On 8 March, 2016, I’ll leave my quiet little home in suburban Denver, setting out, once again, for Italy. The next several months worth of posts/pictures will be a chronicle of my in-depth visits that span from the far north (Valtellina, Lombardia) to the far south (Marsala, Sicilia), and most wine regions in between.
At this point, with just under 3 weeks until I depart, I’ve got about half of my planning done. Complete is the list of wine regions/producers I’ll be visiting (19 in Sicily, 11 in Campania, 28 in Montalcino, 8 Maremma/Bolgheri, 17 in Chianti Classico, 5 in Montepulciano, 8 in Umbria, 3 in Soave, 7 in Valpolicella, 10 in Trento/Adige, 4 in Valtellina, 26 in Barolo, 8 in Barbaresco and several more in the Alto Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta). Incomplete (as of today), are firm appointments, most of which will be arranged via email over the course of the next few weeks.
In addition to winery visits, I’ll be looking for interesting artisan producers of cheeses, oils, and more, in each of the regions. Similarly, I’ll be looking for venues that offer top-notch cooking classes, baking, bread-making, etc.
On the to-do list for today: (1) book flight from Torino to Trapani, with a return from Catania (if possible) to Torino, 10 days later; this is the first leg of my trip, which I’ll begin less than a week after arriving in Milano/Italy. Additionally, I need to (2) book my rental car while in Sicily, with the provision of being able to drop at a location other than the “pick up” location. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that both the car and flight bookings will be fairly easy and affordable. Finally, (3) I need to firm up my list of producer visits in Piemonte. If there’s any time left over, I should probably start on a packing list.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, I need to begin to nail down where I’m staying, when I’m staying there and, of course, some great places to eat.
The magic in all of this, for me at least, is that even though I’ve been visiting Italy fairly regularly since 1991, in many ways it’ll be like the first time; which is to say I’m equal parts elated, nervous (I’m a planner!), and…elated!