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I think this was the mezzano, at the Italian Days Food Tour

Italian Days Food Tour

Our tour guide from Italian Days Food and Wine Tours was far too cheerful for such an early start. We had been picked up at seven in the morning—before sunrise in mid-January—and denied even a cup of coffee before leaving. Our hotel’s breakfast only started at seven, so we had run downstairs and grabbed a…

The entry hall of Osteria de Poeti in Bologna, Italy

Osteria dè Poeti: Classic Bolognese Food

On my recent trip to Bologna, my friend Shobha (of Just Go Places) and I were fortunate enough to be hosted by Hotel Touring, which I reviewed in an earlier post. The hotel also arranged for us to eat one evening at a nearby restaurant, Osteria dè Poeti (site in Italian only). This was particularly…

San Luca Portico in Bologna

Walking the Portico di San Luca in Bologna

For centuries, in the city of Bologna, Italy, a byzantine image of the Madonna and Child was carried ceremoniously from the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca every year during Ascension week down to the Cathedral of San Pietro in the city center. It stayed there overnight, then was carried back up. The problem…

Only one part of the breakfast on offer at the Hotel Touring

Hotel Touring: quality in a great Bologna location

When I met Manuela Stagni at the World Travel Market in London and saw her enthusiasm in describing her hotel, the Hotel Touring in Bologna, Italy, I made a note to keep her in mind if I ever traveled in Italy again. A couple of months later, when she mailed me an offer to stay…

Rocca Priori, Italy, July 9, 2009

We were in Rome yesterday and the day before, but apparently so were representatives of the G8 nations and other dignitaries. Sights/sites closed or opened arbitrarily to accommodate their whistle-stop visits. At one point, for example, we wanted to cross the road in the middle of St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Just cross the…

Outside Vicchio, Italy, July 17, 2009

So here I am in what has to be the most beautiful place I’ve ever stayed. It’s an old farmhouse, probably dating in part from the 14th century, in the Tuscan countryside. It’s the whole cliché: ivy-covered walls, beamed ceilings, terracotta pots holding dried flowers or fruit trees. There’s a gorgeous view of the sunset…