Five-Minute Pow-Wow: Chef Tony Mantuano Talks Tastes, Tours, and Italian Soul

WORLD-RENOWNED CHEF AND HOST OF OUR AUTHENTIC FOODS OF ITALY: TOUR THE ITALIAN COUNTRYSIDE BOUTIQUE SHARES HIS INSIGHT INTO THE FAVORED CUISINE

Authentic Foods of Italy

A culinary tour through Italy is all about the senses – the tastes (first and foremost), the smells, the scenery. And of course, the people who make it all so delicious. Chef Tony Mantuano (maybe you recall him as one of the most revered and beloved contestants of Top Chef Masters) hosts the tour with his wife and culinary partner, Cathy. The expedition departs Rome and journeys through Molise, giving guests “insight into a little-known region’s food, wine, and history.” We sat down with Chef Mantuano for his take on all things Italian.

Rue La La: The itinerary takes Members through several villages and home-style restaurants. What’s your one favorite meal?
Chef Mantuano: The specialty of the region is called Pampanella – delicious and unforgettable. [Editor's note: Pampanella is a pork dish, marinated overnight with garlic and ground sweet pepper.]
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January 26, 2011

Five-Minute Pow-Wow: A Stylish Bike Trip

AN INTERVIEW WITH JOSH WILSON, RUE LA LA PROJECT MANAGER

Ciclismo Classico

We always prefer the scenic route. So in preparation for our upcoming Experience from Ciclismo Classico, purveyors of bike tour vacations in foreign locales, we sat down with our very own Josh Wilson, who recently toured Tuscany with the company, to get a taste of his experience.

Rue La La: How is traveling on a bike different from, say, a bus tour or cruise?
Josh: This is a much more personal and hands-on experience. You are slowly riding through the countryside so you take in the smells, sights, sounds, and people in a way that you can’t in a bus.

Rue La La: We love getting around on our bikes, but… what kind of intensity are we talking about?
Josh: The average route for our tour was about 40 miles per day and included one or two challenging climbs. There’s flexibility built in each day – those who want to do more miles and see more of Tuscany can break off from the main pack and do an extra loop. It’s a great opportunity to ride faster and climb harder and I looked forward to them each day.
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January 20, 2011

5 Telling Tidbits: Salvatore Ferragamo Talks Family Wines

THE INSIDE SCOOP BEHIND THE STORIED FAMILY VILLA

Il Palio & The Ferragamo Estate

We caught up with Salvatore Ferragamo, grandson of the iconic fashion company’s late founder, for some insider insight about their family estate that he describes as “historic, luxurious, and picturesque.” There are so many amazing details about the estate (and our Tuscan adventure as a whole!) but we’ve zeroed in on five little-known facts about the Ferragamo family, wines, and estate that get us dreaming of the dolce vita.

1. When Salvatore said the property was historic – he meant it. The estate once belonged to the world-famous Medici-Tornaquinci noble family, as well as Italian royals throughout history.

2. The estate’s library is chock-filled with the family’s private collection of books and photographs – a treasure-trove of family heirlooms.
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December 3, 2010