On May 15, 2009 we took Carl’s girls and their husbands to Italy for a family trip. I had written about the olive oils of Cinque Terra and the use of pesto in that region but now have time to write about a few hotels and other high lights.
If anyone is on their way to this region of Italy you too can maybe experience some of the food and hotels that we did. The hotel we stayed at in Siena was called “Hotel Cerosa di Maggiano” this is a very expensive hotel but the food and space was well worth the money. Dinner in their dining room was A+, even if you do not stay in the hotel be sure and try and have dinner with them one evening.
The next day we drove about 45 minutes to the village of Pienza and had lunch at a reataurant called ‘Il Rossellino”, in Pizza di Spagna” . The lunch was served by the husband and wife that own the restaurant. Every moment from entering the front door to our last sip of coffee was perfect.
Our next stop was about another hour east, ” Hotel Locanda dell’Amorosa. Beautiful rooms, special pool and great gardens. The dinner was famous for the steaks of the region, this was a real case of bigger is better. The service was not that great but we enjoyed the experience and the men in my life had their fill of beef.
We next went to visit our friends in the area of Parma. We dined in their home and spent time at the local markets. One high light was a tour of the parmesan cheese factory. The milk is brought to the plant in the early morning. the best milk comes from the brown cow that east the grass from the high hills above the Po river.
We had the grand tour with our friend that has been involved in the industry of food from the region for years.
The best image is standing in the warehouse where the cheese wheels are stored for up to 4 years before they are shipped to the store to be sold.
This warehouse holds over 3,000 wheels. Here the wheels are turned, every few months and tested for perfection.
When you spend time watching the process we can all understand why every bite is so special.
Try a bite with a drip of well aged balsamic vinegar.
I hope some of you will have a chance to experience Italy soon.