How often do you travel? How many days are you on the road?
I travel every 4-6 weeks and am on the road at least 150 days out of the year.
Wouldn’t leave home without …
My mini bottle of olive oil – for emergencies – to add flavor to food. Also a must have is a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers; walking is the best way to discover new sights and flavors.
Favorite hotspot or haunt (club, restaurant, hidden gems)?
My favorite winebar in Orvieto is La Champagneria. You will find this in Piazza Marconi, which is the principal piazza in Orvieto. When you go, ask for Gian Luca and Velia. Gian Luca is very knowledgeable about wines and liqueurs from all over the world, and the antipasti that Velia whips up to go with the drinks is heavenly.
Grab a table outside under the stars (if it is not too cold outside) and you will have a splendid view of the whole piazza. If you are not knowledgeable about wines, tell Gian Luca the taste you are looking for and he will make a perfect choice and tell you all about your selection. Gian Luca is a true artist and is so passionate about being a sommelier that he told us that he always carries something that can open a bottle of wine in his backpocket as you “never know when you will have the opportunity to experience a great bottle of wine or champagne and you must always be ready”.
My little home away from home – not really a hotel, but it’s more considered a country resort in Orvieto called Borgofontanile. It is a converted farmhouse that contains 7 apartments that overlook a pool, and includes a restaurant. There is also a small farm that produces fresh ingredients, as well as wine produced from their grapes and a small production of olive oil from the olives grown for the restaurant.
Each apartment was renovated to resemble a farmhouse room and comes equipped with their own kitchen and silverware. Each also comes equipped with TV and DSL to stay connected. If you want to cook using fresh ingredients from the farm there, you can try your hand at using some of the best ingredients to create great dishes in your own farm kitchen. Each room comes equipped with a moka (espresso pot) and espresso coffee to wake up and make your own each morning, as well as a small fridge. A spa will be opening in December 2008 – so the small resort makes a perfect getaway for business or pleasure.
One of the nicest part of the hotel is the view of the Umbrian Hills, and is the inspiration for my next book.
Ischia, a beautiful island near Capri but bigger than Capri. Ischia is famous for their hot baths, springs and spas that use products produced from the mud and water that comes from Monte Epomeo, the inactive volcano at the top of the island.
You will think that you are in a living photo, the colors on the island. Ischia is divided into 5 small cities, and my favorite is Forio D’Ischia. This was also a favorite haunt of the ‘glitterati’ including Jackie Kennedy Onassis, as well as the poet Pablo Nerone and other film stars of the La Dolce Vita era.
La Pergola in the Hilton Cavaliere Hotel in Rome in the Monte Mario section of Rome. Heinz Beck is the celebrated head chef and is always coming up with true experiences for the table. He has said that his goal is not to satisfy your appetite but to give you a hedonistic pleasure at the table for all your senses. They are only opened in the evenings on Tuesday through Saturday, Closed Sunday and Monday.
Tips as told by Maria Libertati, former international supermodel and celebrity Italian chef , cookbook author and best-selling author.