. Once you taste the DOP (or Protected Designation of Origin) you will understand why the process and name are protected. 16 years to make 12 year old Balsamico, 30 years to make 25 year old.  All ingredients including the barrels must be from Modena. There is a consortium that supervises the process and visits the houses.  They can only bottle 3% of their total inventory in any given year. The flavor of the vinegar is not “infused” or added after the fact, it comes from the wood the vinegar is aged in.  Chestnut, Cherry, Oak, Juniper.  Each barrel is of one kind of wood only.  To get a mixed wood flavor the vinegar moves from one type of barrel to another as the aging takes place.  Each time it moves, it picks up character and flavor from the barrel it is placed in.  Our favorite was the Juniper with the mixed wood coming in second.

We visited the beautiful city of Modena. Home of the Aceto Balsamico. Balsamic vinegar.

We had a tasting at the home of Acetaia di Giorgio

The house we visited has been making Balsamico for 120 years.



Verona Cityscapes

Verona has incredible views all round the city.  Everywhere you look there is beauty, majesty, history, elegance. There is also the wonderful shabbiness of an old, old place with few pretenses.

The Roman ruins here tend to insert themselves into everything. There is a little something around every corner. A pillar, a door medallion, a piece of wall or an entire arena. The city just begs to be photographed. Over ten years of coming here and I still can’t take enough pictures. The light on this day is better or the clouds more interesting.  I see things all the time that I have missed as I walked by dozens of other times. I still walk around looking up with my mouth open as if it were my first visit.