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Prisoner Rehabilitation, Italian Style—through Winemaking

In 2012, Maria Grazia Giampiccolo sent an email to the directors of more than 100 Italian wineries asking for help producing wine on the smallest island off Tuscany, Italy, where a hectare of grapevines were languishing. Both the island and the request were unusual: Giampiccolo is the director of the penitentiary on Gorgona, a pristine…

Watch “The Philosophy of ‘Bello'”

San Patrignano, a unique, intentional community in Italy, has been using craftsmanship to rehabilitate people struggling with substance abuse disorder for more than 40 years. And its success rates are stunning.

The Art of Lace: A Resource Guide

The emotional and aesthetic power of lace seems to keep turning up in all sorts of secondary forms (including patterns on acrylic fingernails). Therefore, in addition to some standard literature resources, you might glance at some of the creative ways in which lace’s elegance is being repurposed, but also added to very unrelated items. The…

Women Who Embroider the Air

In Burano—a tiny island 4 miles from the city of Venice—the ancient art of ultra-fine, hand-sewn lace somehow remains alive. And so does the equally ancient culture surrounding it. Our correspondent visits with the master craftswomen of Burano to learn their history, their secrets, and the prospects for their future.


The Evolution of Burano Lace

Women started making lace as a fancy substitute for embroidery because it could be transferred easily from one garment to another as fashions changed. Before long, it was an industry. Here is a timeline of what came to be famously called Burano lace, as it evolved from aristocratic pastime to international commodity: 1546:  The first…

A Tale of Two Vermouths

In a small town outside Torino, Italy, the age-old Vermouth giant, Martini & Rossi has turned this beverage into a model of what might be called industrial spirits craftsmanship. Our correspondent goes visiting, then returns stateside to watch a small one-man shop create the modern artisanal version. What are differences, and why do they matter?


Amarone: The Slow Wine of Valpolicella

There are many prized vintages from Valpolicella, a postcard-perfect town near Verona, Italy, known for its rich, slightly sweet wines. Over the years, however, as many of these wines have gotten only sweeter, one vineyard, Bertani, has remained true to the old traditions. The result: a complex, unusually balanced wine called Amarone. Our wine correspondent sets out in search of its secret.


The Sights & Tastes Of Verona

The city of Verona itself is adorable. Especially after the tourist season ends and the balance of tourists and locals seems to find a healthy balance. The population is only about 250,000, but Verona is rich in history and literary references, even if often shaded by the glamour of nearby Venice. When you’re there, in…

Mail order gelato?

Whether it’s a comfortable chocolate-caramel, a more adventurous honey-lavender-earl grey, or even a gelato cocktail, you cannot deny the craving for true artisan gelato once it has blessed your taste buds.  If you’re in the states but find yourself too many miles from a good gelateria, you can use this list for some mail-order heaven.…

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