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Day 7, Friday May 29, 2015...PIZZA

Pizza Day

We awoke Friday morning to a beautiful, bright sunshiny day. Friday was our last day and was a bit unusual. After breakfast we met in the kitchen for a lesson in how to make pizza. There was a new chef, Fabrizio, to assist Chef Diana. She gave us the recipe for making pizza dough and then showed us how to do it. Since the pizza dough had to rise for 3-4 hours, we were finished at 10am, leaving us with three hours of free time…which was unheard of. We and the Brewers headed to the lawn area in front of our little villa and rearranged some of the furniture, retrieved the round kitchen table from our villa and got the dominoes clicking. Three games played with SJB and I prevailing on two and the ladies finally broke through with a one point win. We had to move inside because the sun was becoming a little too intense.

We reconvened in the kitchen at 1pm where we all were going to make our individual pizzas. There was red sauce and white sauce, freshly shredded mozzarella cheese and the dough had all been prepared that morning so it could not have been fresher. We were given an endless variety of toppings including locally made salame, black olives, fresh tomatoes, egg, bacon, prosciutto, pancetta, arugula, peppers, artichoke hearts, pineapple and I’m sure others I can’t remember. I got first crack, and rolled my dough out into a paper thin circle about 12 inches in diameter. They have a beautiful pizza oven that was wood fired and was about 800◦ F. I put tomato sauce on my pizza and added salame only at that time. At this temperature, the pizza takes only two minutes to cook. When it came out it was a thing of beauty…ultra-thin, light crust. I added raw tomatoes, sliced it into 12 pieces and the ceremony began. Each participant had to “present’ his/her pizza to the group. The pizza was placed on a round board and we marched to the center of the kitchen, announcing what we had created. Then everyone attacked…me first. There were large bottles of Peroni placed on the tables and, one by one, all 23 “students” made and presented their own pizzas… and all of them disappeared. To top it off, the staff then made their own dessert pizzas with powdered sugar, whipped cream, fresh strawberries and Nutella (never had it before and it was pretty good).

At 4pm there was a sale in the upstairs kitchen of various kitchen utensils that we used during the week. Margaret and Jan were really excited at the opportunity to purchase a standup, stainless steel spoon holder…of course they didn’t have any. So Margaret had to settle for a pair of tongs and a dough cutter. I had not ventured upstairs the entire week and found a beautiful kitchen that the program had outgrown. There was a living room, dining room and another outdoor deck. The furnishings and the artwork were first class.

The afternoon was the only disjointed part of the week. Peter, who is the one that makes things happen, took the day off. With Gregory back in the US, there did not seem to be anyone in charge. It was supposed to be a “shopping” afternoon. So the vans took us to Frosinone, probably the largest city in the area, population approximately 65,000. We were then left off, without explanation or instruction, in an area that had some shops, but was pretty unspectacular. We were told that everyone was to meet up at 7pm at the Shake Bar which was across the street from where we were left off. Since it was now 5:30 and, hence, cocktail time, we just headed for the Shake Bar and met our new Canadian friends, Richard and Pat Hicks. After a couple of cocktails, it was time to depart for the last supper.

The van drove us high up the mountain to a little village, Boville. This, from all appearances, would have been a much more interesting place to let us roam about through the cobblestone streets and alleyways. We had dinner at an elegant restaurant, Laltofrontoia. There was plenty of antipasti once again, prosciutto, arancini, focaccia, fresh mozzarella di bufala, olives, cannellini and eggplant. Dinner was a mixed grill consisting of lamb, veal, chicken, beef and sausages. All of this was followed by salad and the most delicious chocolate gelato ever. We were all pretty comatose by this time, but I managed to get up and give a little speech, starting with Peter’s line…”I have a public service announcement”…and I proceeded to thank the staff that was present…Patricio, Sebastian, Paolo and Giacomo…for all their hard work…and they work their butts off…long hours mostly seven days per week…doing a variety of things from driving to cooking to serving and anything else they are asked to do. All of them are quite charming young men in their mid-twenties and they helped to make it such a special week. I also thanked all of my fellow classmates for the friendships that were formed and for being such a great group. After the hour long ride back to CG, we were all pretty exhausted and could not even finish the domino game that we left sitting in our living area…SJB and I were way ahead as I recall. Besides there was packing to do for an early morning flight to Sicily.

