A sampling of observations…
“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” — Giuseppe Verdi
“No matter where I’ve been overseas, the food stinks, except in Italy.” — Carmen Electra
“Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.” — Bertand Russell
“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.” — Fanny Burney
“There is in the DNA of the Italians a bit of madness, which in the overwhelming majority of cases is positive. It is genius. It is talent. It’s the masterpieces of art. It’s the food, fashion, everything that makes Italy great in the world.” — Matteo Renzi
“I find it beautiful when we’re in Italy that everybody sits down at the table together. My mother-in-law is like, ‘It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the house, who is fighting, who is upset, who has appointments, you sit down at that table at 1 o’clock.’” — Debi Mazar
“When I first discovered in the early 1980s the Italian espresso bars in my trip to Italy, the vision was to re-create that for America — a third place that had not existed before. Starbucks re-created that in America in our own image; a place to go other than home or work. We also created an industry that did not exist: specialty coffee.” — Howard Schultz
“I spent a college semester in a small town in Italy — and that is where I truly tasted food for the first time.” — Alton Brown
“I love the simplicity, the ingredients, the culture, the history and the seasonality of Italian cuisine. In Italy people do not travel. They cook the way grandma did, using fresh ingredients and what is available in season.” — Anne Burrell
“Italy will never be a normal country. Because Italy is Italy. If we were a normal country, we wouldn’t have Rome. We wouldn’t have Florence. We wouldn’t have the marvel that is Venice.” — Matteo Renzi
Me? I’ve never been, but we’re hoping to get there within a few years. I have no desire to see the ruins of Rome or float on the canals of Venice. If I have my way, we’ll be heading straight for Tuscany and visiting as many wineries as time and budget allow.
We’ll also make time for some good espresso in the morning and an authentic meal at night. But mainly, I’m looking forward to the wineries.
And the wines.
Meanwhile, wines like those in this Vinesse collection will have to suffice. We’ll get to Tuscany one day, but there’s no reason to delay gratification.