Renato Vicario was born in Legnano, Italy, in 1946 and grew up in Baveno on the Piedmont side of Lake Maggiore. After his early studies of Ragioneria (accounting), he progressed to the Economics faculty at the Catholic University in Milan and, pushed by his love for languages, also completed the University of Cambridge Proficiency Degree in English.
He discovered a passion for travel since reading, at a very early age, the books written by Emilio Salgari, an author with an incredible fantasy who wrote vividly about foreign lands, and yet had never traveled away from his native soil. His books were so full of exoticism and spirit of adventure and the stories he wrote so fascinating that they created in him a desire to travel and experience everything like a native. This desire pushed Renato to experience each location more in depth than a regular tourist would, so much so that travel became both his world and work.
Renato entered this world of travel in 1968, at a time when traveling was very expensive, especially if traveling around the world. To be in the travel business allowed him to completely live his childhood fantasies and make a living at the same time, by providing a consultation point for similarly minded individuals. As he was establishing the basis for what had already become a travel company, Vantage Travel, in the mid-70's in Europe, he continued traveling and discovering, and those journeys took him from China to Thailand, from Egypt to South Africa, from Brazil to Bolivia and finally from Europe to the United States.
It was in the United States, in Greenville (SC), that he relocated Vantage in 1981 and started offering his travel services to the huge American market, growing his company globally to the point of, at one time, having separate offices in Italy, Thailand, Hong Kong and Costa Rica. By 1985, having always remained an Italian citizen and having acquired a certain status in the local community, he was offered the position of "Corresponding Consul" by the Italian Foreign Ministry, making him the official representative of the Italian Consulate, and of Italy, in South Carolina.
Happily married to Janette W. Wesley, an artist known for her landscapes, passionate community work and who also studied art in Italy, Renato now divides his time mostly between South Carolina (USA), where he has his office and is still very active in the travel industry, and Cortona (Italy), where he co-owns with his wife and two sons and one daughter a villa and farm property, Sant'Andrea a Bacialla, where he takes pride in making wine and olive oil.
An enthusiast scholar of art, history, archeology, ethnology, cooking and wine tasting, he currently conducts the cooking classes for the Slow Food Upstate Cooking School. He has also always loved the world of home-made liqueurs and is forever in search of the historical origin of each culinary or "spirited" preparation. He recently wrote a book on the creative Art of Liqueur making, that has just been published by Aboca, a prestigious Museum Press located in Sansepolcro, Italy.
Vantage World Travel is a travel wholesaler specializing in international travel, with high service standards. Our business philosophy is simply to provide both personalized and professional services for the traveler who wants more than "canned" tour packages or itineraries that lack imagination or excitement. We specialize in designing travel itineraries that match unique destinations and activities with the personal interests and desires of the traveler.
The company's emphasis has always been on the unique and specialized needs of the discriminating, experienced traveler and the areas of specialization have been Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. In each country extensive experience and the intimate knowledge of the areas, language and the local culture, including culinary specialties, has allowed Vantage to create the best contacts for the type of tours requested by our clientele.
Vantage World Travel is owned and operated by Italian born Renato G. Vicario in Greenville, South Carolina. With over 40 years in the travel and tourism business, Renato Vicario has lived in over seven different countries and traveled to nearly every country in the world, speaks five languages fluently and knows the destinations he promotes very well. He is called the "walking encyclopedia" by those who know him well: you can trust that you will receive tried and true information when you book your travel with Vantage World Travel.
Vantage world Travel is not just another travel agency, we do not simply give out brochures, but consult with you in order to understand exactly what you wish to experience during your vacation. Our travel excursions are designed to be a step away from the road most traveled: you can expect unique, interesting, and comfortable travel, personally designed for your specific needs and desires.
By 1985, having always remained an Italian citizen and having acquired a certain status in the community, Renato Vicario was offered the position of "Corresponding Consul" by the Italian Foreign Ministry, making him the official representative of the Italian Consulate, and of Italy, in South Carolina.
Renato, as the Consular Correspondent for the Italian Consulate of Miami, is their local office in Greenville, South Carolina, helping with all documents needed for Consular Services.
For all services you will need to schedule an appointment by calling 864-233 7703
The address of the Italian Correspondent Consulate is:
You can download all forms needed through the web site of the Italian Consulate in Miami here below:
Salute! celebrates the true tastes of fine food, wines and spirits made in limited quantities by artisanSalute! exclusively imports extraordinary Tuscan olive oil, wine, and grappa for VICARIO and Soc. Agricola Sant' Andrea a Bacialla, Srl in Cortona, Italy.Salute! LLC is owned and operated by three who love life and the pleasure of the table. The love of our families, sharing, and the pursuit of all things artfully created, join us together at the table, in the vineyards, and especially in the kitchen. We believe in our community, and we support clean agricuture, and only include ingredients in our products that respect the environment.Salute! proudly supports Slow Food Upstate by donating one dollar of every bottle of Olive Oil sold to our local chapter. We are also a proud sponsor of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's Sustainable Agriculture Conference.
Salute! is the sole importers of Vicario wines, Grappa and other products.
Salute! has just leased an 8000sf warehouse in Greer, SC., where the imported products will be stored. The same facility will be the operation base for the preparation of different artisanal liqueurs.
Moon Hare Gardens.
While in Western folklore we refer to the "Man in the Moon", the "Hare in the Moon" is a more familiar symbol in other societies. Especially in China, where the Hare in the Moon is depicted with a mortar and pestle in which he mixes the elixir of immortality; he is the messenger of a female moon deity and the guardian of all wild animals. An ancient Taoist fable depicted this animal, called the gemmeous hare, as the servitor of the genii, who employ it in pounding the drugs which compose the elixir of life. And in many mythic traditions, hares were archetypal symbols of femininity, associated with the lunar cycle, fertility, longevity, and rebirth. Even in Anglo–Saxon myth, Ostara, the goddess of the moon, fertility, and spring, was often depicted with a hare's head or ears, and with a white hare standing in attendance. This magical white hare laid brightly colored eggs which were given out to children during spring fertility festivals, an ancient tradition that survives in the form of the Easter (from Eostre) Bunny today.
Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. Slow Food USA is a national non-profit that believes everyone has the right to good, clean, and fair food.
Good: The word good can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For Slow Food, the idea of good means enjoying delicious food created with care from healthy plants and animals. The pleasures of good food can also help to build community and celebrate culture and regional diversity.
Clean: When we talk about clean food, we are talking about nutritious food that is as good for the planet as it is for our bodies. It is grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on our local ecosystems and promote biodiversity.
Fair: We believe that food is a universal right. Food that is fair should be accessible to all, regardless of income, and produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.
This year Slow Food Upstate has developed a plan to issue grants for four programs specific to the Slow Food Movement and will go to applicants who meet our qualifications, and that fulfill our mission statement.
Earth Market Greenville, SC showcases the incredible diversity of farm foods we have within South Carolina, many of which are listed on Slow Food's catalog of rare and disappearing foods worthy to preserve called the "Ark of Taste". These community-run markets are important social meeting points, where local producers offer healthy, quality food directly to consumers at fair prices and guarantee environmentally sustainable methods. In addition, they preserve the food culture of the local community and contribute to defending biodiversity.
Slow Food Upstate offers seasonal Cooking Classes to its members. The classes are conducted by Renato Vicario, take place on a Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and include the preparation of international recipes with an "hands-on" approach, as well as a full lunch with the specialties prepared during the class.
Recipes featured at the Slow Food Upstate Cooking School are mostly prepared with products bought from producers participating at the Earth Market Greenville, SC.
These products are only available when they are fully ripe and ready, in season, eliminating that generic cardboard tasting flavor so commonly found in commercial grocery stores. "Slow" means waiting for the foods to be ready, anticipating with great joy the harvest and savoring these foods while fresh, but also looking for ways to preserve the bounty.
Remember your grandmother's preserves? Canning fresh tomatoes at the end of the summer?
If you can't remember, you are not alone, and within the Slow Food Upstate chapter, we offer cooking classes on how to preserve fruits and vegetables later in the summer, while in the winter there will be lessons on how to preserve meats. Ever thought you could make your own sausage, bacon or salami? UMMM, deliciously made at home, you won't believe the difference in the flavor, nor how uncomplicated it is to do it yourself.
6 bedrooms, each with en-suite bathroom, king or queen sized comfortable beds; well stocked professional kitchen; beautiful views from the pool, conveniently located to trains, highways, shopping, and the ancient town of Cortona; this is Villa Sant'Andrea, a well restored ex-presbytery villa in Tuscany, Italy, originally built at the beginning of the 11th Century.
The property consists of seven very private acres of olive groves and fruit trees nestled in the ruins of the church of Sant'Andrea and the ruins of the Early Mediaeval leper's hospital for women of Central Italy. The villa, near Cortona, was formerly the living quarters for the priests and the stables of the animals, oxen and horses. The priests attended to the church, which no longer exists, and to the female lepers who lived in what is now our walled orchard.
Villa Sant'Andrea, owned by Sant'Andrea a Bacialla Inc., based in South Carolina, is carefully maintained by the owners Janette Wesley and Renato Vicario. Renato, is Italian by birth, and Janette has been traveling to and spending much time in Italy since 1992.
The family of Villa Sant'Andrea announces the newly formed agricultural business, Societa' Azienda Agricola Sant'Andrea a Bacialla, S.R.L., in the Commune of Cortona, Region of Tuscany, Italy. The company will focus primarily on viticulture, producing Cortona D.O.C. and Toscana I.G.T. red wine from Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes, using biodynamic* methods.
Renato Vicario, a partial owner of the company, plans to also develop a line of liqueurs based on both traditional recipes and his own research studies, using the fruit trees and herbs grown on the farm.
The project at hand is based on the family owned and operated farm, Societa' Azienda Agricola Sant'Andrea a Bacialla, S.R.L., that, in July 2009, acquired an additional 5.23 hectares of agricultural land, of which approximately 1 hectare was already planted with Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The remaining 3.2 hectares have been planted with new Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc vines that will be producing grapes in the fall of 2015.
The vintage of 2010, resulting in 5200 bottles of three types of wines: Sangiovese, Sangiovese in Villa and our Sangiovese-Cabernet blend, along with the 320 bottles of Grappa distilled from the pomace, has been shipped to the USA where it was imported by Salute! LLC.
Biodynamic farming is the most advanced form of all organic farming, as it follows the cycles of nature to both grow grapes and to make the wine, using natural products instead of chemicals and fertilizers. One could just say that organic farming is not using synthetic chemicals while biodynamic farming is doing that, plus another completely different level of actions, where you make your own composts, collect the nettles to prepare the water for spraying or fertilizing, plus you are alert to the cycles of nature, including the position of the stars, the moon and the planets to exactly time what you need to do.
In the vineyard, biodynamic farming involves composting all grape waste and using the resulting compost in the vineyards, hand harvesting fruit, plus a much more open knowledge of all plants, bacteria, insects and animals living in the vineyard and how to make them synergize with each other.
In the cellar it prohibits the addition of any acid or sugar and the use of cultured yeast, enzymes, tannins and malolactic bacteria, widely used in common wine making to standardize the taste of wine. Electro dialysis for cold stabilization as well as micro-oxygenation and pasteurization, are also prohibited. These "non-additions" preserve the "terroir" protecting the subtle and unique flavors of each site and vintage year with wines that are unique, delicious, and mirror the richness and complexity of the land. Each farm using these methods is unique and this translates into wines that also are uniquely individual.
About l/2 hectar of land has also been dedicated to growing "visciole", an ancient wild sour cherry on the "Slow Food Ark of Taste" that is in danger of extintion, besides having started a "Simples Garden" or "Hortus simplicum", a garden of medicinal plants. ("Simples" are remedies obtained directly from nature, ready to be used without further processing).
Aboca Museum also publishes facsimiles and anastatic reprints of valuable ancient works with a limited number of copies, along with books of particular interest on the subject of medical botany. The goal is to offer the reader an up-to-date perspective of the therapeutic merits of medicinal plants which, though founded on tradition and observation, are now examined by modern scientific methods that ensure the highest level of safety and effectiveness.
The creation of a fine liqueur mirrors the art of a fine painting. The elements of both are elements from nature, both observed and collected, then composed by passion, elegantly into a new and different body, to be preserved, shared and celebrated, touching the senses.
Written in the style of Pellegrino Artusi, Italian Liqueurs not only artfully explores how traditions developed in a story-like manner, but offers practical knowledge to create your own liqueurs and stresses the use of freshly picked, biologically diverse fruits, nuts, berries, citrus, herbs and spices, emphasyzing the importance of taste and understanding what components go well together.
A book for those who live to discover and create, Italian Liqueurs offers a delightful experience to those who want to put their soul into their entertaining. It is a book for people who want to understand the medicinal and cultural paths as liqueur making journied through time, and for those who want to bring the spirit of that history and artful tradition to their friends and family by creating their own unique liqueurs at home. As the author states: «When I look at liqueurs I do not see an alcoholic drink, I see instead a taste that takes you back sometimes a thousand years».
«But I began then to think of time as having a shape, something you could see, like a series of liquid transparencies, one laid on top of another. You don't look back along time but down through it, like water. Sometimes this comes to the surface, sometimes that, sometimes nothing.Nothing goes away».Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye.
While at the Aboca shop, you can switch languages between Italian and English by clicking on the upper right corner (IT - EN) of Aboca's web site
Renato Vicario and Janette Wesley emphatically support the Slow Food Movement and educating the public about the role that biodiversity plays in maintaining a healthy and delicious food environment—one that reflects and preserves cultural values and traditions. The couple keeps one foot in Greenville, SC, and the other in Cortona, Italy, where they have a small farm and vineyard. Here they practice what they preach through natural growing methods for the grapevines, rare fruits and herbs they raise.
According to their mission statement, the Slow Food Upstate chapter (based in the northwest corner of South Carolina) of Slow Food USA seeks to provide "opportunities for the development of gustatory discernment" and "practical support and information that empower people to be responsible and enthusiastic co-producers of the food they consume (www.slowfoodupstate.com).