Vic explores local history at the Librandi Winery and museum and gets hands on experience at the Fattoria della Piana, milking a cow at the cooperative cheese factory that also produces energy. Recipes include bistecca tagliata and a delicious pulpo salad made with octopus caught just a few miles from the kitchen.
Vic visits the quaint town of Cremona outside of Milan, home of the famed Stradivarius and Guarneri violins and violas - and helps make another artisan masterpiece, a 500 lb. Auricchio provolone. In the shadow of Italy's tallest brick bell tower, Vic speaks with the mayor in Cremona's historic piazza and learns about the town's centuries-old traditions of music and food. Recipes include Pasta Napkins with provolone and zucchini fonduta.
In Tuscany's famed medieval walled city Vic cooks on an ancient rotisserie designed by Leonardo da Vinci - and learns the most modern techniques for producing sangiovese grapes at the Avignonesi vineyard, using progressive organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking techniques. Tony Verdoni shares his wine tips for the region.
Vic visits an organic poultry farm in Gaiole, a village in the hills of Chianti and discovers traditional treasures at Badia a Coltibuono, an 11th century abbey now home to a winery and cooking school. At the Lorenza de Medici cooking school, de Midici's daughters, chefs Benedetta and Emanuela, teach Vic easy ways to prepare fresh ingredients, and discuss the region's unique cheese and salume. Tony Verdoni offers a lesson on the folklore of Chianti classico. Recipes include duck ragu and pesto made the old-fashioned way with mortar and pestle.
Vic reaches new heights of Italian culture in Orvieto, an 11th century town perched on a cliff of volcanic rock, with stops at the 14th century Duomo; 7 Consuls restaurant; the state of the art Falesco winery; plus the clay to kiln handmade process for the region's distinctive colorful ceramics. Recipes include tortelli and pigeon.
Vic explores the Sassi di Matera, walking the stone streets of this ancient cave town in southern Italy to discover traditional recipes at La Talpa restaurant and tour the Lucano liquor factory, where a secret family recipe has been passed down through three generations. Recipes include fava and chicory.