The driver came to collect the group and they drove the hour or so to the Foxtown outlet shops, just over the border in Switzerland. After a couple of hours checking out the lovely merchandise at shops like Armani, Ferragamo, Loro Piano, etc., it was time for a bite of lunch.
After lunch the group made a stop at the beautiful Villa d’Este hotel in Cernobbio.
On arriving back at the villa, the ladies disembarked with their purchases in a fine mood. The day had been lovely but was not yet over… next up was the wine tasting.
Departing the bus with a few shopping bags at the front of the villa
Representatives of the Penati Wine Shop in Oggiono, a few minutes north of Barzanò came and provided a tasting of four Italian wines from different regions along with appropriate “affinati” (charcuterie or meat/cheese plate). At the end, the group voted on their favorites and a few bottles were kept to enjoy the rest of the week.
Expo has opened!! Until October 31st this outstanding exposition on how the countries of the world are working on the issue of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” is being visited by millions of people from all over the world!
Expo 2015 is open not only in the Exposition site but also in the historic heart of Milan, through ExpoGate, both a meeting and entertainment space and an information point for citizens and tourists in Milan. This location symbolizes the role as a gateway between Milan and the Expo, in the same way as Milan has always been considered a bridge between Italy and the rest of the world.
Milan and its region, Lombardy, are proud to host such an important event and can’t wait for all the visitors to come and visit. In fact, beyond the pavilions of the fair, there are many thrilling experiences and interesting trips in the amazing surrounding region which make Milan a top destination during the Expo period, with many not-to-be-missed events.
Indeed, the city has undergone a process of renovation, becoming a modern European city while maintaining the ancient splendor. Even some of the main attractions of the city will change their look for the occasion. The Duomo, after a huge restructuring operation, will reopen its “Museo del Duomo”. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the historic gallery arcade completed in 1877 is the oldest shopping mall in the world, during the Expo will be exceptionally opened until late in order to host a large number of cultural and gastronomic events.
The artistic and cultural heritage of Milan is on full display, as well: among the many exhibitions and museums of the city, don’t miss The Last Supper and Leonardo in Milan (an exhibition of Leonardo’s work during his 25 years spent in Milan) and an exhibition about Caravaggio, which was planned for 2010 and will be repeated on the occasion of Expo. Moreover, others great exhibitions about the Expo’s theme are programmed at the Triennale and Pinacoteca di Brera.
Lastly, if you are interested in fashion and design, sports, music and theatre, you will certainly have plenty of special events connected with the theme of Expo as well.
Last weekend Luigi and I enjoyed a day strolling through the lovely Val Curone just 20 minutes from Poggio Verde. It’s a protected valley dotted with farms and vineyards in the setting of the Italian pre-Alps: the perfect place to spend a pretty winter day.
We had lunch at Oasi di Galbusera Bianca, a charming Agriturismo located in a WWF “Oasis for Biodiversity”, surrounded by a dynamic organic farm. We enjoyed a simple but delicious meal in the cozy atmosphere, close to a welcoming fireplace. Beyond the restaurant, there’s also a country-style bar where you can taste organic snacks, cold dishes and locally made sorbets. We tasted the local wine made by the nearby vineyard La Costa, a surprisingly crisp and clean white wine called La Brigante made with the Chardonnay and Incrocio Manzoni grape varieties. We’ll be visiting the La Costa winery very soon to pick up some bottles for Poggio Verde!
The location is surrounded by the Regional Nature Reserve of Montevecchia and the Curone Valley . After lunch we took advantage of this enchanting place and had a relaxing walk amongst the vineyards along well-marked trails. There are various trails for all tastes, and we were overtaken by a mountain bike or two. Our cousins the birders (Peters 1 + 2, Susie and Connie, you know who you are!) would have gone wild with all the feathered wildlife around. Next time I hope to come with them! – Gretchen
Luigi and I visited the fascinating Klein/Fontana exhibit at the Museo del ‘900 in piazza Duomo. Klein was a ground-breaking French artist who during his short life changed perceptions about pure color and used his iconic blue pigment in striking works of performance art and minimalist art. Lucio Fontana was an important mentor and collector. The exhibit ends 15 March. http://www.museodelnovecento.org/en/le-mostre/presente-menu/581-klein-fontana.
We enjoyed the exhibit and were glad we weren’t in the long lines in front of the Palazzo Reale to see Picasso!
View from the top of Palazzo Reale lines to get into the Picasso exhibit
Gather your family or a group of like-minded friends and consider adding “Trip to Northern Italy” to your Christmas list! Focus on a certain theme – like golf, hiking or walking, cooking, dining, wine-tasting, painting, photography, art & culture, cycling, shopping – or arrange for a custom trip that includes a bit of several different activities. Day trips to famous wine-growing regions (fabulous lunch included) or maybe a 2-hour train ride into the Swiss Alps for a stunning panoramic view and a lovely lunch? Or maybe to the elegant villas of Lake Como?
This weekend your kids can’t miss the Halloween Cooking Class! They’ll have a lot of fun preparing delicious Halloween themed surprises such as Chocolate Bat Cookies, Halloween Cake Pops, Pumpkin Cupcake and Chocolate Witch Hats!
And there’s no need to worry if you are not a child anymore or you don’t feel like joining other cooking classes, since Giovanna Passeri has tought up some mouthwatering menus you’ll definitely enjoy.
Here you can have a look at Agriturismo Giovanna Passeri’s fine selection of food and you’ll also find further interesting information.
September and October have been busy months; we’ve gotten our Homeaway site established, set up a Facebook Page, spiffed up the website and received our first official guests.
Two groups of friends from Nashville, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Colorado Springs, Chattanooga and Kansas reported having a wonderful time not only in and around the villa itself but also visiting Lake Como (including Villa d’Este), Piani d’Erna, Milan, Lugano and Montevecchio. They tried some of the local restaurants and had good reports there, too. Each couple combined their visits to Poggio Verde with visits to other lovely spots like Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, Bolzano, Tuscany, Rome, London and Paris. Planes, trains and automobiles!
These photos were taken at Poggio Verde and Montevecchia, the wonderful tiny community with the church up on a ridge about 15 minutes from Poggio Verde: