Chef Shelly’s Travel Favorites

A list of some of my favorites.



NERVA BOUTIQUE HOTEL located near the ancient ruins in Rome has been one of my favorites for 15 years. The hotel is family run, just recently refurbished with the best customer service.

AMERICAN BAR Hotel Forum located just down the street from the Nerva Boutique Hotel. There is not a better way to start your trip in Rome then sipping a Negroni on this roof top bar looking out over the ruins. I visit every time I am in Rome.

OSTERIA 44 – Hands down my favorite restaurant in Rome. Sergio Mignanelli is the owner and a great friend. The food is absolutely amazing, I find it best to let Sergio surprise me with dinner, I do not even look at the menu. Please tell him Chef Shelly sent you…

TAVERNA TRILUSSA – the best pasta in Rome, located in the Trastevere neighborhood. My most recent visit I had a truffle pasta that was out of this world. Some of the pasta dishes are served in saute pans. The patio is great for summer months, but I will sit any where just to have a plate of pasta.

MINERVA ROOF TOP GARDENS – located near the Pantheon in Rome, breath taking panoramic views of the city. After walking around Rome this is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a cocktail. A must visit

FIAT 500 VINTAGE CAR TOUR – Yes this is our group from Colorado with the big smiles. Imagine touring Rome in vintage Fiat’s. That what we did… so much fun



DONNA OLERIA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL – Located in Monteroni di Lecce This organic farm is owned and operated by the great partnership of Francesco & Grazia Barba. Some of the best extra virgin olive oil you will ever taste. Not only do they produce olive oil they produce pasta, tomato products, olive products everything they grow on their organs farm. They have a new store front where you can purchase these great products.

ACCADEMIA DEI RACEMI – MANDURIA PUGLIA – The Perrucci Family Winery. Gregory Perrucci is a great friend , you might remember him and his wines from dinners at Bella Bistro. Some great Primitivo wines. The family has opened up a new space SPAZIO PRIMITIVO absolutely fabulous. If you want an experience you will never forget, you must organize a visit.

COCCARO BEACH CLUB – Near Capitolo Beach Puglia – First Class Beach Club for a relaxing day of sun, white sands, aqua water, fun cocktails and a great lunch.

MASSERIA LAMAPECORA – FASANO PUGLIA – Absolutely the best cheese making experience of all time. If you are in Puglia you must schedule a visit, you will not be disappointed. On our recent visit we were able to see a demonstration of ricotta, mozzarella, stratiatella & burrata being made. 


Savini Tartufi – Forcoli Tuscany – By far one of my top 10 best experiences in Italy. The most enthusiastic “Truffle Hunters” Luca and his two dogs Birba & Giotto. You will get to spend an hour in the woods with the truffle hunters and watch them magically produce truffles. After the truffle hunt a four course truffle lunch was prepared by the owners of Savini Tartufi Luciano and his wife Carla. Delicious and fragrant each and every bite!