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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Buon Natale

Buon Natale & Nuovo Anno Felice

My Italian Hideaway wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We will be on holiday until January 3, 2010

Ciao e a presto,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Best of Barolo

Barolo, one of Italy's most prized wines, is produced in the Region of Piemonte (which means at the foot of the mountain). Barolo, made from the Nebbiolo grape, is ruby-garnet in color with aromas of red currant and licorice. A finely made Barolo can easily age 20 years. The heart of Barolo production lies in the communes of La Morra, Barolo, Monforte d'Alba, Serralunga d'Alba and Castiglione Falletto.

The best rated Barolos from Wine Spectator (WS) and Gambero Rosso (GR) include:

2004 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto - 96 points (GR)
2004 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito -95 points (GR)
2005 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Brunate- 99 points (WS)
2005 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito - 98 points (WS)

Winemaking at its best in La Morra
Mark your 2010 calendar: The Barolo Wine Festival takes place each year in September!
Ciao e a presto,

Friday, December 4, 2009


Breaking news...A Italian jury has convicted American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of murder in the stabbing death of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia Italy.

Amanda Fox was sentenced to 26 years in prison; Raffaele Sollecito received a 25 year sentence.

Ms. Fox plans to file an appeal.

Ciao e a presto,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Skiing the Dolomiti
The skiing season has officially opened and what better challenge than to ski the dolomites with its expansive majestic views. Declared an UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, a perfect hideaway for a family holiday of winter sports like snow shoe hiking, ice skating, and cross country skiing.

The Italian Dolomites are located in north east Italy in the province of Belluno and partially in the provinces of Bolzano-Bozen and Trento. The name "Dolomites" takes it origin from a famous French mineralogist Deodat Gratet de Dolomeiu.

From now through December 23, you will find special offers for lodging and ski passes and some resorts even offer one night free lodging and one free day pass. A substantial savings making a getaway to the Dolomites affordable.

Follow the link to experience what awaits you in the Dolomites!

Ciao e a presto,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Motion Picture of the Year New Moon


A click on the title bar takes you to the excitement

Ciao e a presto,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Weekend In Milano

Thinking of a quick weekend getaway, think Milano. Here is a great itinerary.

Arrive Milano Friday and check into Bulgari Hotel on Via Privata Fratelli Gabba. Book a cozy dinner for two at Trattoria del Carmine at Piazza del Carmine. End the evening with a gelato from Viel Gelateria (Corsa Buenos Aires) while strolling along the Naviglio Grande Canal constructed in 1177.

Rise and shine with an espresso and head to the Piazza del Duomo to feed the pigeons and meditate. No trip to Milano is complete without a shopping spree to the five biggest fashion houses in the world--Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith,Versace, and Vivienne Westwood
Dress for an evening of opera at La Scala followed by dinner at Ristorante Cracco (Via Victor Hugo).

Sunday morning, rent a car and head out early for a trip to Lake Como before heading back to your destination. Now that's a weekend getaway!

Ciao e a presto,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Siena Estate For Sale

To Play the video, click on the left side button
Located within the Montagnola Senese, just a few kilometers from the center of Siena, lies a 12- acre estate and resort comprised of a XVI Century Villa, Restaurant, Golf Course, Tennis Court, Pool, and Soccer Field. The estate is surrounded by lovely gardens, chestnuts trees, and olive groves with views toward the coastal hills of Tuscany. The buildings on the estate include a medieval building, Chapel, and stone cottages, and are fully equipped with a professional commercial kitchen which can accommodate weddings, concerts, cooking courses. A perfect retreat setting for artists, and an outstanding location for future development of a health and spiritual spa. Serious minded inquiries can be sent to

Ciao e a presto,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pizzo, Not Pizza

Pizzo is a seaport and fishing center (located in the Province of Vibo Valentina) overlooking the Gulf of Santa Eufemia in the Region of Calabria. Pizzo boasts 320 days of sunshine so beach weather and water sports are plenty.

A worthwhile stop is to the legendary Chiesa di Piedigrotta, a cave chapel dug out of soft rock in gratitude of shipwrecked sailors saved in a storm.

