In This Issue
THE Palio Tour - 2 spots open
Tour updates
Living in Tuscany
California Class
Gina's Cookbook
Carnevale Masks from Venice

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2014 Food & Wine Tours


May 31 - June 7 - Full

June 20 -27 - open spots 

September 27 -Oct 4 - open spots 

Nov 1 - 8  


Bologna & Tuscany

October 12 - 19 - open spots

The Palio of Siena 

June 27 - July 4 -2 spots left 


Campania / Napoli

Sept 17  - 24


Taste of Tuscany

October 7-11


Join us this year for a full immersion to the regions of Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Campania - great food, wine, history and culture! 


Vacation Villas
& Farmhouses

Casa Marta
Great accomodations for either a night or a week. When planning your stay in Italy, begin your 'country living' on a Saturday and depart the area the following Saturday for the best selection of villas and houses! 
Contact Mary: 972.342.8308 
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Ciao amici,  

They've been celebrating "Carnevale" in Venice for several weeks now all in preparation of Lent where the fasting and preparation for Easter begins on Ash Wednesday. Carnevale (translates to remove meat) culminates on martedi grasso (Fat Tuesday) where decadence prevails. Each region of Italy has their own customs and foods, but the parties in Venice with their foods and artful masks and costumes are famous worldwide.  In our family for preparation of the Lenten season we made a delicious lasagna with ragu and cenci (recipe below).  Enjoy!   


Buon appetito! 

Gina and Mary  

Cenci - "Little Rags "

These yummy little fried strips of dough are served throughout Italy for Carnevale. Also known as chiacchiere, stracci, lattuga or struffoli in other parts of Italy, the Tuscans call them
cenci (CHEN-chee) or "little rags".

1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 eggCenci
1-1/2 tablespoon rum
peanut oil for frying

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Add the egg and rum. Mix with a fork until evenly mixed. Pull the dough together with your hands and knead until smooth.
Roll the dough until thin with a rolling pin or the pasta machine, cut into strips and fry in the oil until golden brown, being careful not to burn. Drain on paper towels and dust with powdered sugar before serving. 

The Palio of Siena tour -    

We are just about set for our first ever Palio tour! Gina will be leading a tour to attend THE JULY PALIO in Siena. Often spoken about as "the most exciting sporting event - ever", we'll guide you through these unforgettable "Days of the Palio"- trial races, a contrada dinner and THE Palio race with balcony seats.

Our View for the Palio on a Balcony
above the crowd 
Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Two spots just opened up for our Palio Tour.   

The dates are: June 27 - July 4th

If you'd like to join us, call or email us! 972-342-8308 

Trips to Italy Update
We have a few spots open in our Tuscany tours - its not too late to sign up and make that anticipated trip to Tuscany this year! Call or email Mary for pricing if you're interested in joining either our June 20th or September 27th Tuscany tour.
Market day
Shopping in the market!

Living in Tuscany
Do you have a dream to live in Tuscany? An owner Mary works with for weekly rentals is selling 2 of his houses in the Chianti Classico. Located on an absolutely beautiful winery estate, owning a slice of Tuscany might be a dream come true! If you're interested, contact Mary and she'll send the information and put you in touch with them. Perhaps you can go see them this year - they are available for weekly rental through the end of this year.
Gina returns to California to Ramekins
Gina will be teaching a cooking class at Ramekins in Sonoma, CA on April 7th prior to our tour starting on the April 8th. This class is open to the public and will feature a spring menu.  
Please call to 707-9343-0450 register if you're interested! Ramekins Cooking School

Due to the huge popularity of our "Tuscany meets Sonoma" tour, we will offer it again! We'd love to do it in August when the weather seems perfect. Email Mary to get on the list and for more details.
Ecco La Cucina Cookbook

gina's cookbookGina's cookbook is now revised and updated with more than 20 new recipes. This collection of traditional Tuscan cooking, features dishes of the Siena area and some of her favorites.