Belli Bellini

How well do you know your Bellini, that deceptively simple combination of just two ingredients—Prosecco and peach nectar—into a delighfully refreshing cocktail? Here’s a pop quiz:

  • The best Bellini in Venice can be had at Harry’s Bar, where it was famously invented in the 1940s.
  • A Bellini has a distinct dusty rose color, which comes from the color of the pureéd peaches.
  • No peach nectar, no Bellini.

All three are true, right?

Wrong.

We were recently treated to hands-down the most delicious Bellini now being served in Venice, the signature cocktail of one of the city’s most respected mixologists, award-winning cocktail innovator Marino Lucchetti.

Bellini cocktail at the Londra Palace, Venice(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr) Read More...

Ordering at a Restaurant in Italy: Rules and Exceptions

There are many ordinary tasks and common customs that are daunting for a first time traveler to any country, including Italy. Things as simple as friendly greetings (buongiorno before lunch, buona sera after), purchases (money is placed on the counter, not directly in the hand; the same is true for your change), and business hours (ah, the beloved early afternoon riposo closure) require thought and a bit of getting used to...and as soon as you feel you’ve gotten the hang of it, you run into an exception.

Bologna

The same is true for eating at a restaurant in Italy. Italian meals are articulated into a number of portate, or courses, and it helps to have a general idea of what each means and how to organize both your order and your meal. And then, of course, how to make an exception. Read More...

Italy’s Happiest Hour: L’Aperitivo

It is often said that Italy has a “food culture” rather than a “drink culture”, which is largely true. Most socialization happens around the table--not over a round of cocktails--and any sort of gathering necessarily includes a generous buffet ranging from delicate finger foods to hefty lasagne, accompanied by nothing more elaborate than water and wine. Read More...