If this was not the most enjoyable week we have spent abroad, I cannot think of another that would top it. Everything was 5 star. The staff was amazing. The food was incredible. The camaraderie among the guests was inspiring. At the beginning of our first class we were given the cookbook for the week, with recipes of everything we prepared…and how to do it…truly a treasure. The fact that “everything” was included made life easy. There was no bill at the end…only a generous gratuity for the entire staff which was gladly given. There are plans to add a pool and spa and I can certainly see a return visit in our future.

Posted by stevencavalli07 13:28 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Day 8, Saturday, May 30, 2015 OFF TO SICILY & LIPARI ISLAND

Off to Lipari

sunny 77 °F

Saturday is one of those Shakespeare days…”parting is such sweet sorrow”. We were up VERY early to catch a 9:40 flight to Reggio di Calabria, an airport on the easternmost edge of Sicily. We had an early breakfast, hugged the staff and those fellow students who were up with us and departed for the Rome airport…our driver being Paolo, probably the staff person who speaks the least English. But his English is better than my Italian. It used to be better, but I have spent too much time in Mexico the last few years.
The Brewers had a similarly timed flight to Nice, so we rode together with the two honeymooners who advised that they had been out with the staff at Mama’s, a bar and restaurant not far from CG, until 3am. They were on their way to Florence for three days to complete their honeymoon.

There was a little delay in getting to the airport and we were getting a little nervous. Once we arrived, we were not quite sure where to go, and once we found out where to go, there was a huge line. It was now about 8:45 and as I walked to the back of that line I thought there was no way we could make that plane…still having to go through security which is always an adventure for me. So I turned to talk to Margaret and she wasn’t there. Then I saw her waving at me…from the priority boarding line which had three people waiting. She beckoned me and I faithfully made my way to her. I told her we did not have priority boarding and she said, “Just act like a dumb American.” “I can do that pretty easily”, I replied. Ten minutes later we were at the counter and the agent never blinked an eye. We got to the gate in time to board. He flight to Reggio is only 55 minutes.

We arrived in Reggio and needed a cab to catch the hydrofoil to one of the Aeolian Islands, Lipari, which is to be out first stop in Sicily. Getting our luggage onto and off of the hydrofoil was a major challenge, but a crew member provided some assistance. As I type this, we are on the hydrofoil, chugging our way to our destination, the Hotel Bouganville. More later.

Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the northern coast of Sicily, and the name of the island's main town. Its population is 11,231, but during the May to September tourist season, the total population may reach up to 20,000. The main focus is Lipari Town, a busy little port with a pretty, pastel-colored seafront, it makes the most convenient base for island hopping. Away from the town, Lipari reveals a rugged silent, windswept highlands, precipitous cliffs and dreamy blue/green waters.
Named after Liparus, the father-in-law of Aeolus (the Greek god of the winds), Lipari was settled in the 4th millennium BC by the Stentillenians, Sicily's first known inhabitants. These early islanders developed a flourishing economy based on obsidian, a glassy volcanic rock used to make primitive tools.

Commerce continued under the Greeks, but the arrival of the Romans in the 3rd century BC signaled the end of the islanders' good fortunes. The Roman authorities were in a vengeful mood after the islanders had sided against them in the First Punic War, and reduced the island to a state of poverty through punitive taxation.

Over the ensuing centuries, volcanic eruptions and pirate attacks – most famously in 1544, when Barbarossa burnt Lipari Town to the ground and took off with most of its female population – kept the islanders in a state of constant fear.
Unremitting poverty ensured large-scale emigration, which continued until well into the 20th century, leaving the island remote and unwanted. During Italy's fascist period in the 1930s, Mussolini used Lipari Town's castle to imprison his political opponents. Things gradually started to improve with the onset of tourism in the 1950s, and now Lipari sits at the heart of one of Sicily's most revered holiday destinations.
We settled into the Hotel Bouganville after being picked up at the port by the hotel shuttle. We were given room 210 which is a sea view double room with a terrace. The hotel is small with a nice pool area. There is a bar and restaurant. The staff is friendly and helpful. The room is adequate and very clean. There is a large terrace outside the room with chaise lounges a table and chairs…excellent for dominoes.
Having left our Tonic at CG, Margaret was pleased to find it in the mini bar in the room. We had cocktails on the terrace overlooking the blue sea and did some research on restaurants for dinner. We settled on La Conchiglia which turned out to be a very nice trattoria right on the water at the wharf. I was a little concerned when I was informed online that the earliest reservation was 8pm and we showed up at 7:30 and the place was empty. Perhaps they were discouraging customers prior to 8, although the place was probably hopping at 10! We were given a very nice table right by the front door with beautiful views of the sea. I had prosciutto and melon to start and spaghetti carbonara to finish. Both were excellent. Margaret had a so-so antipasti plate and pasta with tomato, capers and eggplant which she liked.

