Speaking for myself, I learned so much more about a destination I truly love to visit, Italy, despite the “bumps” in the road that made the trip all the more memorable [if you were there with me, you know what I mean]. After completing a trip like this, it takes time to digest the experience. Time to carefully unwrap all the nuances and flavors, like folded up clothes that have been sitting in your carry-on for weeks [uggh]. I mean there is all the different wine and food regions crammed into an eight day journey down Italy's palette of varied bold colors, but as I've had the time to decompress a bit; the pieces of the puzzle are all coming together nicely and I really like what I see so far, I hope to return again soon.
The very last of day of our collective journey found us in Napoli or Naples as it is known by many folks here in the U.S. where I make my home. Our fearless bus-driver, of Wine Bus fame, Gaetano delivered us all in fine shape from the freak snow storm which delayed our arrival to the beautiful Romeo Hotel. A great place to recharge the travel-batteries, it sits just across the street from the harbor, with grand views of Vesuvius and makes a great jumping off place for other tourist and travel destination like Pompeii [a must see] and the many sight seeing opportunities in Naples.
The only thing I would recommend; is that the Romeo hotel change their form over function in the shower; call me a spoiled American but “lukewarm” [yes I left the water running for at least 15 minutes, so yes Huston we have a problem] at best water is definitely not my cup of tea, especially for a five-star hotel, charging over $300 per night. I must admit, it did look like it could have been a great shower experience, providing the hot-water heater had been working that day. Now they also boast a Sushi bar and cigar lounge, yes to the Cigar idea, but honestly who goes to Italy thinking, I've got to get me some sushi and sake? I did love the room, it was gorgeous, well appointed and featured the first comfy bed [which I slept in all of 3 hours] of the many different locales I slept in the past eight days. The I-anything docking station is a nice touch as well.
Just moments after check-in, our group was invited to an Aglianico Taurasi Tasting, where we encountered four different wines of widely divergent vintages. There was a 1999 Radici Taurasi Aglianico, which I thought was just about over the hill, but still had nice fruit and very mellow tannins. There was a 2001 Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi Riserva Piano di Montevergine, a wine that left me breathless, wow a real stunner. Of course attempting to procure a bottle [by any means] before returning home, left me empty handed [sigh].
Nearly none of the group had a good experience with the Taurasi Riserva Piano di Montevergine Feudi di San Gregorio 2004, it was a bit too tannic, chalky, with too much campfire nuances. Finally, there was the 2006 [black label] Taurasi, which was quite good, loads of ripe fruit, leather and smoke, but pulled up a bit short on the finish. Overall, it was a great introduction into the Taurasi Aglianico, all wonderfully powerful wines from one of Italy’s premier grapes, along side Sangiovese Grosso, Nebbiolo and Sagrantino.
Finally it was time to head over to La Citta del Gusto in Napoli [Gambero Rosso] for our Blogger Fam-Trip farewell dinner. Where of course there was more wonderful wines for us to experience, that we had missed the opportunity earlier, because of weather related conditions.
Gambero Rosso’s easily found in
From my experience; Città Del Gusto provides the right environment to bring together great food, tasty wines and the budding wine and food enthusiasts for some of the very best gastronomic experiences you will find in Napoli.
Our "farewell" evening included a wonderful selection of authentic Campania style foods, wines and oh did I mention the desserts that bowled us all over at the end of the night. As it has been said; "parting is such sweet sorrow", but we had come to the end of the trip and it was time to sadly part ways. But it was not the end of the journey, it was the beginning of discovery. While having to leave all my new friends and a country I truly love [where I feel right at home], nonetheless most of us were ready to head back to our different destinations, so that we could get our stories about our wonderful experiences out on the web for the rest of the world to see and hopefully inspire others to make a similar trek. Until next time folks, sip long and prosper cheers!