Napa Valley

Wine tourism is the main asset of one of the most famous wine-growing areas in the world: Napa Valley. The fundamentals of this area were illustrated during the National travel tourism week (Nttw), seven full days dedicated to tourism, founded in 1983 by President R. Reagan and scheduled until Saturday 11 May throughout the country.

Wine tourism in Napa Valley

In the US, tourism today is worth 2,500 billion euro, with 16 million employees in 2018. And in the Napa region, where over 80% of national wine production is concentrated, wine (first sector for employees) is what’s driving tourism and the economy.

Wine tourism in 2018

Suffice it to say that in 2018 there were 3.8 million visitors to this area (20% of which foreign) with an average daily expenditure of almost 500 dollars, considering an average family of four, mainly spent in restaurant meals (118 dollars ) and wine purchases in the cellar (85 dollars).

Wine experiences for tourists

In particular, tourists present in Napa Valley are mainly attracted by the wine-related experience: in the survey, entrusted to the Destination Analysts research company, tasting wine in wineries is indicated by 80% of visitors, followed by meals in restaurants (65.2%), followed by vineyard tours (45.3%), shopping (39.8%) and the famous and popular Napa Valley wine train (27.6%).

Wineries and tastings

Each tourist, in 2018, visited an average of 3.7 wineries (compared to 3.1 recorded in 2016) participating in an average of 1.4 tastings. As many as 97.2% of respondents said they had made at least one winery visit and 73.8% had joined a wine tasting. Four out of ten wine tourists book their visits in advance, a percentage that rises to 50% for those staying overnight in the area. Compared to total attendance, over 35% of visitors in 2018 have slept at least one night in local accommodation facilities.

Everybody wants to move to San Diego. Why? Because of the relaxed atmosphere, the perfect climate, the beauty, the restaurant scene. When it comes to Italian food, San Diego has a lot to offer. Check our growing selection.

Cucina Urbana is a winning concecpt. It’s a restaurant and a wine shop, a proper place for an aperitivo, a small plate, a crispy pizza or a substantial meal. We pretty much enjoyed the smart and extensive wine list, well structured, full of brilliant choices among Italy, US, and around the world. Seat at the counter and open a proper bottle of orange wine from Friuli Venezia Giulia with a cheese and salumi platter. Lively atmosphere, professional service. Contadi Castaldi Best Wine bar in San Diego 2019.

Neapolitan style pizza and wine. Buona Forchetta has multiple locations in town but a consistent quality. As a starter we suggest some mouth watering pizzelle (deep fried pizza, marinara, parmigiano). Then go for the regina (withh buffalo mozzarella ) or the Alexa with rapini and house made sausages. Friendly atmosphere, honest and good quality price ratio.

Brilliant duo of southern Italian flair Flavio Piromallo and Pietro Nardo, offer a creative and interesting cuisine. Pietro Gallo, chef primum inter pares of Civico 1845, hasalso created a vegan Italian menu that’s completely plant based, featuring classics such as vegan lasagna, with perfectly textured pasta sheets made only with semolina and flour. The vegan ragout is made not with common seitan, rather “meat” obtained by pea protein, that’s served with a rice milk béchamel. When it comes to meat, we suggest the meatball in Neapolitan ragù.


Meals may end with the vegan “tartufo di pizzo” dessert. This top Italian quality served in California is the creation of Massimo Arcella, the youngest in a family of gelato makers from Pizzo Calabro, a delicacy that’s hard to find anywhere else in the United States. The wine list is brilliant, with a proper selection available by the glass and many boutique Italian wineries, ranging from elegant Rossese to striking Nebbiolo.

From Sicily to Tuscany. Talented chef Accursio Lota, who has revolutionized Solare in 6 years, has left the restaurant last December. But we’re still confident about this refined cucina owned by Randy Smerik. Located in an out of the way residential zone far from downtown, Solare is famous for its care for ingredients and the focus on regional dishes. New chef Fillippo Piccini has brought a strong Tuscan influence on the menu. Among the house-made pastas, we suggest the Pici co’ Brici (tomato sauce, parsley purée, and herb crumbs) or the pappardelle al cinghiale. In our last visit we also had some lamb chops and a proper tuna among the catch of the day. Solare’s wine cellar is also excellent with over 2000 bottles and a wide selction of Italian vignerons. The choices curated by sommelier Petra assure a broad and up-to-date selection.

Olio Marche

A production drop around –60%, mainly due to intense fly attacks in the region. Regardless of the problems linked to this year’s difficult campaign, for years olive oil in the Marche region has been known above all for the extraordinary blends that incapsulate the tradition of the territory with modernity.

