europe, italy, Rome

Rome Day 13: A Visit to the Vineyards

What’s the weekend without some wine? Thursday we travelled to Monte Porzio Catone, a town in the outer hills of Rome, for a wine tasting at Casale Sonnino. Our host, George, was a sweet, enthusiastic American whose family had owned the property for centuries.

Dylan and I (Photo: Nick Boffardi)

The whole day was extremely relaxed, with George telling us stories about how his pet cat and dog adopted him and the history of the vineyards, which are the site of buried ancient Roman ruins. The Hofstra Romans were all fond of his pets, and especially his dog Dylan, who may be one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. George also showed us around his property, taking us to find some small shreds of ancient ruins and up in his small barn to overlook the vineyards. The coolest thing about his land, however, was the  network of ancient tunnels that run under his villa. They were created by the Romans for storage and refrigeration for food. Someone could easily get scared and lost down in those tunnels, and I think they were magnificent.

A portion of our feast (Photo: Nick Boffardi)

The wine tasting was not too extreme, as he simply brought out some red and white wine to taste with the food. The lunch we ate there was absolutely mouth-watering. We had delicious prosciutto and juicy cantaloupe, a homemade chicken salad and saffron rice with licorice sauce. We also got to sample his homemade olive oil, which we can apparently purchase right in New York (score!).


Our time at the vineyard was filled with incredible food, great conversation and gorgeous views. It’s official: only one week left!



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