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Casanova at Castello di Spessa in Italy

Often visitors to Italy miss interesting sights and experiences by visiting well known cities and attractions. The most memorable travels are ones of discovery

Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) January 19, 2006 -- Casanova, legend suggests, was the greatest lover of all time. Born in18th Century Venice he was also known throughout Italy as a gracious, polite, and entertaining guest, a fact that opened doors to many of the great castles of the time. Castello di Spessa, in the Friuli Region of Italy is one of the few castles in which Casanova stayed where travelers can stay today. Margaret Cowan, “Mama Margaret”, of Mama Margaret & Friends Cooking, Wine & Walking Adventures in Italy discovered this luxurious, historic castle, in her continuing search for interesting places, off the beaten tourist track, for her clients.

From the hilltop where Castello di Spessa is located, you overlook the Collio hills, a view also shared by the Romans when they built their watchtower, the original structure on the site. Imagine yourself a part of the Italian aristocracy as you sip one of the region’s exceptional wines on the terrace, enjoy hearing local stories at a tasting with a local vintner or relax in the luxurious accommodation.

Mama Margaret arranges opportunities to cook with local chefs and sample gastronomic delights specific to the area. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ housekeeper, Marta Sgubin, delighted many famous guests with her traditional recipes of the Friuli Region during her 25 years of service and recorded them in her book, Cooking for Madame, Recipes, and Memories from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ House.

Casanova’s Venice, is a short train trip away making Castello di Spessa an ideal home base away from the bustling, tourist filled streets and canals. February 21 through February 28th marks the annual Carnival celebration in 2006 when prices in the city are at their peak and the city is packed with revellers. Vogalonga, an annual regatta that started to bring attention to the damage motor craft wreck on Venice buildings, will be held on June 4, 2006. Boats of all types join into this 30 km non-competitive rowing regatta that runs from Saint Mark’s basin to Burano and back to end in front of Saint Mark’s.

The Friuli, in Northern Italy, often passed over in favour of better-known regions, produces some of the highest quality wines in Italy. Boutique style wineries, operated by wine makers who place quality far ahead of quantity, dot the region. Wine tours provide an opportunity to meet some of the interesting characters that produce world renown wines and sample their vintages.

In 1972 Cowan decided to visit Italy and fell in love with the lifestyle, the countryside and of course, the people. Later she spent 3 years traveling, and living in Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. She learned to speak Italian and adopted Italy as her “second” country.

Cowan’s many adventures include; selling sweaters outdoors in Florence’s San Lorenzo market, travelling by dog sled in the Arctic to dine and sleep in an igloo for a January night, and riding a camel and camping in the Sahara for 3 nights in Tunisia. Her favorite adventures remain anything to do with travel in Italy whether it’s seeking out a castle where Casanova stayed, cooking with a chef in their villa or adding to the cast of interesting characters she has met on her numerous trips.

Next time you holiday consider taking the less travelled path... to new adventures.

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