Lisa’s Italian Adventure, Day 1, April 3 Verona Italy

Verona Italy! Where Shakespeare’s star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliette, played out their tragic end.

Verona, once part of the great Venetian Empire and where Soave, Valpolicella and Bardolino are the vineyard stars.

My trip, organized in secret by Nancy Carten, owner of KWM, is being sponsored by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada –West. The trip is in conjunction with Vinitaly , a large and equally famous wine show based in Verona.  After a long flight I arrived at 6:30 pm, tired tainted, hungry and thrown off -center with the time change. But, ready and eager to taste wine!

I arrived a few days early to learn the ropes, get acclimatized and to generally discover the area.

My hotel is just outside of Verona in the small town of  Bussolengo, and it stands tall and very slick behind the backdrop of 2 much older buildings.  I am happy to unload my heavy, over packed, luggage in my room. (Why do we all over pack??) What next?

My view is enticing: 4 church steeples (a good start) and the snowy peaks of the Alps in the distance. Big Sigh! I know I am in Italy.

First things first, food and wine! I pass a little pizza place, fresh ingredients, clean, a mental note to  check it out.

A few doors down the street I see what looks like a new sign, Fucina…  It’s  hard to see inside but it smells very promising. The menu looks good, fresh pizza; people are hanging out, another good sign.

Still not convinced, I keep walking.  Just at the end of the block I stumble onto a grocery store. I’m on a mission, but this is not looking promising. Very basic, local, branded products. But, there’s wine and beer and water; I have the essentials!  I’m sold. I load up, grab a few random varietal wines and start looking for meat and cheese.

Just as I turn the corner (my eyes lit up and my energy is lifted….  I even think I’m drooling) I find my morning stomping ground for the week!  A fresh deli/ bakery. The bread is almost sold out for the day, so I make a note to get there earlier tomorrow.

I grab a tellegio, tasting young and fresh, not quite its stinky aged self, piave , beautiful texture and looking alive, a caciotta and a few slices of melt in your mouth bresaola.

Oh so happy, back to my room. No knife, no plate, no wine glass. It doesn’t matter. Thank goodness I brought my Laguiole corkscrew; it has a healthy sharp knife that cuts effortlessly into the cheese. It also opened that bottle of Valpolicella Superiore , Duca Del Frassino 2012 (turns out they introduced the boxed wine concept). The wine was enjoyable and, luckily, was in a bottle. I managed to finish half of it! Oh  well. I’m off to bed to dream of my next day and my next glass of wine and of course my steaming cup of delicious Italian c


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