Pizzo is also famous for its Tartufo (tahr-too-foh), an italian ice-cream made with two flavors.  In the center you will find fruit syrup of raspberries, strawberries, or cherries while the outside is covered in luscious chocolate and cinnamon.

Plan your next trip to Pizzo and the Province of Vibo Valentia by visiting (for English click on the translate box on the upper right corner of the site).  One last thing --the closest airport is Lamezia Terme just 10km from the centre of town.

Ciao e  a  presto,

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Moon

Filmed in Montepulciano, New Moon is scheduled to open in theaters on 
November 20.

Not to be missed.

Catch a clip by clicking on the title bar.

Ciao e a presto,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tartufo Bianco

The 79th Annual International White Truffle Festival (Fiera del Tartufo Bianco d'Alba) is taking place in Alba, a town in the Region of Piedmont until November 8, 2009.

The white truffle, called "trifola" by the Piedmontese, is named after  the ancient village, Alba Pompeia. White truffles, a true delicacy, are found far under the soil near the roots of hazel, beech, and oak trees, and worth their weight in gold. Click on the title bar and find out how much a white truffle went for in last year's international auction!

If truffles don't fascinate you, wines from nearby Barolo and Barbaresco will.  One of my favorite estates to visit is Famiglia Anselma whose young winemaker, Maurizio, is committed to producing quality Barolo on the family's 80 hectares estate.

Leave ample time to tour both the Baroque Church of St. John the Baptist that houses the Madonna of the Graces (1377) by Barnaba da Modena, and Madonna with Saints (1508) by Macrino d'Alba and the Gothic Church of San Domenico (13th-14th century) considered the most artistically important Church in the town.

Ciao e a presto,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Santa Maria a Poneta

No stay in Italy is complete until you've had a chance to stay at Santa Maria a Poneta in Barberino Val D'Elsa, just a few miles from some of the most famous wineries in the Chianti Region.  Riccardo and Susanna are the proud owners of this beautiful estate and a most gracious host and hostess.  The estate stretches over 40 acres and home to at least 12 full  bred horses, some which have competed in the International Horse Show Contest in Piazza di Siena.

The historic center of Barberino is quite charming with expansive views, great restaurants, and quaint shops.  Barberino and Santa Maria a Poneta are in close proximity to San Gimignano,Volterra, Florence, and Siena making day trips from this location very convenient. The owners are happy to an assist you with planning a variety of activities and tours in the area.  The apartments on the estate are beautifully decorated by Susanna in typical Tuscan fashion.  The property is surrounded by the thick forest and tall floating cypress trees.  The sparkling pool is a delightful place to enjoy a glass of wine, meet other guests (by the way most have been staying here for years!) and or taking a cool dip.

When you make you reservation, tell them My Italian Hideaway sent you!  Expect to be treated like good friends!

Ciao e a presto,

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Best of Abruzzo

I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to say about Abruzzo because Abruzzo offers so much to see and do. Castelli is a good place to start.  A beautiful hill town with spectacular views of the Gran Sasso, and one of the best places to buy ceramics in all of Italy. You might want to visit the Museo della Ceramica, the ceramics museum  located in the Ex-Franciscan Monastery just outside Castelli.

Not to be missed is the St. Clemente Abbey which was built in 871. The Abbey lies in the Province of Pescara and is open from October to April. If you need a place to stay, try the four-star Zunica 1880 Ristorante and Hotel located in Civitella.

Let's not forget about the fresh local specialties such as scamorze cheese made from buffalo milk to be accompanied by a glass of  rosatello aquilano, or a nice light white wine such as Corfinio della Valle Peligna.  And last but not least, if you have have time to spare, sign up for an Italian Language Vacation on the Adriatic coast in the town of Lanciano.

Ciao e a presto,

Friday, September 18, 2009


On April 6, 2009, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale occured near L'Aquila, the capital of Abruzzo injuring more than 1,500 and leaving over 50,000 people homeless. Cleanup and reconstruction efforts continue and contributions are needed. Contact the National Italian American Foundation Abruzzo Relief Fund at

Abruzzo is divided into four provinces; Chieti, L'Aquila, Pescara, and Teramo. Each province is unique and offers an array of cultural activities, local  cuisine, and places to explore. Let's not forget how close we are to the Adriatic Sea!

