September 21st, 2007 – by: c4life2004
At the Gates of Heaven
Sorry for not updating sooner it took a while to get the photos from my friend. But this weekend we went to a little city outside of Milan called Bergonato to go to the winery of one of the biggest wineries in Italy. The founder was the 5th cousin of my roommate (Steve Berlucchi)'s grandpa. Long story short, he was still considered family. After arranging a VIP tour of the winery we figured out that the cheapest ways to get out to this little city was to get a driver. We called about five or six different cab services and decided on the Savior Service to drive us out there in a swank British taxi. We arrived in Bergonato and were escorted around the winery by one of the only people who spoke English in the entire company.
She was very helpful and showed us all of the areas where no one except for family and VIPs get to go. Their wine cellar was our first stop where they housed 12,000,000 bottles of wine and sold on average 4.5 million per year. The second process of fermentation was the main point of the cellar, where the bottles were rotated twice a day in order to keep the sediment at the cork. This was then frozen off and the liqueur was added in order to make the different types of spumante. It was all quite fascinating and the pictures don't even do it justice. However the 15,000 square foot cellar was quite impressive. One of the rooms had not been touched since 1960 when the company was first started. Following the tour of the winery we were escorted to Guido Berlucchi's estate which again was only for family and VIPs. There, we were shown the property and began to enjoy some of the bet spumante on earth.
After a bottle with our guide, one of the new owners (the daughter of the co-founder) began to show us the part of the house that is normally off limits to everyone else. Guido's gun collection was expansive since he was an avid hunter. He had the first five of a series of hand etched shotguns that were personally made for him, one in every gauge. Finishing another bottle and some salami and parmagian cheese, we made our way to the store and loaded up on a few cases at cost and made out way back to Milan
. We were all pretty tired when we arrived at the city and went to bed almost immediately. In the morning we were rudely woken up by the front desk kicking us out and we made our way to the train station. Hank and Steve made their way back to Florence
while I went further south to Rome
to visit a few friends.
The house on a hill
Upon my arrival, I met Sibilla (a girl I met at the Loews) and one of her friends. We went out for some food and then returned to her house where I met her brother Filippo. That night Filippo took me to an outdoor rave with a couple thousand people. It was absolutly insane. Everything that I thought a Rave could be, this was more. There were light shows, surround sound speakers, and the biggest cloud of dust that I have ever seen. After the main DJ finished (around 4:30 am) we made our way to the "social center". It was basically a communist area were people went to socialize after the show. It was a big building with many rooms and no furniture. I was glad that I was with a few locals otherwise I would have never seen this place. Not the most inviting crowd but after I was introduced and "Andrew di Malibu" everyone had a million questions and I made some interesting friends.
Old School Stove
Aside form having to defend capitalism vs. communism to on person I had to tell them why I would ever want to leave America
for even a short period of time. All in all it was very flattering. By the way riding a scooter behind someone who has grown up on one was one of the most exhilarating things that I have experienced since Magic Mountain
. The bottom line is that Rome
is a crazy place with a lot of people and I am glad that I was only visiting. Florence
has almost all of the same elements but it is a little smaller and easier to get around.
The following day we took it easy and went to a movie, "Funeral Party" or in English "Death at a Funeral". It was dubbed in Italian and was actually very easy to understand. This was also the first time that I have been to a movie where they stopped for a smoke break. Apparently they do it up to three time in the longer movies and everyone was shocked that we didn't have the same thing in America
. I woke up the next day, said my goodbyes and made my way back to Firenze
. An intense weekend and after a little rest on Monday I am ready to go back at it tonight. Hope all is well on the home front. We go back to Rome
this weekend to do the tourist thing so I will have some pictures of the city coming up. By the way my camera died in Milan
so no pics of the rave...don’t know if you would have wanted to have seen them anyway.