Narrowing list of best restaurants in Italy to a top five is a difficult but tasty task. Here are mine.
YACHATS, Ore. — As a native Oregonian, I always find myself drawn to Oregon lighthouses, kind of like an inland sailor. It isn’t a need for safe passage to land, as so many boat captains have sought on our rough seas for 120-plus years. It’s more of an assurance of where I’m at, where I’m […]
I’m often asked if I’d ever live anywhere in Italy besides Rome. I know what they’re getting at. If it’s a woman, she read “Under the Tuscan Sun” and thinks life in rural Italy is all Italian poetry and glasses of Chianti in gardens. If it’s a man, they hated Rome’s filth and have a […]
I’ve always told people wanting to party in Rome that this city isn’t a bar town. It’s a restaurant town. However, it is the world’s greatest bar town in one specific genre: wine bars. Called enotecas in Italian, they enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990s and now are my preferred destination on any night out […]
FRASCATI, Italy — Daniele Cernilli remembers when he was a little boy in Rome 50 years ago, back when Italian cinema was booming and so was the economy. His father used to send him to the local osteria, a small, very traditional family run restaurant, to get a big jug of wine. Through most of […]
SAN LLUIS, Spain — For the last couple of years Marina and I have tossed around a plan to live half the year on an island and half the year in Rome. If there is a more heavenly existence than that, it’s in a religion I don’t believe in. We focused on the Caribbean. I […]
Almaty: Kazakhstan’s former capital a beacon of post-Soviet modernization — if only the government kept step
(Second of a four-part series on a three-week trip through Central Asia) ALMATY, Kazakhstan — I was sitting in what can only be described as an Arabic gazebo. My table sat under a pointed roof with drapes on four sides pulled back like on a square four-poster bed. It looked more like a harem tent […]
The island of Procida doesn’t get much play outside Europe. The way it’s overshadowed by Capri 10 miles to the south, Capri might as well be Australia. But Procida (pronounced PRO-chee-duh) holds its own with Italians who see Capri as I do: an Italian theme park with better wine. Procida doesn’t have Capri’s vistas — and Capri’s do meet the hype — but it does have an Italian soul. It’s why I took my girlfriend, the lovely and talented Marina Pascucci, to Procida for our two-year anniversary.
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BEIRUT — The bar manager in the white suit hovered over our table by the sea. In between making Marina and I feel welcome, he directed his minions carrying buckets of white-hot coals for the hookah pipes at each table. With a 60-meter lighthouse hovering over us, we looked out through the glass-enclosed outdoor bar […]
PERUGIA, Italy — If Italy was a gelato cone, Perugia would be the hot chocolate syrup they dip it in. It’s the chocolate capital of Italy. It’s home to Perugina chocolate (Baci chocolate kisses, anyone?), the annual Eurochocolate festival and more chocolate shops than Dublin has pubs. Thus, my heart — and my dentist — […]
MONTEFALCO, Italy — One of my pleasant surprises after retiring to Rome with a taste for wine and no car is I never have to leave the city to taste the best wines in the world. I never even have to visit a restaurant or wine bar. All I have to do is wait for […]
Owning a winery in Italy not as easy as toast but this couple is toasting now in the land of St. Francis
TODI, Italy — So you want to have a winery in Italy, huh? Sit on your porch looking out at your vineyard on the hill, sipping the fruits of your labor under a warm sun, a plate of pasta in front of you as the church bells peal from a nearby village? Getting thirsty? Getting […]