Our good friend Ralph lives and works in Vicenza and we love to visit him a couple times a year. So much to see and do in the Venato, not to mention trips to wineries to restock on some excellent Amarone della Valpolicella wine. Amarone means “The Great Bitter” and is used to differentiate it from the sweeter Recioto della Valpolicella wine which comes from the same region. On this trip Ralph took us to the Reccia winery just outside of Verona. This area is a very popular wine tour area. There are many wineries along the winding roads up into the hills, and in the summer they have bus tours taking groups from place to place. We prefer offseason trips, when the majority of customers are locals coming in to fill their large multi liter glass jugs with sfuso wine dispensed from pumps just like those that you find at the gas station.
Six bottles of excellent wine later……(It is impossible to not go a bit crazy buying wine in Italy. I remember that back in the U.S. an average bottle of Valpolicella would cost at least 25-30 dollars. At the winery, their best offering was 26EU a bottle, and Valpolicello Ripasso, which is a form of Valpolicello Superiore, goes for only 7EU a bottle.) We limited ourselves to just a case, which is six bottles. Two each from different types of Amarone, and two Ripasso.
Car full of our treasures, we headed back down from the hills to visit the Christmas Market in Verona. Christmas Markets are very popular throughout Europe. Typically located in piazza’s in the central area, they are full of local products and local food.