After dinner we took a walk on the main drag of town, Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle, which stretches for about a mile and contains many shops, cafes, bars, boutiques and specialty food stores. The street was packed with locals and tourists and there were bands playing. We wandered the street for about an hour and found a market where we stocked up on tonic water AND limes. A beautiful island and charming seaside village. Buona sera.

Posted by stevencavalli07 08:25 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Day 9, Sunday May 31, 2015 LIPARI

Discovering the Aeolian Islands from Lipari

overcast 73 °F

We awoke earlier than I would have liked, but that’s the clock we are on now. We made our way down to the breakfast buffet, which was set in a very nice room outdoors with a canopy cover. The breakfast buffet, included with the room, included a wonderful, fresh squeezed red blood orange juice, coffee or cappuccino of choice, various deli meats, rolls, pastries, fresh cantaloupe and other fruit, cereal, etc. There was a great apricot tort. The Giants moved into first place.
The weather was overcast but warm. There are a number of companies that offer boat tours of Lipari and the neighboring island in the Aeolian chain, but we wanted to see the island. The front desk arranged for Silvio to give us a tour of the island. Silvio is a 76 year old man who was born on Lipari and has lived here his entire life. During the tour, in his broken English, he repeatedly announced how “beautiful” the island is and the fact that “I LOVE this little paradise.” He proudly took us around the entire island, pointing out the various vegetation that grew wild, including capers, rosemary, fennel, absinthe, grapes, fig trees, olive trees, mint, geraniums, poppies and many other wildflowers and cacti with agave. There were acres of ferns and acacia trees, and bamboo was plentiful He frequently stopped to pick the various herbs for Margaret and she would later make a little bouquet of them in our room.
There are four “towns” on Lipari…Lipari town, Lipari Canneto, Acqua Calda and Quattropani. The island is incredibly verdant, bordering on tropical. There are “Aeolian” style houses which are small and colorful. The larger houses are holdovers from a Spanish occupation and are appropriately described as “Spanish style”.
Since Lipari, as with all of the other islands in the Aeolian chain, was volcanic at one time, almost a quarter of the island is pumice stone and there are large expanses where all one can see is the white pumice residue from lava flow centuries ago. There is also beautiful areas where obsidian is formed, also residue from volcanic times.
On the other side of the island from Lipari town, there are amazing views of the island, Salina, which is the second largest island in the chain with a population of 2200. Beyond Salina is the smaller Filicudi (also the wifi password at our hotel if you ever get there…even though it did not work very well) with a population of 750 and, beyond, Filicudi, lies Alicudi with a population of 15. Portions of the movie, Il Postino, were filmed on Salina.
Further yet along our drive we had wonderful views of Vulcano. One of Silvio’s favorite lines was, “I have this imagination…”, and we would go on to say that Vulcano looked like an alligator sleeping. I could see that. There was another rock formation protruding from the water that he “imagined” to be a “Pope’s hat”…I could also see that!
He took us to places where the water was so clear and emerald in color that you could see the bottom…and the sun was not shining so I could “imagine” that it would be that much clearer with the sun shining.
There were several secluded beaches…all black sand and rock…from the lava centuries ago. Some of the beaches had chaise lounges and straw umbrellas and I wondered how you would get to these places since they did not seem accessible.
The tour lasted about an hour and forty five minutes and we felt that we got our 70 euros worth. Silvio dropped us at the town center where we explored the Chiesa Maria SS Delle Neve. Inside this tiny church was a village, built in miniature, with a river running next to it. There will be pictures at some point…I am getting there slowly.
We walked around the village for about an hour, Margaret poking her head in and out of every shop while I walked ahead and waited. At one end of Lipari is a fortress, an archaeological museum and the “Municipo”…city offices which are being restored. Unfortunately they were all closed on Sunday. As we walked toward the Municipo building, we saw a restaurant, La Fillopino, which I had read good reviews about…and Peter Tabet recommended it. Contrary to its name, it is strictly Sicilian food. We made a reservation for 7:30 and had a taxi take us back to our hotel for some rest time. At cocktail time, we engaged our first head to head game of doms…Steve 1, Marg 0.
La Fillopino is an elegant restaurant which sits at the top of Lipari Town. Waiters are dressed in black and white to match the white tablecloths. Once again we were one of the first customers, although, by the time we left, the place was packed. I once again started with prosciutto and melon and followed it with Veal Maldavisi, which was kind of like Veal Marsala, and tasty. Maldavisi is a local wine. Their patate frittes were terrific. Margaret started with an antipasti plate and followed it with fresh red snapper…the fish was presented to her for approval before going to the frying pan. She loved it. Dessert was Tartuffo for Marg and strawberry gelato for me…yum!!
Earlier in the day, I was in the hotel lobby trying to upload some photos to this website, because wifi was much stronger and more reliable there. On the TV was a DVD of Lipari and the other islands which I bought for 10 euro. When we returned to the room after dinner, we watched it and it is really well done.
Tomorrow is packing and moving day, so, buona sera for now.

