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IBM Plans First Watson Health European Center of Excellence in Italy

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi witness the signing of an agreement for the planned Watson Health European Center of Excellence in Milan, near the country’s Human Technopole Italy 2040 research campus. The agreement was signed during a visit by Prime Minister Renzi to IBM’s new Watson Health global headquarters in Cambridge, MA. Seated from left to right: Erich Clementi, SVP, IBM Europe; Hon. Ivan Scalfarotto, Undersecretary at Italian Presidency of Council. Standing from left to right: Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM; Hon. Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy. For more information, please contact Lorie Fiber, IBM, lfiber@us.ibm.com. For more information (Credit: Daniel Goodrich)

On March 31, IBM announced plans to launch its first Watson Health European Center of Excellence in Milan near the Human Technopole Italy 2040 research campus, supporting the government of Italy’s initiative to establish an international hub for the advancement of genomics, big data, aging, and nutrition. The Center is part of a long-term collaboration between IBM and the government of Italy. IBM plans to invest up to $150 million (€135 million) over the next several years and bring together Watson Health data scientists, engineers, researchers and designers to develop a new generation of data-driven healthcare applications and solutions. Further, ...

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The All-Italian Wine Experience of David Maione’s Vino Italiano in Waltham

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The joy of writing this column is being able to present you the world of Italian wines in and around the Boston area. This month, I met with someone living out one of my dreams: owning and operating not only a wine shop, but an Italian wine shop. It doesn’t get any better than that when you have a passion for Italian wine like I do. With David Maione, owner of Vino Italiano located on Main Street in Waltham, we discussed what got him into the business and peaked his interest and love in Italian wines. Maione’s family originates from ...

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Tuscan State of Mind: Bottega Fiorentina’s Andrea Ferrini

Bottega Fiorentina owner Andrea Ferrini (photo ©Nicola Orichuia)

Firenze, Florencia, Florence — no matter where you’re from, or how you pronounce the name, this Tuscan city is one of the most enchantingly beautiful in all of Italy. Firenze is like a painter’s palette, vibrant with color from all the periods of its lengthy history. From cobblestone alleyways shaded by medieval facades, to visions of the revered Duomo, and finally to the Ponte Vecchio, the bridge that connects the city divided by the Arno River, visitors can’t help but get lost in its magic. But among the grandeur, there is a certain solace that exists, a particular tranquility that ...

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Al Fulchino of Fulchino Vineyards

Jennifer Martin with Al Fulchino of Fulchino Vineyard

This past month the Meetup Group called “Passion for Everything Italian” that I host visited Fulchino Vineyards, a local winery of Italian origin. Located in Hollis, New Hampshire (about one hour from Boston), the winery is situated in a residential neighborhood. As you venture off the highway, you’d never think there is a winery situated there, but that’s part of what makes it special. To be able to drive to a local winery and sample the fruits of the land that we live on is pretty amazing. We’re so used to drinking wines from around the world, especially Europe and ...

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Promoting Italian Technology solutions in USA: Opportunities for Cooperation

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When: May 27-28, 2015 Where: Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) — 1 Broadway, 14th Floor, Cambridge The Italian Foreign Trade Commission (ICE), in collaboration with INNOVA and PIB, is organizing a training and promotional event on R&D, funding, startup acceleration and joint collaborations between Italy and USA ICE and INNOVA are pleased to invite you to half-a-day of: Panel Discussion – Italian Company Pitches – Italian Food & Networking This seminar aims to catalyze potential US-Italian partnerships in research and entrepreneurial business development through an educational speaker session and networking event. Click here to register and to find a complete schedule ...

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The Frozen Bliss of The New Art of Gelato

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As we meddle through spring, with summer fast approaching, we ask ourselves: “Is there any better way to satisfy our taste buds than with a cold, confectionary treat?” Although we all tend to become increasingly more aware of our figures during this time of year, we can’t help but associate warmer weather with frozen desserts that help cool us down. But with so many options — traditional ice cream, the seemingly ubiquitous frozen yogurt, slush, and gelato — which does one choose? It seems, yet again, that all we must do is turn to our Italian neighbors across the ocean ...