Extra virgin olive oil in the Marche

Large abundance of prized monovarietals, which represent the avant garde of the place, first of all those of the ascolana tenera variety, a regional cultivar. But there are also the raggia, piantone di Mogliano and mignola, each with its unique and recognizable character.

The best Marche mills

The best producers? Distinguishing themselves this year are two special producers in the province of Pesaro and Urbino, which were bestowed awards by the Oli d’Italia 2019 guide.

Il Conventino di Monteciccardo
Il Conventino di Monteciccardo

Il Conventino di Monteciccardo, mill of the year

It is no wonder that Il Conventino di Monteciccardo of the Marcantoni family continues to reap success year after year: a producer that has always been dedicated to quality production and bringing value to local cultivars. In the 20 hectares of olive grove dwell 7500 plants, to which over 500 quintals of selected drupes are joined in the area. These are pressed with expertise in the mill, where nothing is left to chance. There is also wine, spirits, honey and chocolate made with extra virgin olive oil.

Il Conventino di Monteciccardo olive oils

Tre Foglie (top recognition) and two oils garnering Due Foglie Rosse (score assigned to excellent quality oils): these are the awards obtained by the producer, thanks to products owning an elegant and intriguing aromatic profile. The Frà Bernardo Monocultivar Ascolana Tenera is an intense fruity that releases its notes of tomato, aromatic herbs, flowers, almond and all the balsamic sensations that accompany them. The Frà Pasquale Monocultivar di Raggiola is a medium fruity, but with quite pronounced spice and bitterness, with hints of arugula, grass and walnuts. Finally, Frà Giocondo Monocultivar Leccino Bio is a green and persistent extra virgin, characterized by aromas of tomato, grass and slightly spicy nuances.

Massimo Mosconi - Emozioneolio
Massimo Mosconi – Emozioneolio

Massimo Mosconi – Emozioneolio, quality and marketing

Another reference company is the one belonging to Massimo Mosconi, a capable olive grower who offers complex olive oils of great character. The estate rises between the hills that border the left bank of the lower Metauro river, just over two kilometers from Tavernelle, along the Via Flaminia. Thanks to the avant-garde vision of the team, this producer also stands out for the well-structured website, complete with seasonal recipes that aim to bring added value to the green gold.

Massimo Mosconi – Emonzioneolio olive oils

Risveglio Monocultivar Raggiola wins the award for Best Intense Fruity, perfectly balanced between bitter and spicy, played on vegetable scents such as arugula, artichoke and grass, which leave room for even more balsamic notes. Then there is Respiro Monocultivar Moraiolo, another intense green fruity and persistent, reminiscent of the scent of grass and arugula, and in addition Opus, a medium fruity olive oil, once again vegetal and persistent.

Olive oil restraurants

Among the restaurants that most bring value to ingredients, olive oil in the first place, is L’Arcade in Porto San Giorgio, owned by Nikita Sergeev that offers a satisfying and enjoyable tasting itinerary, which can be combined with a selection of top wines. Then there’s Casa Rapisarda in Numana, rookie of the year for the guide Ristoranti d’Italia 2019, a place opened in 2018 and which has already become one of the best in the area, thanks to a menu created with rigor and inspiration, and which relies on home-grown garden products. Furthermore, Signore te ne ringrazi––a multifaceted space where to stop for excellent pizzas and for the original dishes, which rely on tradition but with an eye to the future, and Il Tiglio in Vita in Porto Recanati, a seafront restaurant with panoramic views and a quality fish cuisine, created by Enrico Mazzaroni. Not forgetting the two Michelin stars of the Marche gastronomic firmament, Moreno Cedroni (Madonnina del Pescatore) and Mauro Uliassi (Uliassi), both in Senigallia.

Olive oil shops

There are also shops where olive oil lovers can buy good extra virgin olive oil (here is the complete list). A great destination is Giorno per giorno Bio in San Benedetto del Tronto, a specialized shop that offers a nice selection of organic products, from fresh vegetables to honey, with olive oils and dried fruits.

by Michela Becchi



Il Conventino di Monteciccardo – Monteciccardo (PU) – via Giulio Turcato, 4 –

Massimo Mosconi – Emozioneolio – Serrungarina, Colli al Metauro (PU) –


L’Arcade – Porto San Giorgio (FM) – via Giordano Bruno, 76 –

Casa Rapisarda – Numana (AN) – via IV Novembre, 35 –

Singore te ne ringrazi – Montecosaro (MC) – via Bruscantini, 1 –

Il Tiglio in Vita – Porto Recanatai (MC) – viale Scarfiotti, 47 –

Madonnina del Pescatore – Senigallia (AN) – Lungomare Italia, 11 –

Uliassi – Senigallia (AN) – Banchina di Levante, 6 –


Giorno per giorno Bio – San Benedetto del Tronto (AP) –


The protection activity on foreign markets in regards to Primitivo di Manduria DOP by the consortium chaired by Mauro Di Maggio hasn’t stopped. The latest results say that deceptive brands have been blocked in Italy, Chile and Portugal and that the opposition to some labels in Germany, France and South Africa is also being negotiated.