The "Best of Abruzzo" will be featured in a coming post so please don't head off before catching of glimpse of what's to come.  Click on the title bar for a preview.

Ciao e a presto,

Monday, August 31, 2009


My Italian Hideaway and All Things Italian are taking a "vacanza" to seek some fun in the sun at a undisclosed hideaway. 
We'll be back in two weeks or less with a focus on the Region of Abruzzo and some wonderful recommendations on places to stay, dine, and the best Montepulciano d' Abruzzo wines that are readily available. 

 Ciao e a presto,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That's Amore

"For Catholics, the Sacrament of Marriage, or Holy Matrimony, is a public sign that one gives oneself totally to this other person. It is also a public statement about God: the loving union of husband and wife speaks of family values and also God's values".

And what better place to exchange wedding vows than in Italia!  There are many options when planning a wedding, and you do not have to be Italian to get married in Italy.  To learn more about the traditions and customs of getting married in Italy, visit

Watch a wedding in progress by clicking over the title bar -did you get an invite?

Ciao e a presto,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Case Al Mare

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea. Property prices throughout Italy continue to rise, but properties by the sea are by far the best investment. Some of the most desirable places to own include Forte dei Marmi, Portofino and Capri with prices ranging from 950.000 euros to over 15.000,000 euros for a magnificent villa - for a peek of the villa just click on the title bar. Wouldn't it be nice??

Ciao e a presto,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Italy's Best Kept Secret

Franciacorta, a hidden jewel in the Region of Lombardy, is where some of the most prestigious sparkling wines are produced. The northern lakes have long been Italy's Best Kept Secret where well-to-do Italians rush off for a weekend of great food and great wine. With so much to see and do, wine aficionados should travel the Franciacorta Wine Trails and sample some local wines. Home to some of the best cheeses, such a Taleggio, Franciacorta is surrounded by some of the finest restaurants, wine estates, and inns. The Relais Franciacorta, a former 17th century estate, is now a gourmet restaurant and winery. For designer fashions, shop the outlets just outside Brescia .

Ciao e a presto,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Story of Montalcino

If you love reading about Italy, you will love "Vanilla Beans and Brodo Real Life in the Hills of Tuscany" by Isabella Dusi. It is, in my opinion, a well crafted historical timeline which tells the story of the montalcinesi people and their struggle as working farmers up to present day Montalcino where the undertaking of the restoration of the San Pietro Church in Pianello is still underway. Click on the title bar to see the progress of the restoration.

A field of red poppies in the Spring, Montalcino is one of the most beautiful medieval hilltop villages in Tuscany. After Vanilla Beans and Brodo, you cannot help but feel a much deeper sense of understanding and love for Montalcino and the people of Montalcino.

Ciao e a presto,

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bugatti Veyron

$1.6 million dollars...only 300 made. The Bugatti Veyron is the ultimate in luxury for the affluent buyer.

Equipped with a 16.4 cylinder 1,0001 horsepower engine, this baby travels at a maximum speed of 253 mph. It takes a month to build a Bugatti in the factory located in Molsheim, France. If the driver looks nearly this good, I'll marry him. Take a peak at the Bugatti by clicking the title

Ciao e a presto,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tutto Italia

My friend Jennifer lives in one of the most beautiful places in Italia...Sorrento.

And better yet, Jennifer and her friend Jodi own and operate Tutto Italia All Italy Travel LLC. Their agency offers incredible packages and pricing. Here is a quote from Tutto Italia
'Tutto Italia Travel is ready to create your dream vacation in Italy. Jodi Bushkin will be assisting you from the US and Jennifer Aries will be working for you from her home in Italy - enabling us to provide you that personal touch!

Tutto Italia has relationships with all the best hotels, guides and drivers so you can have a holiday filled with unique experiences and beautiful moments.
In our quest to offer our clients new and exciting options for touring Italy, we have just returned from a wonderful "research" trip! We explored three areas in depth that were new for us - Puglia, Matera in neighboring Basilicata and the Maremma (southern Tuscan coast). After spending years of travelling throughout Italy, we were both astounded by what we had found".

Find out what italian hideaways await you at Tutto Italia.

