Which is the better base, Padua or Verona?

A food and wine lover going to Italy asked me, “Which is the better base, Padua or Verona?” They wanted to stay in a smaller, less touristed city but be close enough to Venice for an easy day trip. To the west of Venice is Padua and then west of Padua, Verona. Vicenza, home to […]

Peach Amaretto Cake

It’s local peach season here in Vancouver! This cake from mangiabenepasta.com sounds absolutely delicious. “This cake is similar to a pineapple up-side-down cake but it is made with fresh peaches. It is a simple cake to make but the combination of peaches, almonds, and an Amaretto-flavored syrup make it a very moist, flavorful dessert.  Serve […]

Zucchini, Spinach, and Pancetta Salad – Insalata con Zucchine e Pancetta

From the wonderful web site, italianfood.about.com full of every category of Italian recipes and food information. I liked the variety of flavours: pancetta, vinegar, pine nuts with several vegetables. “This spinach, zucchini and pancetta salad is fairly elaborate, and will work nicely as a starter.” Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yield: 4 servings 1 […]

9 Days on the Amalfi Coast: How to use your time well

A Real Life Situation: good tips for you A travel agent contacted me for clients wanting to spend 9 days on the Amalfi Coast in late August. They wanted to see towns in the evenings after tourist crowds had gone so requested hotels in five towns including Capri. We advised them they’d waste too much […]

Save $625 on Sorrento cooking tour at beautiful, 4 star villa hotel

Book a cooking tour at a lovely, boutique 4 star hotel in the hills above Sorrento for any 6 days between August 1-10, and save $625 Cdn/$585 U.S.! We’ve sent many ecstatic food and wine lovers on this wonderful cooking and sightseeing tour in the Sorrento and Amalfi Coast areas! Instead of $3900 Cdn/$3650 U.S., […]

Spaghetti with Picchi-Pacchi and Shrimp

The name of this Sicilian pasta intrigued me! It’s classic, simple Sicilian recipe, tasty and easy to make from a web site with a wealth of Italian recipes from all Italy’s regions, mangiabenepasta.com (not only pasta recipes though!) Serves 2  1/3 cup olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped Pinch of red pepper flakes 1 […]

Lake Maggiore & Lake Como: Fall Special Events & Festivals

A Mama Margaret tour client asked me to research special events and festivals at Lake Maggiore and Lake Como for their fall holiday.  Here’s what I discovered. Lake Maggiore When I went to Lake Maggiore this May, I asked the tourist office in Stresa for a list. They only had info for the summer. The […]