healthy. In that spirit, I’m offering this space for freelance guest blogger Allen Brown.) The vegan diet is becoming more and more popular. Not only is it the only sustainable way of living in […]
Is pizza the most important dish in Italy? People in Italy’s rice country say it’s risotto. You can get good pizza lots of places in the world. The only place to get good risotto is in Italy. And the best in Italy is Vercelli where I went on assignment for a shooter and came away with the best risotto of my life.
I’ve traveled to 107 countries but none in the last 14 months. I miss it more than anyone can know. Here is why.
Hello again from post-lockdown Italy where Monday I finished my second quasi house arrest in the land that Covid first engulfed. I was in lockdown so long I started a 10-part Netflix series on blood clots. I walked past pubs, long closed, and got weepy at the mere sight of a Peroni sign. My mask […]
Traveling in Italy is only a dream for Americans. For us living here, it’s a wonderful reality. However, a trip to Puglia shows caution from the coronavirus remains.
Narrowing list of best restaurants in Italy to a top five is a difficult but tasty task. Here are mine.