Ciao e a presto,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Italy's National Parks

Italy's Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso was the first of all parks to be established in Italy. Located in the Aosta Valley of Piedmont, the park has over 70,000 hectares with an elevation of 800 meters to 4,061 meters. There you will find an abundance of fauna and flora and be dazzled by the grassland and aquatic environments of the park. Other outstanding national parks to visit are Vesuvius in Campania; Maddalena in Sardinia; Casentinesi Forest in Emilia-Romagna, and Sila National Park in Calabria. Learn more about Italy's National Parks by visiting

Scroll over the title bar to watch a very cool and quick video on Vesuvius National Park.

Ciao e a presto,

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Venice Film Festival

The 66th Annual Venice Film Festival will take place on the Island of Lido September 2-12, 2009.The festival dates back to August 6, 1932 when the first film showing was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The location of the screening is the Palazzo del Cinema on Venice Lido a small quiet island 10 minutes from St. Mark's Square. For more information, send email inquiries to

Ciao e a presto,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lamborghini Gallardo for Italian State Police

Things are moving up for Italian Police who have upgraded their vehicles to the new 2009 model Lamborghini Gallardo. Not only does it move fast, but I understand the car has a specialized system for transporting donor organs. I'll be looking in my rear view mirror in September.

Click on the Title bar and see how Lamborghini's are made. What a car!

Ciao e a presto,

Saturday, July 18, 2009

No Wining for Teenagers in Milan

Breaking news...For the first time in Italy's history, Milan city council has banned serving and selling alcohol to persons under the age of 16. The law goes into effect on Monday. Prior to this new regulation, Italy had no laws prohibiting the drinking age. Fines for serving teens under the age of 16 range from 500 euros to 750 euros. The fine also applies to catching under age teens drinking.

Ciao e a presto,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Italian Eyewear

Looking for the lastest Italian eyewear from Prada, Valentino, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgo Armani,and more? Try US framemaker Frames Direct. At Frames Direct, you can custom order prescription or fashionable sun glasses and actually try them on through their virtual upload - imagine that!! If you buy through Frames Direct, there is free shipping within the U.S. Now that's what I call Happy Eyes.

Ciao e a presto,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Driving In Italy

There is nothing more fearful than driving in Italy. No matter how prepared you think you are, I guarantee you, you will need a change of underwear especially if you decide to drive along the Amalfi Coast. While there is no scenery more beautiful, prepare yourself for the ride of your life. The narrow winding roads will leave you breathless.

Did you know that in the first week of August, ten million italians take their vacation. That's right, ten million italians on the road. If that doesn't scare you then you need to start jumping out of planes. I recommend you get off the road between the hours of 11:45 and 12:30 p.m. and go have pranzo (lunch). This leaves the road wide open for those Italians speeding to get home, have lunch, nap, and get back to work with as little car damage as possible.

Seriously, driving is the best way to see as much of Italy as you can. In addition to renting a good car, pay for the extra insurance, and invest in a good road map. Happy Driving

Ciao e a presto,

Monday, July 13, 2009

Giorgio Armani Apartments

News break.

Giorgio Armani is building 63 luxury apartments in Rome which will be called "Cavour 220". The apartments are being built in a former 19th century convent not far from the Coliseum. The interior will be of modern luxury design and include Gaggenhau appliances, limestone bathrooms, and italian fabric decor throughout. The building includes a spa, garden, and underground parking. Prices start at $1 million euros. Completion is expected by January 2010.

Ciao e a presto,

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fiat 500 Comes to US

After a two-year debut in Europe, the Fiat 500 car lineup will be coming to the US, as part of Fiat's partnership with Chrysler Group LLC. Fiat, homebased in Turin, has a 20% stake in Chrysler. Four 500 models will be sold in the US market. Watch the birthday celebration by clicking on the title bar.

Ciao e a presto,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You Can Live In Italy For Under $50,000

Why spend thousands of dollars to buy and maintain a second home in Italy when you'll only use it for a month or two? Fractional ownership is a great way to own and live in Italy for a fraction of the cost of full ownership. The cost of the property and the maintenance are shared by all owners. No more chores and repairs, just immerse yourself in the Italian lifestyle with family and friends. Share this post and video.

