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Author archive: Blaine Brown

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So, you lost your passport

On my most recent trip to Italy, I did what everyone has nightmares about in a foreign country; I lost my passport.  Granted, it was only lost for 7 hours. I ended up finding it tucked away in a gift bag I had brought along to deliver a present for one of my associates, but

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Published on:
October 24, 2013 6:43 pm
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Book Review: Leonardo’s Swans

As an American representative for Italian Tourism, I have the amazing opportunity to travel to Italy a few times a year.  On my most recent trip, I journeyed to Lombardia, an astounding Northern region bursting with beauty, culture, and history. One of the richest areas of Italy, of which Milan Details

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La Festa delle Donne

La Festa delle Donne is celebrated throughout the world on March 8.  Though not a major celebration of women in the United States, it is a day of great joy in Italy.  The day is honored with the early blossoms of the Mimosa tree.  These simple bright yellow flowers are a symbol of passion a Details

Published on:
March 7, 2013 6:25 pm
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FVG: White Merlot

This interesting little gem has traveled its way from Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) to get into my gullet!  A soft, full-bodied white, the Foffani White Merlot is an unusual and unique expression of the traditional Merlot grape.  Made by harvesting the grapes just as they reach maturity and allow Details

Published on:
March 6, 2013 4:09 am
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Sicily: Donnafugata Wines

Donnafugata has been making beautiful and expressive Sicilian wines for the last 160 years.  With cellars and estates born in Marsala, their Contessa Entellina vineyards in the heart of Western Sicily, and their hypnotizing production of Zibbibo Passito on the island of Pantelleria, DonnaFugata Details

Published on:
February 4, 2013 3:39 am
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Blog, Food and Wine
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Prosecco

Prosecco, Italy’s most famous sparkling wine, gets its name from its origin town of Prosecco in Friuli Venezia Giulia, although it is mostly cultivated in neighboring Veneto.  Confusingly, the grape used to create this lively libation is also named Prosecco, and must be present at a minimum of Details

Published on:
January 23, 2013 5:08 pm
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Italian Wine Grapes: Vitovska

Vitovska: this little known white grape hails from Friuli-Venezia Giulia (FVG) in northeast Italy.  Bordering countries Slovenia and Austria, this area is known for producing crisp, refreshing white wines and Vitovska is no exception.  As wine knows no national borders, Vitovska, also called Ga Details

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Italian Wine Grapes: Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is a thin-skinned, dark blue grape native to northern Italy, specifically Piedmont.  Fruity, tannic, yet lightly concentrated in color, Nebbiolo is the only grape used to make the legendary Italian wines, Barolo and Barbaresco.  It has been documented as early as 1303, but ampelographe Details

Published on:
October 28, 2012 5:45 pm
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Movie Review: To Rome With Love

To Rome with Love is with love indeed!  What an absolute delight.  A throwback to the quirky, laugh out loud hilarity of Woody Allen’s older films, To Rome With Love highlights four different, individual stories about life and adventure in Rome.   From an American student who falls in love w Details

Published on:
July 6, 2012 12:15 am
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Only in the Woods is there Peace

During a magnificent pranzo on my first day at the hermitage, consisting of pappardelle with duck and white sauce, vegetable soup, and various local dolci, current owner of Eremo delle Grazie, Valeria Lalli told us of its truly amazing history of this secluded historical residence in Monteluco, Details

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