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Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Food in Italy, Italy

Traditions of the Land: Food in Italy Part IV

June 1, 2012

Italian Origami: Handmade Pasta at Casa Artusi

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Sara B. She’s an Italian by birth and a genius in the kitchen by passion and practice. She’s been inspiring me since grade school, and it’ll be a fun day when we reunite in Oregon for an Italian feast.

Homemade pasta is to Italy what chocolate chip cookies are to America.

Everyone makes or knows someone who makes the best, every gourmet has their secret trick, and no one chooses a plastic package when grandma’s making a fresh batch.

Once you’ve eaten a steaming plate of fresh pasta, you’ll forever be ruined for the substitute.

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Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Food in Italy, Italy

Traditions of the Land: Food in Italy Part III

May 30, 2012

Wine: Celli Vini & The Legend of Albana in Bertinoro

East of Bologna, the ancient medieval hilltop village of Bertinoro still feels like a fairytale, boasting a castle dating to 1000 A.D., a palace from 1306 A.D., a cathedral from the 16th century, views overlooking the plains and the coastline of the Adriatic sea yielding the hilltop the title, “Balcony of Romagna,” and wineries producing legendary golden Albana wines fit for a princess.

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Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Food in Italy, Italy

Traditions of the Land: Food in Italy Part II

May 25, 2012

True Balsamic Vinegar: Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena

Nameless, faceless food. The downfall of modern eating (and drinking).

The remedy? Meeting producers, learning their crafts and stories, and savoring the flavors of the world with appreciation that extends beyond the palette to a deeper gratefulness of heart.

Rossi Barattini’s historic Balsamic Vinegar production house in Modena, Italy

Our series on traditional foods of Northern Italy began with our travels exploring the history of true Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Culatello ham. Next up, part two and the juicy details of Italian grapes transformed to the sweetest of vinegars and the noblest of wines… Continue Reading…

Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Food, Food in Italy, Italy

Traditions of the Land: Food in Italy Part I

May 22, 2012

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese and Culatello Ham: Parma Territory & the Spigaroli Brothers

Italy is synonymous with good food.

Boiled down to cliche, it’s that reputation that keeps places like Olive Garden turning tables night after night. But taste a true bite of Italy’s gastronomic history and culture, and you’ll find a richness unrivaled by mass-production meal-makers anywhere in the world.

As we’ve been exploring Emilia-Romgana, Italy, Ted and I have had the great pleasure of meeting producers of fine Italian fare, sampling their artisan products, and learning the stories behind generations’ dedication to land and culinary tradition. (And posing for pictures with a full size statue of the beloved animal responsible for famed Italian pork products.)

This region is every food lover’s dream world: a parallel universe for Portlandia locavores, an inspiration for real food champions in home kitchens, food swaps, farmers markets, and restaurants, and a land of high culinary standards, exemplary for civilizations the world over. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Italy, Walks of Italy

Definitionarium of Our Italian Adventure

May 20, 2012

As we share stories of food, fast cars, friends, and adventures in Italy, I thought I’d make it a little easier to keep a few things straight. I present you with our glossary slash dictionary slash directory slash collection slash schedule of Italy 2012, twoOregonians style:

Bologna bo·lo·gna [buh-LOHN-yuh]
The capital city of the Emilia-Romagna region and central transportation hub in Northern Italy. Known for its fine foods, university culture, miles of covered sidewalks (porticoes), and plentiful public squares, cathedrals, and cultural performances. Also, sister city to Portland, Oregon, USA. (Yes, related to bo·lo·gna [buh-LOH-nee]; as in, the sandwich meat. More on that later.) We lived in a downtown apartment in Bologna from April 27th-May 14th. (Note: we departed before the May 20th earthquake, but our thoughts and prayers go out to our Italian friends and the beautiful cities of Emilia-Romgana affected by the natural disaster. We’re grateful to report that our Blogville companions are safe and sound.) Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Partners, Italy, Lamborghini

An Italian Fairytale: Three Days with Lamborghini

May 17, 2012

Wined and dined with the best regional foods of the land, equipped with more horsepower than ancient Roman cavalry, and privy to design and technology secrets of modern day driving machines, our Lamborghini experience during a trio of days in Italy will live on in memory as nothing short of an Italian Fairytale.

