Contrary to popular opinion driving in Italy is not an extreme sport. Here are 5 reasons to give it a try.
5. YOU CAN SEE THE COUNTRY AT YOUR OWN PACE
4. EXPLORE HIDDEN AND BEAUTIFUL PLACES OFF THE TOURIST RADAR
3. GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH VESPAS AND FERRARI
2. YOU CAN EAT AT AN AUTOGRILL
1. YOU CAN WEAR A TEESHIRT THAT SAYS “I DROVE ITALY
And if you really want to experience the ultimate Italian drive visit Maranello in Emilia Romagna and Galleria Ferrari to get up close and personal with one of Italy’s most famous sports cars. You can arrange to drive a Ferrari through the streets and countryside of Maranello for an auto rush you’ll always remember.
It is fairly certain that the first wearable eyeglasses of metal lens were invented in Italy somewhere between 1280 and 1300. Credited to Florentine Salvino d’Armati based on an inscription on his tomb that reads “Here lies Salvino degl’ Armati, son of Armato of Florence, inventor of eyeglasses. May God forgive his sins. A.D. 1317“. The tomb no longer exists so evidence is sketchy but the prototype found its way to the the glass makers of 14th century Venice who began to grind and shape these “eye discs” calling them lenses (lente) because they resembled the shape of a lentil (la lenticchia).
Today Venetian traditions of artistry and craftmanship have influenced eyewear designers all over the world including George Adin . Considered to be an icon in the eyewear industry his trend-setting styles were worn by Paul Newman and many other celebrities over the years. A short drive from Venice, in the valley of Italy’s eastern Alps, Dolomiti Eyewear designs eyeglass frames made with Alpaca (also known as nickel silver), an alloy that is 82% copper, bringing “harmony and balance to the face” and if you believe in the healing qualities associated with this burnished metal, benefits to the body.
It seems that the eyes of Italy have always been on fashionable form and function. The Luxottica Group S.p.A., the world’s largest eyewear company with best known brands that include Ray-Ban and Oakley, is headquartered in Milan.
hing can transport you to Italy quicker than opening a good bottle of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The aroma, flavor and taste reflect the character of the land. From the delicate, fruity oils of the Ligurian Riviera to the pungent, peppery oils of Tuscany to the soft buttery flavors of the Umbrian hills, the oils of the Italian peninsula are like a travelogue of flavor. Yet less than 30 years ago olive oil was relatively unheard of in the US. It was barely mentioned in the early editions of the Betty Crocker Cookbook and wasn’t looked at as an ingredient in cooking until 1973 when Marcella Hazan
published her classic book on Italian cooking. Today almost every kitchen on the planet has a bottle of olive oil in their pantry and every grocery store and market an array of oils on their shelves so much so that we may take it for granted.
Click on the following link to discover health, happiness and great dinners with extra virgin Italian olive oil.
In Italy the grape harvest (la vendemmia) begins in the early to mid-Fall usually during September and October. Every region of Italy grows grapes and the cities, towns and villages across the country celebrate the harvest with grape festivals (sagre) making Autumn one of the best times and seasons to see and savor Italy. I will not be in Italy this year until the end of October when my friends at Tenuta Vitanza near Montalcino in Tuscany tell me I will only be able to pick grape juice! Che peccato! My only vendemmia this year will be virtual.
Here are a few favorite Italian grapes that are part of my virtual pick. To find out why click here.