A special vineyard in the Italian Dolomites: Castel Monreale

Not far from Merano, Italy stands a very interesting vineyard: Castel Monreale.  Here’s a bottle of their great red, a picture I took later with the backdrop of Lake Como.






So, here’s the locale: not bad, eh?



The grape plants shown in the next 3 pictures are about 75 years old and planted in the old style, which is very labor intensive because no mechanization can be used.



The cortile of the castle:



The 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death

2019 is the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci and Italy is doing it up right to mark the occasion.  All over Italy, but especially in Tuscany and Florence in particular, and in Milan, exhibitions are celebrating his art and life.

I love the comic relief one get’s from a poster like the one below.  At least we can have a little fun with the fact that he often wrote backwards!



Lake Garda

I’m enjoying a springtime journey through northern Italy and the famous lakes.  First stop: Lake Garda

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Starting in the province of Brescia in Lombardy,  Sirmione is a sweet little town whose historic center stands on the peninsula that divides the lower section of Lake Garda almost in half.

Sirmione is known to have been a popular resort town since the 1st century B.C.E., largely because of its thermal hot springs; there are Roman ruins in the historic center. The remains of a Roman villa are at the end of the peninsula, and are called the Grottoes of Catullus – the name of a Roman poet whose family lived in Sirmione in the 1st century B.C.E. Another attraction is the Rocca Scaligera, a 13th-century castle.  More recently, Maria Callas built a villa on the pennisula and, the 2017 film “Call me by your name” was partly filmed in Sirmione.




Below: there is nothing like sailing into a medieval port to start your day!