Weekend Tour Experience with Santa Giustina

If you are looking to escape the hustle bustle of the city life for your next weekend getaway then Santa Giustina is the place for you. Allow yourself to take this road trip, and embark on a two-day experience that will both be rejuvenating and feed your curiosity. Just over an hours drive from the city of Milan, Santa Giustina is a state of the art winery set in an ancient village.

What is the history of Santa Giustina?

Established over 40 years ago, the Santa Giustina farms used to be an ancient religious settlement surrounded by bountiful natural beauty. The founders, Antonio and Gloria, decided to restore the settlement to its full potential and today, their children Gaia and Nicolo, continue to sustain its glory. The farms have now become a magical place where history, wine and nature come together to welcome anyone who wishes to learn the story of this remarkable place.

What does Santa Giustina offer?

The entire farm covers about 120 hectares of land, of which 30 hectares are dedicated to luscious vineyards. Grapes such as Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Bonarda, Ortugo and Malvasia are produced in abundance at these vineyards.

Of these grapes, begins the crafting of the unmistakable DOC wines of Piacenza and some of the exceptional international blends. Vinification at Santa Giustina farms employs a skilful mix of historical farming knowledge and modern technology, keeping in mind the sustainability of the final product.

What’s in store for the weekend?

On this one of a kind weekend experience with Santa Giustina, you will enjoy 2 days worth of activities amidst the vast natural beauty that the farms offer. Upon arrival, you will receive a warm welcome. After you have been checked in,  your day 1 activities will follow. The program for the first day includes horseback riding on the Santa Giustina hills for a minimum of 1 hour, with a possibility of extension. You will get plenty of time on your first day to explore the farms and the hotel. You will then be treated to a traditional Piacenza dinner at the Bistrot del Sant’Uberto.

After spending the night at Agrirelais Sant’Uberto in a luxurious double room, and enjoying the breakfast spread in the morning you will commence your tour of the vineyards and the modern cellar. The guided tour will take you through the wine production process at the farms, with a thorough viewing of the facilities and the cellar. At the end of the 3-hour tour, you will be led into a tasting room for a specially curated wine tasting session. The session will include the tasting of three wines paired with locally sourced cold cuts and cheeses.

What should you keep in mind?

The vineyard and cellar tour will be 3 hours long and covered on foot. It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes on this day. This is an overnight experience, so carry your necessary luggage. The booking does not include any arrangements for transportation and you will have to arrive at the location on your own.

Each booking is valid for two people.

5 Food Souvenirs to Buy from Italy

We all love taking back home a bit of the place we visit. Travellers often know exactly what souvenir they want to collect from a country even before they land there. Italy offers many a unique items that can be bought as memorabilia besides the usual suspects (magnets, postcards and key chains). There’s Italian porcelain, glass, leather, shoes…and then there’s Italian food items! Here are 5 best food souvenirs you should buy from Italy and the food brands to look out for near you.

1. Pasta

5 food souvenirs to buy from italy 5 Food Souvenirs to Buy from Italy pasta 326865 1920 1024x765Pasta is easily available all around the world, but there’s something special about buying pasta from its birthplace. You’ll find the widest variety of shapes and sizes all under one roof, and these packets not only make for great personal souvenirs but are also a delightful present for your loved ones back home. Do try some of the local brands the store may have to offer, but if you’re looking for safe bets then De Cecco and Barilla are your go-to brands, which are easily available all over Italy.

2. Polenta

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Polenta is perhaps the most underrated comfort food that there is. Thanks to the popularity enjoyed by mashed potatoes, this cornmeal equivalent from Italy has been flying under the radar. Take home a packet of polenta grits to whip up at your next dinner party. Go for any local yellow cornmeal when choosing your polenta.

