Happenings a La Fortezza this year!

I wanted to give everyone a quick update of happenings at La Fortezza. There are so many exciting things on the horizon for 2022. As many of you already know, my book My Italian Guestbook, is on pre-order. It will be released at the end of June. Thank you to all of you who have already pre-ordered it. It’s a fun book of essays featuring some of the fun and funny stories from past workshops and retreats at La Fortezza. I am happy to report the La Fortezza Table, the La Fortezza Cookbook is now heading to the printers. It will be out fall 2022, and along with the book, I will be introducing a beautiful line of homewares that are inspired by La Fortezza’s style. Much more on that to come.

Nicole and I are wildly working on the new website, where you will be able to purchase all the gorgeous items from the La Fortezza Home Collection and all 5 of my books. It’s a busy but extremely exciting time.

I head back to Italy end of March to work on a very very exciting styling job. There will be more revealed in time, but let’s just say you’re going to go nuts when you see what I am working on. Plus I will be traveling all over Italy.

Once I am back, I will be working on my new YouTube Channel “All About Annette”, my team is amazing, and the producer is the same one that worked on my BravoTV pilot which was called All About Annette many years ago, so I am so excited to be working with him again. The channel will have so much Italy content and of course, we will be cooking out of La Fortezza Cookbook on the channel a ton. I promise it will be informative, funny, and fun. If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel yet please do it here. You are going to love it so much starting in May. You will meet all the artisans and purveyors in the book, and all of my incredible neighbors.

Well, that’s it for now, please sign up for the newsletter if you’re not on it. We promise not to fill your inbox, but there are some great things coming up.

Make sure to sign up for a workshop if you’re thinking about joining us, Spring is sold out, but we have a few spots left in the Fall Retreats.

xx Annette

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Beer Americano

I don’t know about you but I am ready for a trip. Sometimes just a cocktail can do this trick of transporting me.

Here’s one of my favorite Italian twist cocktails. It’s one I discovered and wrote about in my book Cocktail Italiano.

Truly an inspiration, give it a try.

You can pick up a copy of my Cocktail Book here. Cocktail Italiano is a book that is filled with recipes and great travel guide will take you to the Italian Riviera anytime.

Beer Americano

Serves 1

This is a cocktail that has become very popular all along the Riviera. Substituting beer for the soda makes this a very refreshing summer choice. It was created in Milan for the opening of the Trussardi Flagship Store by resident bartender Tommaso Cecca. Perfect for a sweltering summer evening. I love it.


1 ½ ounces Campari

1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth

3 ounces lager beer

lemon zest, for garnish


Combine Campari, vermouth and ices cubes in a tall tumbler, stir to combine. Pour the beer into another glass, stir to create a stiff foam, reserve the foam with a spoon top the cocktiail with the beer foam, about 3 ounces.

*Note For a lighter Americano feel free to pour 2 ounces of the beer in to the cocktail as well. However, this should be done before you top the cocktail with the foam

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4 Places to Organize Today to help your tomorrow

It’s resolution time! I know many of you have vowed to become more organized in 2022, so I wanted to share some of my best tips with you. I am crazy organized; it’s just how I am, so I love helping those who are more challenged in this area. Truthfully, it clears your mind to have an uncluttered space. My biggest tip is to start small.

Even the smallest of organizing projects can launch you into a full-on organizing frenzy. In order to keep from being overwhelmed, select one project per week. It’s totally doable and will make a huge difference in your home which will trickle into the rest of your life.

First things first, identify the areas of attack. Let’s go room to room, shall we?


Check your pantry for expired items and toss accordingly. You will be surprised how quickly your pantry clears out. If you make it a regular practice to toss and check labels, your pantry will stay organized.


I like to go through my clothes and purge them every 3 months. If you are starting fresh in January with a closet purge, start with reorganizing your jewelry. I find that the Container Store has some great jewelry storage solutions.

Home Office

I work from my home, as many of you do these days. Staying organized at home is more important than ever before. An organized office makes for an efficient workplace. Toss unnecessary papers (or go paperless!), and make sure everything has a place.

Laundry Room

I don’t know about you, but I love a well-appointed laundry room. Sometimes this is the easiest room to effectively change. Storage bins and baskets on an added shelf might be all you need. Something decorative like a small piece of artwork makes this workspace feel pretty. A quick and easy fix is to color coordinate some pretty soap and laundry products. There are so many available now at any store like Target, and Mrs. Meyers detergents and cleaning supplies are some of my go-tos. It makes for instant design, and it’s functional too.

I would love to hear about your projects and organizational practices. Use the start of the year to challenge yourself to organize your home and create peaceful and beautiful spaces to live in. All the best for 2022! Make it a good one.

xx Annette

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My Italian Guestbook Pre-order NOW

As I type this, I cannot believe that I am saying it, but the follow-up to my memoir from May 2020 Italy is My Boyfriend is ready for you to pre-order. I am over the moon. I got some amazing reviews from some of my favorite influencers, and I am extremely excited to share My Italian Guestbook with you. I L-O-V-E the cover! Let me know in the comments what you think of the cover art. I hand-picked the illustrator Melinda Beck; I think she’s extraordinary. Please click here to pre-order your copy. It is full of fun and funny stories from my first ever workshop and last year’s retreats. There’s love, laughter, a few lies, and loads of Limoncello…oh and a little sex too.

Here’s what the Editor in Chief of the Florentine, Helen Farrell, had to say about My Italian Guestbook.

My Italian Guestbook
 is an upbeat collection of stories about Annette Joseph’s revival of a twelfth-century fortress in the Lunigiana countryside. From the unexpected challenges of La Fortezza’s first photo-styling workshop to a romantic liaison between a local butcher and an American vegetarian, the colorful characters and entertaining anecdotes in this galloping read are bound to make you crave a Tuscan adventure or three.

Pre-order it here. I hope you love it as much as I do.

xx Annette

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Winter White Negroni

Ciao! I wanted to leave this recipe here. We love a Negroni, am I right? This Winter White Negroni is the perfect winter version of my favorite cocktail. When anybody asks me what my favorite cocktail is, the Classic Negroni is hands down my go-to. Here’s a great twist on the classic; it’s a great holiday party addition to your cocktail recipes.


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce Lillet blanc
  • 1/2 ounce Suze gentian liqueur
  • Garnish: lemon twist


  1. Add the gin, Lillet blanc and Suze into a mixing glass with ice and stir for 15 to 20 seconds until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist. We added a few cranberries a festive holiday touch.
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