Primitivo di Manduria

Precisely because this wine is so loved abroad,” explains Di Maggio, “Primitivo di Manduria is the product on which imitation phenomena must be most concentrated. This is a situation to which we have responded by expanding our vigilance and protection also in view of the wine’s production growth“.

Primitivo di Manduria abroad

The balance of three years of activity is very encouraging. In the legal battles faced by the Consortium 6 cases were won in Italy, one in Spain and one in Portugal; plus one in Chile and one in China. From the international market, four brands with the European Union wording have been eliminated.

The Apulian PDO

The Apulian PDO, which has a turnover of 120 million euro, 70% of which derives from export, in recording in 2018 a significant production growth of 15%, at 20 million bottles. The defense strategy is developing two-fold: internationally, by blocking all deceptive brands that directly recall or imitate the name; and on the other hand, the samples on sale are being taken and analyzed in the large-scale distribution circuit in the laboratory to verify inconsistencies with the specification.

For this reason, the agreement with the supervisory agents for 2019-21 has been renewed, increasing inspections by 30%, which will also include stores, retail and the Internet.


At the end of 2019 Fäviken will close for good. Magnus Nilsson decided that the restaurant he designed and conducted for 11 years in one of the most remote (and inhospitable) lands on the planet, about 600 kilometers north of Stockholm, in the county of Jämtland, will no longer exist.

Magnus Nilsson

The young Swedish chef, who at the time of the opening was just 24 years old (“all I wanted to do was cook my food, in my restaurant“), matured in symbiosis with a territory which inevitably influenced the production times and use of ingredients, in the service of “a type of restaurant that did not exist before and probably will no longer exist after Fäviken“, said the chef in the farewell video published by the Los Angeles Times.


And it’s precisely on the thrill of living and working in such a peculiar context that Nillson has relied on all these years, capable of making Fäviken one of the most coveted gastronomic destinations of gourmet travelers from all over the world (probably also due to the challenge of reaching it). But, Nilsson continues in his on-camera confession, “some time ago I got out of bed and, for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel the thrill of going to work. I began to understand that the end had come for Faviken.

The end of Fäviken

And, he continues, “I didn’t want to offer a fake experience, to do something that wasn’t up to what I did for the past 11 years“. Not a sudden decision, and in fact considered to avoid inconvenience to the team that was the engine of Fäviken – “I gave them time to find other options” – but also to avoid the last table booking (and this is not good news for those who hoped to get one at the last minute): “I didn’t want people to come only after knowing that we would close forever. This is why I waited to announce the closure until I had the guarantee of having “sold” all the available seats on the reservations book“.

The last months

Thus began the last six months of Fäviken, which will close at the end of December 2019, before the farewell: “I want these to be the best six months ever, working as if everything were normal“. Plans for the future? In 2018 Nilsson––who is also the star of an episode of the Chef’s Table series––launched a series of collateral projects based on a more informal approach, for all hours of the day.

The other projects

It’s hard to think that the experience can continue beyond the restaurant (but the sale of cured meats and the Undersaker store will remain open). And besides, the chef’s conclusions are clear: “I have no other plans in mind. “When I am done here I am going to spend time with my family, reflect, fish, garden, write, rest and get fit, both physically and mentally. I am not going to lie, I am a little bit tired.” This reflection once again raises the question of the need to rethink the tight rhythms of kitchens, a position that chefs are increasingly adopting.

While for Magnus the words of esteem of René Redzepi already arrived, saddened by the closure of Faviken, “one of the most memorable meals ever“: “Good luck Magnus! We look forward to knowing what will happen next.” An expectation shared by many.

Neapolitan pizza is all about fresh and fragrant ingredients, and a unique texture. After testing many pizzerias in Boston, we believe that Mast’ offers the most autentique ones in terms of taste. We strongly suggest the provola e pepe pie, and the mouthwatering ponuozzo. Dough is highly hydrated and cooked at 900 degrees in a proper wood, and with good timing. Fabio proved to be among the most talented pizzaiuolo we met during our stay in Boston. Chef and owner Marco Caputo also dysplays a wide range of traditional food, starting from a classico fried cartoccio to a generous piece of lasagna or a rich parmigiana di melanzane. Italian atmoshere, lively and homey.