Book review: Collio: Fine Wines and Foods from Italy's North East

Collio; Fine Wines and Foods from Italy's North East

The region that Carla Capalbo describes in her book Collio, Andrè Simon 2010 award winner, is a small, green, hilly area of northeast Italy which lies at what for centuries has been one of Europe's busiest cultural crossroads.

At one level the book is an incredibly detailed, practical guide to the rich diversity of what to see, eat and drink in this fascinating but little-known corner of Italy. However, as Slow Food President Carlo Petrini writes in his introduction, this is far more than just a guide book.

Capalbo is an accomplished photographer - the book is beautifully illustrated with her own photos - and a discerning food and wine writer. But above all she is a traveller with an extraordinary ability to engage with places and people.

Whether she is describing wild salad herbs on a market stall, or a Michelin-star meal; the philosophy of iconic winemaker Josko Gravner or the family history of a local cheese maker, what she conveys in her uncluttered,often intimate style is a sense of place and of personalities that makes you itch to visit now - the mark of all the best travel writing.

Collio: Fine Wnes and Foods from Italy's North East is published by Pallas Athene Arts

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