In This Issue
June 27th class in US
Summer Antipasto
2015 Tuscany Tours - Naples & Amalfi Coast
Villa Pienza for Rental
At the Italian Table Supper Club
Montepulciano Winery

A wide variety 
Quick Links


Trip Advisor reviews



2015 Food & Wine Tours


Sept 26 -Oct 3 - 4 spots left!   


Bologna & Tuscany

October 4 - 11

Naples, Campania, Amalfi
Sept 16 - 22, 2015

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


Vacation Villas
& Farmhouses

Casa Marta
Great accommodations 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! 
Call for more information.
Contact Mary: 972.342.8308 
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Ecco La Cucina Cookbook

gina's cookbook  


Gina's revised and updated cookbook is available. It has more than 20 new recipes! This collection of traditional Tuscan cooking, features dishes of the Siena area and some of her favorites. 


Spring Dates - if you're in the area!

Near Louisville, KYA wonderful B&B in Jeffersonville, IN is hosting Gina with a cooking class and dinner on June 27 Saturday @ 5 pm a hands on class making 3 courses and fresh pasta plus an antipasti during class, followed by dinner. $95 Market Street Inn 

Please call Carol at the Inn to make your reservations! 812.285.1877
Ciao amici,
We've just returned from our spring tours and thoroughly enjoyed the weeklong tour and cooking class guests! Thank you to our wonderful new friends. We are looking forward to the fall and will be setting the dates for 2016 shortly - to be published soon on our website.

Have you traveled with us before and do you know someone that wants to join us? Refer a friend and we'll reward you with a special gift - a "Delights from Italy" basket - complete with some of the delicacies that you can only find in Tuscany. Hurry we've got 2 to send for this fall's tours!

Have a wonderful summer!
Buon Appetito!
Gina and Mary

Un Antipasto per l'estate - Summer antipasto 

One of our favorite starters to a summer meal is a beautiful board filled with delicious Italian sliced cured meats. Affettatimisti, or "mixed slices", is especially common in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna where the tradition of charcuterie, curing pig parts into pork products that would keep for a long time, is especially rich and long. Called salumi in Italian, the more common use in English is charcuterie, which is French, where they also have a long and storied tradition of curing meat.


When you're in Italy, it's important to eat as much salumi/charcuterie as possible in order to truly appreciate the fine tradition and excellent products that are available! In the US, many companies and chefs attempt to mimic the charcuterie of Europe with varying degrees of success. Curing pork is an art,  and like any art it takes time and practice to understand the process and develop the creativity that renders the pork so tender, luscious and flavorful. A combination of herbs, spices and whole sea salt, along with time, humidity and temperature, can turn a pig haunch into a symphony of flavors. The original reason for curing pork, to keep it from turning and provide a source of protein whatever the season, is no longer necessary. But the art of curing meats endures and flourishes with pride.


There are mainly two different cuts of Italian charcuterie: an entire muscle or piece of the pig such as the leg for prosciutto, the neck for capocollo, or the belly for pancetta; and cut or ground meat and fat, mixed together in varying proportions and sizes for different salumi such as soppressata, finocchiona, genoa or salami.


Accompanying the affettatimisti are generally vegetables "sott'olio", brined and kept under oil, such as dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, zucchini and peppers. Cheese is a welcome addition and in Tuscany pecorino Toscano is the main cheese to be found on the board, while in Emilia Romagna Parmigiano Reggiano is king. Add in a little toasted bruschetta and you have the perfect start to a summer meal. You can continue with a light pasta or just a simple salad. Along with a bright rosato of sangiovese wine, close your eyes and you're in Italy!

2015 Tuscany  & Southern Italy Tours
We're dreaming of Italy this fall! The euro exchange is great for travel to Europe. And we have just a few openings for our September and October trips. We hope you'll join us on our highly rated food and wine tours! Our small group intimate food and wine tours are a excellent way  to experience the real Italy. It is a wonderful balance of wine, food, culture and history.
On a winery tour

 Click here to see a sample Tuscany itinerary. We are going on a truffle hunt in Tuscany! There are a few spots available for the Sept 26-Oct 3 tour. 

We've scheduled our tour to Naples and Campania and the Amalfi Coast! This beautiful area with the picturesque seas and Mt Vesuvius are a foodie destination with it's pizza, seafood and mozzarella of that region...did we mention the wines too? Our tour is scheduled for Sept 16 - 22, more information on our website or call Mary 972.342.8308.

Villa Pienza Available Sept 5-12!
This beautiful villa has become available for some of you last minute planners! What a gem and find this close to the date. A painting group had to cancel their reservation for this villa that sleeps 12  (6 bedrooms/6 bathrooms) just 5 minutes from Pienza in southern Tuscany. It is a perfect spot to relax and visit the area towns - Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Siena and a wonderful time of the year. Weekly price is 3900 euros but discounted to only 3400 euros. Call Mary - can share more pictures and details of this gorgeous villa! 972-342-8308
There are 3 separate apartments -rent all of it or just part of this gorgeous house. Explore southern Tuscany - Mary will help plan your trip.

At the Italian Table   
"At the Italian Table" will open a retail space with a commercial kitchen offering cooking classes and small private dinners! Look for an opening later this summer. In the meantime - when Gina returns to Louisville from Italy this spring her private dinner series - "At the Italian Table" will continue while she works to open her retail space. 
Click here to learn more about the supper club on our website and how to be a part of it. Each month Gina hosts a small, intimate dinner party. Call it a "pop-up", a supper club or underground dinner club, but whatever the name - Gina is delivering excellent food and a unique experience. Contact: Gina -