3. Aceto Balsamico di Modena

5 food souvenirs to buy from italy 5 Food Souvenirs to Buy from Italy balsamic vinegar 3580421 1920 1024x683Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is easily available in global supermarkets. However, most of the commercial grade bottles simply imitate the traditional product by addition of thickeners, coloring and sweeteners. Get your hands on a traditional and original Aceto Balsamico di Modena while in Italy to take home the true flavours of this rich and glossy vinegar. Tip: the colour of the cap indicates the age of the vinegar. White cap means the vinegar has been aged for 12 years, and golden cap indicates that it is extravecchio (extra old) having been aged for 25 years or more.

4. Torrone

5 food souvenirs to buy from italy 5 Food Souvenirs to Buy from Italy nougat 2351215 1920 1024x681Save the typical chocolate souvenir for other European countries, and take this delicious nutty nougats from Italy instead. They are regarded as traditional Christmas dessert, so they make for perfect holiday season souvenir.

5. Limoncello

5 food souvenirs to buy from italy 5 Food Souvenirs to Buy from Italy sorrento 2331766 1920 1024x683Limoncello (also known as limoncino in Northern Italy) is an Italian Lemon Liqueur, the second most popular in the country after Campari. It’s made from the zest of Sorrento lemons with an average alcohol content ranging 25-30%. While it is used to make various cocktails and added to desserts even, limoncello’s primary purpose is to be served as a digestivo at the end of a typical Italian meal. This liqueur can be brewed at home quite easily, so naturally there are a quite a few locally made limoncellos  in the market. If you are looking for some branded liqueur then opt for the classic Italian heritage brand Dolce Cilento.

5 Restaurants Where Milan Loves To Eat

If you’re confused as to which food tour to take while visiting Milan, then here’s one you can embark on independently. Navigate around the city by visiting the top restaurants frequented by the locals, and gorge on some of Milan’s most popular dishes. We’ve picked out the 5 best restaurants in Milan that are a must visit.

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1. Carlo e Camilla in Segheria

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This rustic fine dining experience is brought to you by Michelin starred Chef Carlo Cracco and art director Tanja Solci. Set in an historic sawmill, everything about this restaurant is an artistic stroke – the location, the interiors and of course, the food. This spacious high ceilinged restaurant, is run by Neapolitan Chef Luca Pedata who brings a fresh perspective to traditional Italian gastronomy. The offerings are seasonal, changing 4 times a year.

With both an indoor and an outdoor setting. Carlo e Camilla is only open for daily dinners and Sunday lunch and is on the expensive side, with dinner for two coming up to roughly 120.

2. Pizza Am

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We’ll keep this one simple: Pizza Am is hands down the best pizza in the city. An absolute favorite amongst locals, there’s usually a long waiting queue, but if the owner’s around you’re likely to be treated to a complimentary drink and nibbles while you wait. Vegetarians can rejoice, as the entire menu is meat-free, yet offering a decent variety. The cozy pizzeria is the perfect place for a midweek pizza date, with cost for two being €30 on an average.

3. La Dogana del Buongusto

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Located in downtown Milan, this restaurant and winery is a hidden gem that offers Lombardy cuisine along with wine tastings. This is the place you go to if you are in mood for some traditional dishes such as Milanese Risotto or Cotoletta (breaded veal cutlet). Their expert sommeliers will happily guide you through their expansive wine selection and help you pair it with cured meats, cheese and other delicacies. Lunch for two at La Dogana del Buongusto will cost you €40 whereas dinner for two will cost upto €70.

4. Erba Brusca

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Run by Chef Alice Delcourt, the Erba Brusca ristorante prides itself on using only the freshest of ingredients, sourced primarily from its own kitchen garden along with carefully selected local producers. This little green restaurant is known for its outdoor seating, especially during the summers when guests love to come in large groups. Cost for two is approximately €70.

5. Trippa

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Trippa is a traditional style trattoria run by Chef Diego Rossi, offering daily specialities depending on the seasonal availability of produce. The open style kitchen will allow you to watch as your dishes are prepared with immaculate finesse. The simple furnishings make for an intimate and homely ambience, whereas the friendly staff will gladly help you pick out the best dishes and wine. A meal for two will set you back €50.