ilana freddye


Italy: Firenze

As you may have guessed by the picture...I'm in Italy! Above is a picture at one of the numerous wineries we've toured and tasted in the week I've already been here.

Here's the background on the trip: As part of the bachelor's degree program at school, I get to take a three week food, wine, and agriculture trip and so here I am in Italy, literally eating my heart out and washing it all down with copious amounts of local wine and olive oil. I've quickly decided this trip would more aptly be named "Italy: A Lesson in Gluttony."

Our first night was in Firenze (aka Florence) and we ate at Ristorance Da Omero which was conveniently located in an itty bitty town right across from Galileo's house. The meal started with prosecco, as every meal should and then we had assorted bruschetta, penne with ragout, and malfatti (pasta) with mushroom and sausage.  After that we had the most amazing Florentine steak, perfectly rare and nicely grilled. We devoured it with several bottles of Chianti. The lovely man above fixed our desserts up for us, I went for the chocolate cake but the ricotta cheesecake with orange marmalade, I stole several bites off my friend Rachel.

The next day we went to Avignonese and toured the vineyard and property before sitting down for a lunch/wine tasting.  The property was stunning, and their circular vineyard (above) was really something special.  When they first started growing the grapes they tested out different areas, different lengths of sun exposure, and spacing before finding out which worked best and applied it to their other vineyards.

We also got to tour the huge room where they dry out the grapes for their famous Vin Santo (above).

The location for lunch was nothing short of breath taking.  The meal was delicious and they were constantly refilling our wine glasses, I think around the middle of this meal we realized just how much wine we would be consuming on our trip.

The meal: Goat cheese flan served over cream of spinach (Wine: Vignola Sauvignon Cortona 2011)
Paccheri pasta with lamb and eggplant ragout (Wine: Rosso di Montepulciano DOC 2011)
Baked Chianina veal with roasted potatoes and Gradoli’s beans with olive oil (Wine: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2008 and Desiderio Corona Merlot DOC 2008)
and for dessert Mascarpone cheese and wild berries on a crispy crepe (Wine: Endidae Gewurztraminer Passito Castelfeder)

The meal was clearly outstanding. And actually the mascarpone has been one of my favorite desserts so far. But picture this: three to four course meals every day, and sometimes word: Gluttony. The trip has been absolutely wonderful so far, I'll update on Perugia soon!

p.s. After the meal we wandered around and found these beautiful quince growing next to the sweetest little garden, with a pretty handsome farmer too might I add. Oh and that's me snapping pictures of some gorgeous kale in the middle.