All posts filed under: Adventure!

Wanderlust and Adventure

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the most pleasant sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure” Freya Stark At the end of my Umbrian adventure, I discover the writing of Michelle Damiani and am immediately entranced by her idea of a “wanderlust” genre. Where else should we find books such as  A Year in Provence, Under the Tuscan Sun and Driving Over Lemons? To place them with travel guides is a dishonor! Those of us who crave the adventure of waking alone in a strange town in a new country cringe at the thought! Covid has made it difficult for us who suffer from wanderlust to satisfy our craving for adventure. No more is it a relatively easy exercise to wake up in a strange town. So what’s a woman to do? Find adventure in the familiar. This morning that means discovering a new twist to chichaito. I wrote about chichaito a while ago because I was surprised to find anise culture here in Puerto Rico ( I’ve returned …

An Umbrian Adventure

8 October 2021 – 23 October 2021 Be Prepared I’ve known I’ve wanted to travel since I was very young. On Sunday mornings I would creep to the front door, open it stealthily, purloin the Sunday paper (yes, I’m dating myself) and after reading the funnies I’d open the travel section. My father always wanted to be the first to handle the paper and I would carefully return the sections to their original positions and place the paper between the screen and front doors for him to find later. My best friend Kathie and I planned trips to dude ranches in Arizona and explorations to Spain. Visiting New Zealand was a goal that developed in the 70’s when I read that it was like the US in the 50s. One of my favorite books was a world atlas and I’d love reading about different countries as I read letter by letter through the World Book Encyclopedia. It could very well be said, that I created my global business as a means to travel the world …

The Work of Women – With Love from Piegaro, Italy

The work of women is celebrated all over the centro historico (historic center) of Piegaro in the region of Umbria! From murals to statues to models and live demonstrations, here girls see that women have been key to commerce for centuries – actually from the time that glass blowers were smuggled out of the island of Murano in Venice (which wanted to hold a monopoly on glass making) to this hilltown in the middle of the country. I am staying in one of 3 glass factories. The oldest (L’Antica Vetreria) which has been converted into apartments, the next – Museo del Vetro – is, as you would guess, now a museum dedicated to the local history glass making and the newest is a cooperatively owned factory outside of the village center. Are you old enough to remember when tables at every Italian restaurant had a wax coated bottle of Chianti wine dressed in a reed covering? Well here’s the background. Women historically were not glass blowers, but instead here fashioned the important outer covering with reeds …

Executive Profile: Orietta Varnelli, COO Distilleria Varnelli S.p.A.

Since 1988, Orietta Varnelli has been one of the owner operators of Distilleria Varnelli S.p.A.. In 2011, she became the president of ActionAid Italia. In 2015 she was named one of 3 women among the 13 senior directors of the Banca d’Italia. Today, she is my companion for lunch. I’m wondering what lessons women in public companies can learn from women executives in family owned businesses. Family Owned Business Family run businesses are Italy’s economic engine. As in the US, about 85% of all companies in Italy are family-0wned. Unlike the US where family-owned business contribute 64% to GDP, in Italy they contribute 94% of GDP. Varnelli has been family-owned and operated since its founding in 1868. Which led me to wonder, is executive leadership different in family-owned businesses? Over Our 5 Hour Lunch! Much of  lunch was spent discussing the anise culture, but sandwiched (pun intended) between the cocktails & aperitivi, multiple courses & bottles of wine, we did discuss leadership and women in leadership. Grounded in Values Once an aspiring architect, Orietta’s life …

A Meal to End All Meals! Part One

Back in the day, the 3 martini lunch used to be a thing. Beneficiaries enjoyed long, leisurely “working” lunches…well let me tell you about the 2 bottle lunch. In last night’s blog, I marveled that the people around me were eating 3 and 4 courses. Today I learn how. The star of this 2 bottle meal is Rosaria Morganti, chef, owner of Ristorante Due Cigni and master sommelier. She proudly shows me the napkins that are hand woven by her nearly 90 year old mother – who still works in the restaurant! Strong women abound during this meal. Due Cigne offers a farm-&-fish to table experience that is both traditional and contemporary. The decor is refined and minimalist – it occurs to me that there is nothing to compete with the experience of the food. The only thing that isn’t minimalist is its award winning wine cellar! I arrive to meet and interview Orietta Varnelli at noon and walk into an empty restaurant. Well, I think, maybe they open at 12:30. Anna Tesoni is there …

The Best of Belgian Chocolate

I’m a chocoholic. I admit it. I love sampling chocolate in locales famous for it. I once hosted a champagne and chocolate tasting featuring chocolates sourced from around the world. No surprise then,  I was a wee bit skeptical about the superiority of Belgian chocolate over that of other countries, but I’m almost convinced. Why do I say almost, well chock it up to a most delightful chocolate tasting tour with Groovy Brussels. Spend More, Eat Less César begins our tour by claiming that we would find that the investment in the tour would save us money! I’m deeply and visibly skeptical. “Rest assured,” he says, “the tour is organized so you’ll come to understand.” At the first shop we learn 3 things about chocolate: Chocolate is made of ground, roasted cocoa beans and sugar. Cocoa beans are about half fat and half solids. If you buy a chocolate bar that is 100% cocoa, it is 50% cocoa fat and 50% cocoa solids. A bar that’s 70% has 30% sugar, 35% fat and 35% cocoa …

Tasting Party!

Last night we had our first anise liquor tasting party. In preparation for my trip to sip along the Adriatic, we sipped 2 brands of pastis and an Italian anisette, tested the new Sip.Savor.Adventure! Tasting Template (which definitely needs a bit of work), and savored an array of typical appetizers. Sadly, there are no action photos because Jim neglected to give my my very first lesson in how to use my new Canon Powershot SX60 16.1MP Digital Camera. (Note to self: always take it with you!) We learned at least 5 things (maybe more, but I confess my memory is a bit clouded): Straight up, the pastises by Pernod and Ricard burn the lips. No wonder a dilution of cold water is recommended. Meletti Anisette isn’t an aperitif – it’s sweet and better suited to after dinner. If I had read the bottle, I would have known that. And it doesn’t louche! Hmmm – something to seek further to understand. Also, more than the others, the anisette has legs. This makes sense because it is relatively …