Ciao e a presto,

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Italian Shoes

Looking to buy a pair of 100% authentic "Made In Italy" shoes. Visit GiGi Cetta at for superb prices. GiGi has a New York warehouse stocked with good inventory of men's and women's Italian leather dress and casual shoes. This family has been in the shoe making business for more than three generations. Treat yourself to Italian made shoes. Ciao e a presto,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Scuba Diving In Italy

The white sandy beaches of Sardinia and abundance of sea life is a divers dream. Water temperatures in Sardinia vary from 15 degrees centigrade to nearly 25 degrees in summer and fall. Visibility is 50-100 feet where you will see octopus, coral, sponges and more. See for yourself why divers choose Sardinia...

Costa Smeralda with its unspoiled pink sandy pristine beaches is perfect for swimming. Sardinia's coast is truly captivating and whether you are a novice or an expert diver there are dive sites for both levels. The coral reefs, scorpion fish, barracuda, and diving for wrecks make this an unforgettable Italian experience.

Visit some interesting websites about the Island of Sardinia Some good diver sites include and

Ciao e a presto,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

La Traviata

Do you remember the suitcases in the movie "Once Upon A Time In America"? Or the helmets in Ben Hur? What about the jewels Violetta pawns in the opera "La Traviata"? Behind each cinema, opera, theatre, and television production lie the hidden talent of a great company making and providing the props used for each production. And there is no greater stage work than that of Italian company, E.Rancati. Started in 1864 by the Sormani Family, the company employs a handful of craftsman and designers who craft accessories, jewels, furniture and other historical period props for productions made around the world. Rancati warehouses are located in Milano and Roma. If you are an opera or cinema buff, take a moment to visit their website and see the fabulous props and accessories used in various productions. Visit Rancati at

Opera buffs and lovers of Verdi's La Traviata, must go to for the performance of Sempre Libera - La Traviata - sung by Sumi Jo. Her voice will send chills up and down your spine. Enjoy!

Ciao e a presto,


Monday, June 22, 2009

Thermal Spas of Italy

When we hear the word "spa" in America, we conjure up images of massages, facials, and beauty treatments.

In Italy the word "spa" equates with "wellness" and used by Italians for treating conditions and illnesses such as cardiovascular problems, respiratory illnesses, and digestive disorders.

The water of thermal baths contain a high amount of minerals, calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate, all said to have healing effects.

Spas are professionally staffed by physicians who assess your health and well being and recommend specific treatments and therapies. Some of the finest spas and thermal baths in Tuscany include

All can be booked online and plan to spend a full day of rest, relaxation and wellness.

Ciao e a presto,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Oh The Italian Life

Don't you want to spend more than one minute and 23 seconds living the Italian Life? To view video, click on start button on the left.

Ciao e a presto,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Paolo Soleri

Buon compleanno (Happy Birthday) Signore Soleri. On June 21, Paolo Soleri, an author, architect, artist and eco-friendly pioneer of Arcosanti, will be celebrating this 90th birthday right here at home in the Paradise Valley/Scottsdale area. Signore Soleri was born in Torino (Turin) Italy in 1919 where he studied and became an architect completing his Ph.D. in 1946.

He came to the U.S. at the age of 28 where he worked in a fellowship with world reknown Arizona architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Later on he fulfilled his dream of creating a nonprofit to study and develop urban sustainable communities. Signore Soleri launched his urban project which maximizes natural resources in concert with our natural environment. The prototype town is called "Arcosanti" and located near Cordes Junction, Arizona.

And if you have never heard of a "Soleri" Bell than you must come to Arizona to see his studio located in Paradise Valley. You can tour the studio and watch the artistic craftsmanship and workmanship of authentic italian crafted "Soleri Bells". To read and order your Soleri Bell visit The Earth Cause Bell is my favorite, yes I own one, and is truly an exquisite work of art.

Come celebrate with us (a free event!) on Thursday, June 21 at 7:00 p.m. in downtown Scottsdale when the Paradise Valley Town Council will honor Signore Soleri with a proclamation. There will be artists renderings of the Soleri Pedestrain Bridge showing how the supsension bridge will connect the Scottsdale Waterfront with the retail shops on the south side of the Arizona Canal. The bridge is the first to be constructed by Signore Soleri and slated to open by Spring 2010. Truly an example of All Things Italian.