Posted by stevencavalli07 10:02 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Day 10, Monday, June 1, 2015 TO CEFALU VIA THE AUTOSTRADA

ONWARD TO CEFALU...IN A RENTAL CAR...YIKES!!

sunny 78 °F

Monday morning was packing time. I went down to breakfast and Marg joined me later. I couldn’t get the safe to open in our room and, after I checked out, the front desk sent someone to open it.
It was a beautiful, warm sunshiny day and the pool was occupied. I absorbed some Vitamin D until it was time to leave. The hotel shuttle took us to the port where we caught an Ustica hydrofoil to Milazzo where we will pick up a rental car. I must admit, I am not looking forward to driving on Sicily. Well, the boat is about to land in Milazzo, so more later.
Feeling like part of the Amazing Race, when we landed at Milazzo we had to find AutoEuropa to pick up our car. A taxi driver who tried to hustle us became very helpful when I showed him the voucher for the car…”Oh, AutoEuropa!!”, he exclaimed! He took me outside the terminal and pointed and said, “Grande edificio rosso”…and I saw a big, red brick building a couple of blocks away. “Si”, I replied, and nodded, knowingly. And then he said and gestured, “a derecha e, adesso, sinistra.” All of a sudden, Spanish left me and Italian returned. I was to walk past the red brick building, make a right and then a left. I was off and, a five minute walk later, was in front of the AutoEuropa office. It was about 2pm and, of course, Sicily is like the rest of Italy and everyone closes down for 2-3 hours at lunch time. This office was to open at 2:30. I could see our car, a Volvo station wagon parked just inside the locked gate. Promptly (for Italy) at 2:30, the door to the office opened and I was greeted by Stefano, my namesake. All the proper forms were filled out and I was given the key. As I walked out of the office, Stefano said, “Oh, it takes diesel.” “Nice to know”, I replied. So I got in the car and saw that there was an on/off button on the dashboard, put my foot on the brake and pushed it…nothing. I asked for some help and an Australian fellow who was there to pick up a car, took the key fob and entered it into a slot under the on/off button, and off I went. I made my way back to the port and parked just outside the area where I had left Marg with the luggage. Just as I did so, and got out of the car, I realized I was in a taxi zone and was blocked in by a taxi that had pulled in. I went and got the luggage and loaded it in to the car, but could not move. A portly little Italian man came shouting and gesturing as Italians do, upset that I was stopped in the taxi zone. Margaret found the guy that had blocked us in, he moved his car, and we proceeded toward Cefalu, or, in this case, Castelbuono, where our hotel was located.
The drive was easy. We wound our way through Milazzo and on to the autostrada. The autostrada was fast and easy…at least for me. Margaret wanted to know what was the hurry…I just said it is the autostrada and we can go as fast as we want. Eventually we were on the road to our destination, the Relais Santa Anastasia hotel in Castlebuono. Just as we got to what appeared to be a sign that might be for the hotel, we were too close and there was a car on my tail, and we missed the turnoff. We made a u turn and were back on the road. The road to the hotel was a long and bumpy road, 3 km until we got to the gate. The drive up revealed an incredible expanse of land, what appeared to be several hundred acres of grapes and olive trees, ancient buildings, and signs to an Abbey. The property was overwhelmingly beautiful. We kept ascending and the views became more and more incredible.
And then we arrived at the gate and pressed the button and the gate opened and we drove up to what was once a 12th century abbey, now an incredible hotel and winery. The Abbazia Santa Anastasia was a medieval abbey of Benedictine monks founded in 1100 by the commander of the Normans, Count Roger of Altavilla (which we would drive past tomorrow) who became the ruler of Sicily after the defeat of the Saracens in 1092.
We were greeted by Anna Marie who checked us in and led us to our room, the Cabernet Sauvignon room. She insisted on carrying our bags, over my protest, up a flight of stairs into an amazing 2BR, 2BA suite that had amazing views to the ocean and over the vineyards and expanse of land that the abbey occupied.
While I had done extensive research on the hotels I decided on, I really did not remember much about this one. I knew our destination was Cefalu (“Chef.a.loo”), but this was 12 miles from Cefalu. As it turns out, this is clearly among the top 5 places we have stayed in our travels, in my opinion. We arrived late afternoon and settled into our room and it was apparent that we would be eating at the hotel this night. The dining room, the food, the experience was to die for.
Because there is a winery here, part of the dinner consisted of a tasting of four of their wines…a Chardonnay and three reds. This is an organic farm/winery and each of the four varietals was wonderful. Interestingly, we were given a sheet of paper with each of the wines listed and three different smiley/frown faces to describe our reaction, with comments. The reds were a Nero D’Avola, Syrah and Cab.
I had a salumi plate to begin which had sausage, prosciutto, mortadella and a variety of cheeses…yum. For the main course I had rack of lamb. Margaret had a risotto with vegetables followed by a fresh tuna. She raved about the risotto as being the best she’s ever had…has a little Chiosso in her.
Headed back to the room, tired from all the chewing…for a little reading and uploading of photos to this website. Buona sera.

