La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita
With your eyes closed!
Despite your eyes are closed!
It could then happen that you find yourself in a particularly generous land like that of the Veneto region, perhaps among the green and undulating rows of the Valpolicella vineyards. A controversial etymology that defines this area, but among the many interpretations we like to think that that of the ‘Vallis-polis-cellae’ – from the Latin, literally ‘valleys of many cellars’ – is the one that best suits this small portion of paradise for Amarone lovers, the undisputed leader of those that remain among the best expressions of the region’s wine production. Labels to be discovered, step by step, visiting one cellar after another. From Verona, whose central streets echo the splendor of the Roman Empire, to the clean lines of the Palladian Villas around Vicenza: the passage to a grappa distillery in Bassano is a must, as does the tasting of the same grappa, after having stolen the secrets of this unique production.
From here, pointing the compass towards south means making a stop in an incredible region that was known for almost 300 years (from the mid-sixteenth century to 1859) as the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Yet another or, better said, one of the most successful concentrations of scenic, artistic and obviously gastronomic beauties of Italy and the world. The echo of Etruscan origins on the one hand, the explosion of ‘beauty’ that opens the doors of the cradle of the Renaissance on the other: if any definition may sound reductive, then it is good to focus on some of the delicious excellences in which to stumble is inevitable (with eyes closed, of course). Provided that these delicacies are not sought with determination. For this reason it is worthwhile to stop in ancient farmhouses and trattorias, where you can “get your hands dirty” by picking fruit and vegetables in the vegetable gardens, or learn the secrets of recipes handed down from generation to generation and then put them into practice, on site, and thus be able to keep them, forever. A hustle and bustle over the centuries, which cannot be separated from a foray through medieval villages that dot the area, up to the coast, passing through the Maremma land and crossing that wine route that finds one of its most precious jewels in Bolgheri.
And speaking of unique refinements, the medieval town of Pietralunga, in nearby green Umbria, is one of the absolute capitals of the black truffle: a place to look for it, find it and taste it, in purity and in combination with sophisticated gourmet dishes. But this region is truly a small treasure trove of excellence which – in a geographically small area and with unique shades of green – range from the Unesco heritage of Assisi to that unicum that is Orvieto with its golden Cathedral and the underground city carved into the tuff stone, and moor to curious and less known gastronomic specialties. The products of the ancient art of butchery are an indispensable attraction for the most gluttonous palates, but the eel of Lake Trasimeno or a portion of the so called “cake al testo”, will be a pleasant discovery for the most curious. The most curious will not fail to notice – and not without some genuine amazement – that Umbria and the small town of Narni (which was called ‘Narnia’ until the end of the 13th century) inspired C.S. Lewis the title of his most famous fantasy novel ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.
Draw inspiration from our travel area and let yourself be guided through emotional experiences and itineraries.