Ciao e a presto,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How to Buy Authentic Italian Products

Not all "Made in Italy" Italian products are made equal. How many times have you purchased a product supposedly made in Italy and you could not believe how cheap it was? Be careful. Just because a tag or label says "Made in Italy" does not mean it is an authentic Italian product.

Consumers, wholesalers and retailers should always check for authenticity before buying because there are illegal products on the market and unless you know how to check for authenticity, you may be buying illegal goods or counterfeit goods. There are some manufacturers who are engaging in child labor and running sweat shops. I saw many back door shops in Milan and Roma so be careful when you shop in Italy or buy in the U.S.

Genuine Italian Products come with a special True Italy service tag and have an authenticity code and serial number printed on the label. The label bears the logo that appears in this post. To check for authenticity, you go to, enter the authenticity code and click on the Check it now button. If you find that the product is not authentic, you should return it immediately and demand a refund. There are many unscrupulous vendors out there waiting for your dollar or euro. Don't become a victim.

If you are a wholesaler and looking to buy authentic products, please consider They are a highly reputable and respected company with various authentic Italian brands. In 2008, Italy was the 12th largest trading partner with the U.S. with exports to Italy of $15.5 billion and imports from Italy of $36.1 billion. While prices of authentic Italian products are higher than a similar product, you are buying the real thing and Italian quality will last you a lifetime, not 90 days.

I hope this authoritative information is helpful for any consumer, buyer or seller of All Things Italian.

Ciao e a presto,

Monday, June 8, 2009

World Air Games

Jason Stephens, from our home town of Gilbert, Arizona is the only American glider scheduled to compete in the World Air Games on June 13, 2009 in Torino, Italy. Stephens is a three time national championship holder and co-owns a flying school with his brother.

Some of the worlds' top glider racers will be competing at a height of 1,000 - 3,000 meters.

Follow this race and visit the website for information about the World Air Games Gliding, Parachuting, Ballooning and many other air games.

Ciao e a presto,

Technorati Profile


Don't miss the September 13, 2009 Formula One Race in Monza, Italy.

Number of Laps: 53

Circuit Length: 5.793 km

Race Distance: 306.720 km

Lap Record: 1:21.046 - R Barrichello (2004)

To obtain ticket information or see the track, teams, records, etc, visit the website at
Ciao e a presto,

Friday, June 5, 2009

Calcio: Italian Soccer

To appreciate All Things Italian, you must learn to love the game of soccer (calcio). It is by far, a game of speed and intensity loved by both men and women. Italy comes to a standstill when a soccer match is scheduled.

If you are serious about soccer, and keeping up with the game, scores, matches, players, the most comprehensive website is

More to follow on this blog about the best places to go four wheel driving, Italian touring clubs, race car driving, diving and more.

Ciao e a presto

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Italian Companies Seek USA Partnership with Biotech Companies

The Italian Trade Commission ( and the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (I.C.E.) are seeking USA partners for their biotech companies in Italy. To read more, go to the Trade Commission website, click on the business events link on the left sidebar and look for the news headlines on the right sidebar "Italian Biotech Takes Its Capacity For Innovation to BIO 2009".

For those of us who live in the southwest, biotech is our strength. As a member of the Italy-Chamber of Commerce West, I am anxious to get this message out to American businesses.

Unfortunately, we missed the biotech convention that took place two weeks ago in Atlanta, Georgia, but don't let that stop us from passing on this jewel of information.

If you are looking to start a new business, or expand an existing business, and want to develop a partnership with an Italian company, the Trade Commission is a great source of information. On their website you can access the business directory of Italian companies across a wide range of industries. You can also submit your own business proposal.

So, please pass this post onto individuals and businesses interested in All Things Italian and upcoming business opportunities with Italian companies.

Grazie e a presto,

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bello Giardino

Just about every Italian I know, and certainly every good cook, grows and harvests their own herbs. Creating your own small organic Italian herb garden is relatively easy and rewarding.

Six herbs most widely used in Italian cuisine are basilico (basil), origano (oregano), Rosmarino (rosemary), prezzemolo (flat Italian parsley), salvia (sage), and menta piperita (peppermint).