Posted by stevencavalli07 09:04 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Day 11, Tuesday, June 2, 2015 BEAUTIFUL CEFALU

CEFALU'

sunny 78 °F

What a beautiful, warm, sunshiny morning. We headed down to breakfast (it’s nice that breakfast is included in all our hotels in Sicily…even if it is just a continental type buffet) in a beautiful dining area next to the pool. There were two outside seating areas and we opted to sit outside. The views over this incredible property down to the sea are indescribable…the photos do not do them justice. We had fresh blood orange juice, little individual egg and pancetta omelets, croissants stuffed with apricots, fresh melon, strawberries and pineapple…and there were fresh meats and cheeses and a variety of pastries and cookies. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I do not believe I have ever had an espresso or a cappuccino until this trip…didn’t know they came in decafe…man, have I ever been missing out.
After breakfast we set out in the Volvo for the sea side village of Cefalu.
Cefalù is a city in the Province of Palermo, located on the northern coast of Sicily on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The town, with its population of just under 14,000, is one of the major tourist attractions in the region. Despite its size, every year it attracts millions of tourists from all parts of Sicily and, also, from all over Italy and Europe. In summer the population can triple, making the main streets and major roads in the country crowded.
Of Greek foundation, the city evidently derived its name from its situation on a lofty and precipitous rock, forming a bold headland projecting into the sea. During the Byzantine domination the settlement was moved to the current location, although the old town was never entirely abandoned. In 858, after a long siege, it was conquered by the Arabs, and rechristened Gafludi. For the following centuries it was part of the Emirate of Sicily. In 1063 the Normans captured it and in 1131, Roger II, king of Sicily, transferred it from its almost inaccessible position to one at the foot of the rock, where there was a small but excellent harbor, and began construction of the present cathedral. Between the 13th century and 1451 it was under different feudal families, and then it became a possession of the Bishops of Cefalù. Cefalù became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Margaret has been navigating from directions I printed out before we left. Before we started, I turned the radio on for the first time and, miraculously, a map appeared on the dashboard screen. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, and we followed the directions of the concierge into Cefalu. The main attraction in Cefalu is the Duomo, a cathedral built in 1131 that has wonderfully preserved ceramic tiles.
We drove into the town and were trying to find a parking place as close to the town center as possible, which is where the Duomo is located. After one pass through, I spotted a car leaving an ideal spot and I quickly backed up. There was a local cop right there who admonished that this space was reserved for residents, at which point he looked inside our car and, because I was wearing shorts, he saw that I had a disability. I also happened to bring my handicapped placard with me which he looked at warily. In my best broken Italian, I tried to explain that I was from California and he bought into it and allowed me to park there…gratis! However, he insisted that I back up to clear a crosswalk and my rear bumper could not have been more than three inches from the car behind me. Fortunately, when we returned, that car was still there.
Cefalu is a beautiful sea side village with a nice sandy beach that was thoroughly populated with people of all ages, shapes and sizes. We embarked on a walk through the old town, ultimately ending up at the Duomo Cathedral. The cathedral, dating from 1131, was built in the Norman style, the island of Sicily having been conquered by the Normans in 1091. According to tradition, the building was erected after a vow made to the Holy Savior by the King of Sicily, Roger II, after he escaped from a storm to land on the city's beach. The fortress-like character of the building, which, seen from a distance, rises as a huge structure above its medieval town, may in part reflect the vulnerability of the site to attack from the sea. It also made a powerful statement of the Norman presence.
