Celebrate the cheese
For those who like to grill it on bread, smear it on crackers or pair it with their favorite wine, cheese will be the star attraction next weekend at California's Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma.
The festival, which takes place Friday through Sunday at the Sheraton Sonoma County, features artisan cheese experts, authors, chefs and winemakers conducting seminars, pairings, tastings and demonstrations.
From noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, participants may enter the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace, meet more than 65 artisan producers and experience the best of local cheese, wine, beer and other specialty foods. Tickets for this event are $45 and include admission, access to chef demos and book signings, an insulated cheese tote bag and a festival wine glass.
Lectures and tours are priced separately. For details, go to www.artisancheesefestival.com.
Time to learn Italian
Murer House in Folsom will offer two eight-week Italian- language classes beginning Wednesday for travelers and Thursday for beginners.
The classes meet once a week from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 1125 Joe Murer Court, Folsom. Students learn in small, supportive classes designed to maximize teacher contact.
The registration fee is $120. To enroll, call (916) 985-3250.
Don't miss 'Maharaja'
The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is in the final weeks of its exhibition "Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Royal Courts." It closes April 8.
You can see both the exhibit and Indian sitar maestro Ashwin Batish and family Friday through Sunday at the museum, at 200 Larkin St.
Batish's repertoire ranges from classical to fusion. He and his 13-year-old son will perform both the sitar and tabla.
Indian cross-cultural connections and food from Curry Up Now will be featured during Masala Madness with PechaKucha SF from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
To learn more, visit www.asianart.org.
Trains in the Rockies
A slide show and presentation featuring trains of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Murer House, 1125 Joe Murer Court, Folsom.
Jay Fehan of Collette Vacations will provide photos and information in anticipation of a Sept. 26 trip sponsored by train enthusiasts from Placerville and Sacramento. The trip offers four different train rides, a wine- maker's dinner and an option to raft on the Colorado River.
For more information, go to www.collettevacations.com/ link/499058.
See Pier 39, Alcatraz
The Sacramento Day Trippers are sponsoring a trip to Pier 39 with an Alcatraz evening tour from 12:45 to 11 p.m. Saturday. The fee is $79 and includes transportation and ticket.
For details or to register, go to www.sactrips.com/events.