It’s been a long and rewarding trip to Italy but I’m glad it’s coming to end. I’ve been away from home and Tracie P for way too long and I can’t wait to get home.
As much fun as I’ve had here in Brescia for the European Wine Bloggers Conference, the nearly unbearable homesickness and lonesomeness of being on the road have been assuaged by my amazing friend, Giovanni Arcari — winemaker, champion of the small grape grower, activist, blogger, and a force of life that (happily) cannot be stopped.
Few know that it’s thanks in great part to Giovanni that the conference was hosted here in Brescia, his hometown. It was Giovanni who approached vice president of Brescia’s council for city projects, the delightful Laura Castelletti (who also heads the city’s opposition party, a lapsed socialist), and convinced her that this would be a great opportunity for Brescia and the wines of the province.
But I think that Giovanni brought the conference here just so that he and I could spend a few precious evenings together, listening to music, talking about wine, and laughing as hard as men can laugh when men drink good wine together.
The other night Giovanni and I shared a bottle of one of my favorite Franciacorta producers, Gatti, over dinner at a wonderful restaurant called Novecento (filled with 20th-century nostalgia) next to the Teatro Grande in Brescia.
I sure am glad to be heading home the day after tomorrow… but, man, I’m going to miss Giovanni…