A weekend in Franciacorta

Iseo Lake - Photo © RossiMarko81
Iseo Lake – Photo © RossiMarko81

Near Milan there is a region where the lakes and medieval cities are a break from the city crowds. Milan is also located very near to the lovely Franciacorta wine country where the bubbly italian “Champagne” is made, and is the perfect destination for a short weekend.

The picturesque wine region of Franciacorta is a relative secret, virtually untouched by non Italian tourists, and is a fantastic destination for short weekends, as it is only a little over an hour from Milan. Franciacorta is famed for its bubbly, and the wines are considered to be on a par with the finest champagnes. The region is full of picturesque vineyards on rolling hills and medieval villages.

Wine cellars in Franciacorta

The name probably refers to the order or ‘corti’ of monks who cultivated the land and protected the town of Brescia from attack by northern barbarians. For this they were exempt, or ‘franche’, from paying tax.

Others suggest it refers to the short or ‘corta’ attempt by the French to take the territory in the 13th century.

Whatever the truth, the modern success of the wine is thanks to the new production techniques introduced from the Champagne region of France.

It was Pope Leon X who first picked up on the wine thanks to repeated attempts by the local powers to win his favor by sending him samples of the local output. They must have succeeded.

Thinking about taking a relaxing holiday to escape the stresses of everyday life? Then go to Franciacorta and you will be rewarded with the uniquely magical atmosphere of the Nature Reserve at Torbiere del Sebino, with scented hillsides cloaked in vineyards and peaceful lakeside views of Lake Iseo. Hotels, spas and restaurants who pride themselves on offering superb food and fine wines will make sure you have everything you need for a relaxing holiday.

Over the next few days, your base can  be at a wonderfully secluded hotel, set in a fairy tale setting amid the vines.

A gala welcome dinner at Two Michelin starred Gualtiero Marchesi’s restaurant can be a major highlight.

You will also be received at one of many immaculate small high-end wineries, where a VIP wine tasting is on the menu, followed by a convivial lunch in a pretty vaulted dining room. There will be enough free time to enjoy the spa, walk in the vines and at the pretty Lake Iseo.

You can find here more info on Franciacorta. Franciacorta food and wine

You can combine your stay in Franciacorta with the one day visit to Bergamo Alta, a lovely medieval city.

This is a relaxing trip and the perfect way to wine and dine your best clients and staff, or to enjoy the place at your leisure for yourself.

William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)

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