If you have a backyard, you can dedicate a small area of 4'x 6' to a garden. If not, herbs do just as well in pots. An east facing direction is ideal for a small garden or potted herbs.

To prepare your garden plot, you will need to build a border 2 feet in depth using wood, bricks or stone to hold in your soil. Once you have your border, add bags and bags of garden or vegetable soil and leave 5 inches from the top of your border. You can also use compost if you decide to add vegetables like carrots, garlic, and yellow peppers - veggies need good compost to flourish. If you use compost, make sure to turn the compost over numerous times. Then rake the compost until it has a nice even look and leave it undisturbed for two weeks.

After two weeks have passed, and the weather is somewhat mild (best time to plant is Spring when the frost is gone and the ground has warmed) you are ready to plant. My personal preference is to plant from already rooted plants and not from seed. I buy my herb plants from Home Depot or Lowe's and prefer ones that come from Monrovia California home to some of the country's best nurseries. I like Monrovia herbs because you can plant the entire container.

Dig a hole large hole and make sure its deep enough to allow for plant growth (width and height). Place the entire container in the hole, fill with soil, and give it a good watering.

Every few weeks, I feed my herbs and vegetables with organic vegetable food by sprinkling a few tablespoons around the base of the plants, and give them a good hand watering.

My garden is hooked up to an automatic timer which I have set to come on around 5:00 a.m. in summer, and run for a minimum of 3 hours. This is in addition to interim hand watering. If you live in a very hot climate, you will need to protect your herb garden during those hot summer days, and can do this inexpensively. Just measure your garden area and buy some tan shade screen netting or tarp, and place it over your garden. You can also buy, at a local hardware store, some plastic poles with notches and attach your tarp or netting to the poles. This not only protects your garden from the blazing sun, but provides enough filtered light to keep your herbs and veggies happy and green.

Treat your garden and all living things with love and care, and you will have many days of fresh aromatic seasonings for years to come.

Saliva (sage) is wonderful on Turkey, Pork, and Chicken. It's also the main ingredient in Tuscany White Bean Soup. Basilico (basil) and menta piperita (peppermint) are fabulous in salads and tossed with pasta and fresh tomato sauce. Both these herbs make great pesto. Try some fresh Rosmarino (rosemary) with lamb, and some prezzemolo (flat Italian parsely) on roasted potatoes. What would pizza be without fresh orgiano (oregano)!

One final note, as your herbs grow wide and full, cut them and dry them on a paper towel and make an aromatic container of herb d' Italia for those wonderful winter dishes.

Buon appetito!

Ciao e a presto,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pamper Your Hair

The next time you visit Florence, take time out to pamper your hair at GabrioStaff Olimpo Hair Spa. This simply gorgeous salon has a variety of personal beauty treatments for the hair that will leave you feeling and looking glamorous (seducente) and oh so Italian.
GabrioStaff Olimpo is located at Via de Tornabuoni 5, Firenze, telephone 055/214668. Tour their website to see what awaits you in Firenze. And don't forget to make an appointment well in advance!
Ciao e a presto,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Remember The Smart Car?

Here is a Not So Smart Car in Roma

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Decision

After eleven years of travelling between the US and Italy, I came to the realization that it was time for me to pursue my passion for All Things Italian which led to my launching When In Italy LLC in the fall of 2005.

When In Italy LLC offers like-minded Italophiles a chance to fulfill their dream of owning and living in Italy through a fractional share ownership program.

Picture yourself celebrating life's special moments, like your hard earned law degree, or 25 years of marriage, surrounded by family and new friends in the privacy of your own home overlooking the Tuscany valley.

Fractional share ownership is an affordable and practical way to live overseas where you can truly savor and immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle Italy has to offer. To read more about fractional share ownership, visit my website at

There's more to follow in the days ahead about Italian real estate, wine, food, festivals, hideaways and All Things Italian.

Ciao and a presto,

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Potato Croquette

The end of a two-week business trip is coming to a close and my italian team and I will need to make some decisions on which properties best meets the high standards for U.S. fractional share offering by My Italian Hideaway. We covered over 160 kilometeres of driving and inspected over 15 villas, apartments, and townhomes immediately eliminating 5 properties.We have met with the geometra (surveryor) poured over technical floor plans for hours.

