Venice Food Tour
Rachel is a wine and food expert based in the Veneto region of Italy. Originally from northeast Ohio, her cultural curiosity inspired her study abroad several times while an undergrad student at Boston University. Her favorite experience was by far the semester spent in her adopted city of Padua, where she has now lived for twenty-five years. She followed her passion for wine while living in Italy, and became a certified Italian sommelier through the Associazione Italiana Sommelier in 2009, and continued her studies to become a master taster of Italian cheeses through the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Formaggi a few years- and many cheeses – later. She also loves cooking and considers herself an accomplished amateur cook, but a professional eater. She gives credit to her love of cooking to her late Italian grandfather, who passed on the importance of choosing quality ingredients, experimenting in the kitchen along with his treasured recipe for caponata. Nowadays her particular interest is the history of food and wine of the Veneto and she spends much of her free time visiting wineries, perusing historical cookbooks, and even frequenting archaeology talks. Rachel looks forward to helping visitors on Context tours dive right into the vibrant food and wine scene in Venice and Padua.
Mario is a certified Italian Sommelier (AIS) and Master Cheese Taster (ONAF). His background also includes a degree in the Science of Food Production from the University of Bologna. Mario, a native of Milan, has lived in the Veneto for 35 years, and his grandmother was from the Cannaregio sestiere of Venice. Mario works in wine and food tourism, specializing in the regions of the Veneto, Friuli and Emilia-Romagna. He is also an experienced wine educator. Mario lives in Padova with his wife, Rachel, a native of Ohio, and their two children. He can often be heard to say "A glass of wine is not merely something to drink, but a true reminder of our history, traditions and culture."
Cecilia is a qualified FISAR Sommelier and a licensed tour leader. She is a native of Venice whose great-grandparents owned one of the most prestigious bars in St Mark’s Square. She is a food enthusiast and passionate about wine. Cecilia studied organic wine in France, receiving a Master's degree in 2012, and worked in the most famous enoteca of Venice for almost three years. She shares her knowledge about food, wine and Venetian culture to help visitors enjoy the city from a different perspective, through a connection of flavors, aromas and stories. Fluent in the Venetian dialect, Cecilia will introduce you to the local farmer at the Rialto Market and show you how to choose fresh fish from her favorite fishmonger. She is proud to be part of the Context team, promoting responsible tourism in one the most beautiful -and definitely the most delicate- cities in the world.
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