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So...back from Italy! What a trip! We started in Venice then to Modena, Florence, Tuscany, and then Rome. Just a few of the highlights....lunch at Osteria Francescana (once in a lifetime experience), Ferrari Museum (somewhat disappointing), Wine tour at Castello di Verrazzano, cooking classes in Tuscany, plus all the art and history in Florence and Rome! Well over 1,000 pics so if you are interested in seeing any of them just let me know. Caio!
Did Verrazzano still do the ridiculous tasting? When we went a few years back the "tasting" was like 6 full glasses of wine, grappa, and a gigantic platter of food. We met another couple from holland with us, and ended up staying for like 5 hours because we were all blasted; the owner ended up bringing out the bottle of grappa for us to finish and hung out with us for a bit. Sounds like a good trip though!

We are going back in November, planning on staying in the Tuscany region in a local village. Ridiculously inexpensive, it's a working village so part of the experience is helping with the harvest and production of either the grapes or olives.
Please do share when you are able to - this sounds pretty awesome! I have a colleague that was born Italian but grew up in the US, and he's been heavily thinking about buying a vineyard in Italy to retire to. That'd be right up his alley to spend some time at harvest there.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Did Verrazzano still do the ridiculous tasting? When we went a few years back the "tasting" was like 6 full glasses of wine, grappa, and a gigantic platter of food. We met another couple from holland with us, and ended up staying for like 5 hours because we were all blasted; the owner ended up bringing out the bottle of grappa for us to finish and hung out with us for a bit. Sounds like a good trip though!
Yes, it was a full on feast! The tasting was full bottles set on the table and when you ran out you just asked for more. I don't think there was a sober person in the room. Some of the best pork ribs I have ever had!

Please do share when you are able to - this sounds pretty awesome! I have a colleague that was born Italian but grew up in the US, and he's been heavily thinking about buying a vineyard in Italy to retire to. That'd be right up his alley to spend some time at harvest there.
Will do...I am really excited about doing a low key (lower cost) Italy trip this time. The last trip was for our 25th anniversary so no expense was spared...this time I am thinking all up and in for 2 people....$5-7k
 

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We did our first trip there in November as well. If you are looking for something fun and different to do, in addition to Tuscany, check out the 'Le Marche' region not too far from there. Late October and early November is the time of year that they harvest white truffles, and Acqualagna is where around ~2/3 of the world's truffles come from. They have a big truffle festival there where you can get amazing dishes featuring truffles on them, and it'll be like $10-15 for a pasta dish covered with white and black truffles; my wife and I were in heaven being able to add truffles to every dish like it was simple salt and pepper there. It's a pretty 2-3 hour drive through the country side between Tuscany and Le Marche, and there are some parks and caverns in the region too that are neat.
 
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