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App or ebook?

braindoc

10+ Posts
Long time no post. ~ 2.5 years since our last vacation. :(

I’m looking at Slow Food’s Osterie d’Italia 2021 - in anticipation of our twice-cancelled 2020 trip actually taking place this coming fall. Rather than buy the heavy paperback, which I‘ve done every few years, I’m thinking about the ebook. There is also an app. Anybody have experience with either?
 

joe

500+ Posts
I certainly wouldn't want to discourage you from getting either, if you have a tradition of doing so. Having all the info you like at your fingertips, in the format you enjoy, is very nice.

But what I've found is that there is so much free info on the web, that these guides just potentially add to my clutter (whether digital or physical), and IAC are in need of constant updating. Especially now, you will have to check the opening hours personally, unless things go completely back to normal in 2021 - something I find hard to believe.

I was a member of Slow Food in the past. In preparation for our (cancelled) autumn 2020 trip, I came across this page, which basically gave me the list of Slow Food restaurants for free. A bit more research on the websites of the various places, and a bit of looking at reviews, and I had a list of options for us.
 

braindoc

10+ Posts
Thanks for that link Joe, great website! I scrolled down the page and started fantasizing about a good Aglianico from Basilicata. We sampled several in Matera almost exactly three years ago. Too bad so few make it to Rhode Island.

Actually, digital has not been my tradition for books, newspaper, etc. I’ve been disappointed by some travel-related apps and haven’t bothered with them for the last few trips. Only recently have I started reading much on a Kindle.

I like the Osterie books because I can browse the listings (as you know there are many more places mentioned than just Le Chiocciole). It is also good practice for my Italian; I think the written language is much more challenging than the spoken.

BTW, I think I read that the 2021 guide does not have Le Chiocciole listed because of the situation this past year.
 

joe

500+ Posts
I like the Osterie books because I can browse the listings (as you know there are many more places mentioned than just Le Chiocciole). It is also good practice for my Italian; I think the written language is much more challenging than the spoken.

I can completely relate to the love for paper - I, too, am never without a properly-scaled paper road or trail map when we are in Italy.
For urban restaurants I just do some cross-checks, beginning maybe with Il Golosario, Trip Advisor, or even just Google Maps, then for the details go to restaurant websites and whatever guides or lists I find on the Internet (like the one from the previous post). Regional websites are sometimes helpful in promoting local businesses.
I like Il Golosario because of the good breakdown into categories. It covers also shops and producers, is constantly updated, and is searchable by region.
Since we always stay at agriturismi while in the countryside, our hosts are sometimes our best advisors in those areas.

Remember, too, that Slow Food is an organization, and not all small businesses like the politics and bureaucracy involved being under the "auspices" of a body like this. Some are fiercely independent, and others think that Slow Food is a gimmick. Still others don't care too much about catering to the niche of foreign tourists who are looking specifically, or mainly, for these "brand'-type of businesses. They have enough locals who appreciate them.
So guides/books like these are only part of the picture.

IAC, hope someone can chip in with info about the app.
I really hope you manage to make it to Italy this year - as travel re-starts we'll finally have some real-time reports on the forum, and not just tortuous reminiscing.... ;)
 
Last edited:

Steve R.

10+ Posts
braindoc wrote: "I scrolled down the page and started fantasizing about a good Aglianico from Basilicata. We sampled several in Matera almost exactly three years ago. Too bad so few make it to Rhode Island".

You were not kidding! My wife and I drink a lot of Aglianico, from both Campania & Basilicata proper, but we usually prefer those from Basilicata. I know that R.I. does not allow shipping of wine, so I figured I'd kill a little time by finding you some bottles carried by wine stores there. Just about impossible. The only place I found that even had more than one bottle of Aglianico was https://gasbarros.com & they had 5, of which 4 were from Campania. You might want to take a look. And Gasbarros might even be persuaded to order some from Basilicata if you ask. The 5th, by the way, was from Molise & was very inexpensive, probably not very good, but intrigued me enough that we're going to try to find or order it here, since my wife's great grandparents immigrated from a small town in Molise. At any rate, it was fun for me to live vicariously doing this &, hopefully, you'll find a bottle as a result.
 

braindoc

10+ Posts
Hi Steve: We did find a Gudarrà Aglianico del Vulture from Bisceglia a while ago, quite good.

My office is less than a couple of miles from Gasbarros but even before the pandemic (we only work from the office 2 days a week now) we didn’t go there much. After the last of the Gasbarro family members left the business several years ago my visits became less frequent. We do most of our wine shopping on weekends and closer to home or head south to Wakefield (RI, not MA).

The shipping rules have gotten more erratic and less predictable. There are several wine shops around the country that will ship here. Even Eataly Boston will. Of course, the best selections are in Italy. All those great wines that are never exported!
 

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