This Editor’s Note originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of Dream of Italy. Members receive access to more than 195 back issues—if you’re not a member, join here.
Visiting Modena for the first time in February and several times more this year has been life-changing for me.
I’ve been spending time in this most charming city in Emilia-Romagna to film two episodes with renowned chef Massimo Bottura and his American-born wife Lara Gilmore. Well, it was supposed to be one episode and is now two because I’m so enchanted with Modena, Massimo, Lara and “the Francescana family” they have created.
While I wrote the article “Welcome to the Francescana Family” about all the ways you can experience the Bottura magic in Modena, I asked frequent contributor and Emilia-Romagna resident Kevin Raub to do the heavy lifting on writing a definitive guide to this enchanting city. He hit it out of the park! Kevin captures the spirit of Modena perfectly, uncovering the city layer by layer from opera to balsamic vinegar to Parmigiano Reggiano to the cars and motorcycles that make this area of Italy “Motor Valley.”
If you’ve been reading Dream of Italy for a while, you know I love all of Italy but have a special place in my heart for Tuscany. I’m also a sucker for a great hotel and like to write about new places before anyone else. You are going to want to put Poggio alla Sala in Montepulciano on your must-visit list. The setting and food here are equally divine.
Associate Editor Danielle Abbazia shares a Dream Day near our shared ancestral hometown in Campania. I was lucky enough to return to the province of Avellino twice on my most recent 7-week stay in Italy. A drive through the countryside prompted me to call Danielle to ask her to write about the Greco di Tufo grapes and wine and the Di Marzo family who produce it.
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