Now I take the day off and am getting an early start because I am going to have lunch with my friend Claudia and it's my turn to bring pranzo. I love the drive to Asciano as it takes me through the Le Crete Senese rolling hills of limestone and clay, a landscape too surreal for Toscana. The surrounding hill towns of Montecontieri, Val d'Asso, and Trequanda shimmer in the light of early morning.

Just beyond the hills, I see flocks of sheep sway their heads to the music of the morning sun. I am determined to get to the fresco mercato in Rapolano Terme ensuring my arrival for just after the vendors place the finishing touches to their meticulous and mouth watering stands of fresh fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables.

Parking can be tough because the market, my italian hideaway market, is set in a tiny parking lot outside the tabaccheria (smoke shop where you buy bus tickets, phone cards) and by 8:00 a.m. the locals have scooped up the perfectly shaped deep purple carciofi (artichokes), roasted chickens, fresh fish. - so by 9:00 a.m. it may be too late!

Fresh outdoor local markets usually open by 7:00 and close by 1:00 p.m. and can be found in nearly very town, village, and neighborhood on a given day.What makes this market so special is, well, ok, I'll tell you. The Potato Croquette. Nonna's Potato Croquettes. Not just any potato croquette, but Nonna's potato croquette made with sheep's milk!!

Parking is easy so I begin my morning stroll up and down each isle selecting a few pieces of fruita, un po di pecorino, and a large loaf of Toscana bread (which is made with no salt). I head to Stefano's for chicken. Per piacere (polite for please) un pollo. I order one roasted chicken.

Si, signora, ritorna in un ore. Come back in an hour. Now I peak down the isle and see that Nonna has started to prepare the croquettes with her tiny but strong hands. It's too early, she won't be ready to fry them for at least an hour.

Time to get an espresso and see Eva. We spent some time chatting, laughing, and catching up on properties for sale when I check my watch and an hour has gone by. O dio mio I must get back to check on my pollo.

Stefano sees me approaching and grabs my plump beautiful golden skinned chicken, I pay and head to Nonna. Perfect timinig. She has started the frying. The line is long and I think I will faint from the smell of the potatoes . Now its my turn.

Dica! Tell me! Nonna, io vuolo (I want or take) cinque patate (potatotes). Cinque? (5). Si, cinque (5). She asks if I am sure that I want only 5 croquettes. Si, yes, certo (certainly).

I am taking pranzo to my friend and I need 5 patate croquettes. Nonna takes her hands and the croquettes and gently places them into the beautiful golden olive oil . Within minutes they are golden and bagged for me.

I've got everything I need. Claudia will have the table set, wine glasses in place next to her beautiful torta. It's not long before I steer my Opal thru the gates crazily beeping my horn. Now it is time to have some fun with Claudia. Ciao, Claudia, sono qui! Hi Claudia, I am here. I have goodies just like you asked.

Do you have the bread? Si, Claudia, I have the bread. What about the cheese? Did you get cheese? Yes, Claudia I have the cheese. How is the chicken? Just like you asked. A beautiful plump farm raised golden roasted pollo - look Claudio how fresh and juicy. Ok, I hope you didn't forget the croqettes! No, Claudia, no. I got 4 just like you asked.

To Be Continued Monday - The Decision

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Italian Hideaway

Italy, there is no place like it in the world. As I take my morning stroll through the piazza to the local mercato where fresh produce awaits me to prepare today's pranzo, I gaze at the breaktaking views of the swaying cypress trees over the Val d' Orcia.

Italy, there is no place in the world like it. Stopping for my morning espresso to catch up on the news of the village. Marco is ready to bring in the Brunello grapes and Maria just had another baby girl, Isabella.

Italy, there is no place like it in the world. You have lost your way back to the road and no cars around when you hear the chug of the tiniest car and a shy man calls out "follow me" and suddenly you are back on the main road. You yell "grazie signore, grazie" and he replies with a soft whisper and a twinkle in his eye, "prego signora" .
Follow the my story which leads you to finding and owning a charming italian hideaway somewhere in romantic Italy. Foolow me and you will find hidden gems and authentic italian products, and before long you will embrace the time you have to spend in Italy discovering and exploring hideaway villages and towns. Immerse yourself and feed your passion for All Things Italian.