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Cristina Mariani May: Carrying on the Banfi Legacy

Cristina Mariani May

The Banfi name is well-known when it comes to Tuscan wine. I recently had the honor to attend a seminar and tasting with Castello di Banfi owner and Banfi Vintners co-CEO, Cristina Mariani May, at an event held at Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington, Massachusetts. Mariani May is the third generation of the Banfi family to run the business. I was surprised when she first started speaking. There was no trace of an Italian accent. Later, I’d find out Cristina currently resides in Long Island, but travels back and forth to Italy. The Banfi brand was established in the 19th century ...

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Blanchard’s Wine Tasting

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REVERE EVENT When: Wednesday, April 22 2015 5:00-9:00PM Where: Blanchard’s Revere, 286 American Legion Highway (Route 60) Revere WEST ROXBURY EVENT When: April 29, 2015 6:00PM -9:00PM Where: Blanchard’s W. Roxbury, 418 Lagrange Street, West Roxbury Blanchards, Revere Visit Blanchard’s in Revere to taste over 100 wines from around the world and speak with the expert wine representatives about your favorite wines. It’s the event that all the wine lovers on the North Shore look forward to. Wines on display will be 20% off for the evening. Taste, learn, have fun… all for free.  Must be 21+ Our Grand Tasting is an opportunity to ...

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Mucci Imports Unearths Lesser Known Italian Wines

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Mucci Imports, owned by Nick Mucci, is a Boston based Italian wine importer specializing in unique Italian varietals from producers he has hand picked throughout his travels from living in Italy and developing special relationships with the winemakers. Mucci started the company in 2013, towards the end of the summer. When I first met him, he was introducing his wines to folks at Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville and I was intrigued by his selections when I saw the announcement. Being an Italian wine blogger, I love the opportunity to try Italian wines, especially those that are unique to ...

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A Family Farm in Tuscany – Fattoria Poggio Alloro’s Sarah Fiorini

Paul Turina and Sarah Fiorini

At a recent wine tasting, I had the privilege to meet Sarah Fiorini from Fattoria Poggio Alloro, who was visiting the United States. Accompanied by Paul Turina of Due Fratelli Imports, we met at one of my favorite wine shops, Lucia’s Bodega in Windham, NH. Paul brought along his family’s wines from the Lake Garda region of Lombardy: A wide range of the area’s indigenous varieties, including a marzemino, which was one of Mozart’s favorite wines. Sarah is the author of the cookbook “A Family Farm in Tuscany,” which not only shares the wonderful traditional recipes that she enjoys cooking, ...

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Boston’s Harpoon Teams Up with Tuscan Brewer

Moreno Ercolani (left) and Charlie Cummings raise a glass to celebrate their collaborative efforts.

What do wine grape must, an afternoon of rock and roll, and an evening of sipping beer poolside in the Tuscan countryside have to do with beer? They were the inspiration behind the Harpoon Brewery’s newest limited batch offering, the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Tuscan Pool Party. This beer is a collaborative effort between Harpoon brewer Charlie Cummings and Italian craft brewer Moreno Ercolani of Birrificio L’Olmaia. Each spring Harpoon employees celebrating a certain anniversary (5th, 8th, 12th, etc.) are taken on a weeklong overseas “beer culture” trip. During these trips, the Harpoon group is taken on special tours of ...

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Mellace Siblings’ Pet Express Sets Standard for Quality

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Pet Express owners Rob and John Mellace recently took part in a select group of retailers from across the country that were called by the American Kennel Club to form a Retail Advisory Committee. Along with their sister Lucia, the Mellace brothers founded Pet Express in 1995. “It was all Rob’s fault,” says John while smiling. The oldest of the three, Rob had worked in the pet retail business for seven years before deciding to start his own business in Lynn. “Our parents were there to support us, both morally and financially,” says Rob. At the time, Lucia was in ...

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