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, two Oregonians found themselves invited to the celebration of a mythical creature: the famed Italian Lamborghini driving machine… 

These young travelers from the west coast of the United States timidly prepared to meet the great figure of Automotive Royalty that grew up from the green hills of ancient Emilia-Romagna to become a world renown symbol of majesty, speed, and design.

Our story finds them rummaging through their luggage in hopes of finding something appropriate to wear to the ball. Scratch that. They didn’t rummage long: there was only one option – a black dress for her and a collared shirt and black jeans for him. The same outfits they’d worn for two weeks, crossing the ocean on a ship… But that’s another tale.

Our story actually finds them approaching the 2012 Lamborghini Driving Academy’s first night’s welcome dinner in the green hills just beyond the city bounds of Bologna, Italy. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Partners, Italy, Lamborghini, Ted's Short Reads

I’ve Always Dreamed of Driving a Race Car

May 11, 2012

Generally speaking, I’m afraid to dream.

Letdowns are a letdown for me, so refusing to dream means less disappointment in life. Right or wrong, I feel safer that way. Ironically, my wife is a good dreamer. At 10, she dreamed of marrying her future husband. At 15, she dreamed of being a Landscape Architect.  At 20, she dreamed of taking a year off to travel the world.

Needless to say, non-dreamers benefit immensely by sticking close to dreamers.

If you know me, you probably didn’t know I’ve dreamed of driving a race car. That’s because I didn’t know either. There weren’t any exotic car pics on my bedroom wall growing up. I don’t really know how engines work. I didn’t know a single exotic car model by name before this week.

Last week here in Italy, Lamborghini offered my friend Michael and me the chance to participate in their 2012 Driving Academy. I woke up from a nap in the peaceful city-center of Bologna to the news. Shutup! I thought my wife was pulling my leg.

A few days later, I found myself standing in the pit at a Formula One race track in Imola, Italy. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Partners, Featured Places, Italy, Lamborghini

Farmgrown Lamborghini Legends

May 9, 2012

It wasn’t a punchy sports car. I think my max speed on a downhill run was something like 16.8 mph. It wasn’t bright orange; it was Oregon Duck green and yellow, the height of a small house and the width of a single wide trailer.

My first experience driving a six-figure price tag vehicle came at the ripe age of eleven, behind the wheel of a combine on my family’s farm.

Fast forward seventeen years: sliding into a Lamborghini sports car, I clenched every muscle tight and whispered a prayer as the professional driver punched the accelerator to blow past 168 mph and on toward blurred vision. Ted chased behind us, solo at the wheel of a shiny Gallardo after a full day of precision control maneuvers and on-track training.

Pinch us, can this possibly be real?

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Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Italy, Photography

Artful Italy: Discovering Wildt in Forlì

May 6, 2012

Today’s a quiet day of rest in Emilia-Romagna. I’m cozied up in our apartment in Bologna, sifting through photos and stories from northern Italy. It seems around every corner we’ve been greeted by a new surprise, a new enchantment, a new glass of wine or plate of colorful food, a new irresistible piece of beauty. This past week: no exception.

We paid a visit to Forlì, Italy, stopping in at Musei San Domenico, a restored 13th century Dominican convent turned creative arts space. Serendipitously, our visit coincided with a temporary exhibit running January 28 – June 17 featuring the work of Italian sculpture Adolfo Wildt (1868 – 1931). The collection offers a glimpse into a creative man’s inspiration and expression, featuring his own works and those of influential predecessors and contemporaries arcing from classical tradition to romanticism, art nouveau, and modernism. Continue Reading…