Also of interest in Cefalu, if you've got about three hours, you can take a bracing hike 917 feet up the Rocca, a large rock foundation that served as a town fortress centuries ago. About halfway up, the path splits. Steps to the right lead the long way up to the overgrown foundations of a 13th-century Byzantine fortress at the very top of the mountain. The path to the left leads past ancient cisterns and remnants of medieval houses, to the so-called Temple of Diana, a small, 5th-century BC temple made of huge stones fitted together with a few doorways surviving. A path to the right above the temple then leads steeply to that mountaintop fortress.
There are numerous restaurants that have patios that look out over the Tyrennhian Sea. We then walked back toward the beach and settled into an outdoor café on the beach where we had lunch (I actually had a hot dog and it was pretty good, Panini style) and then headed back to the hotel for some pool time.
We donned our suits and headed for the pool for a couple of hours (only pool I have ever seen with stationary bikes in the shallow end affixed to the bottom of the pool)…then the comic highlight of the trip thus far began. Just off the pool there is a little bar where you can order drinks and snacks. Since we had our own liquor (Jameson and Tanqueray), I wanted some ice for the room. From experience, I have come to know that ice is a much misunderstood commodity in Europe. If you ask for a cocktail, you might be lucky to get two ice cubes in the glass. So…I went to the bar and asked the bartender for a bucket of ice. He looked at me quizzically. I said “molto ghiaccio”, which I believe to be “a lot of ice” in Italian. He said, “Momento”…and he took off in a rather hurried gait. He returned five minutes later with two ice packs in his hand. I said, “No, no…ghiacco…and pointed to the glass on the bar.” It was what happened next that led me to understand what the problem was with “a lot of ice”. He went into the room behind the bar and came out with what I can best describe as two sheets of plastic wrap that had about 20 ice cubes trapped within the wrap. This meant that one would have to work to push an ice cube from its prison within the two sheets where it was trapped. So I said, give me “due” (two)…which he did, and I proceeded to the room, where I patiently spent about 20 minutes freeing these individual cubes from the wrap and into two glasses. Ice makers had apparently not yet made it to this otherwise incredibly modernized 12th century abbey/hotel. But it was not over yet. Having finished our cocktails, and wanting to head outside to enjoy another in the warm, Sicilian sun, I called reception and asked for another bucket of ice. Two minutes later, one of the staff appears at our door with a bowl that is approximately four inches in diameter and an inch tall that contains about six ice cubes. I tried not to laugh…but. So I said, “No, signore, piu grande” (meaning larger). He nodded, knowingly, and turned and walked away. Five minutes later there is a knock at the door and he has returned, this time with a plastic cup about five inches high with perhaps eight ice cubes. At that point I said, “Grazie mille”…gave him 5 euro and that is the best ice story I can give you.
With the ice that we had, we made our way to a very nice outdoor spot with a good domino table…and the sun filtering through the trees. We had a dinner reservation at 8 for the restaurant at the hotel of which we were willingly captive at that point. Dinner was, once again, outstanding. I went with the same salumi and cheese plate as the night before. It was not on the menu, but I asked the waiter if the chef could make spaghetti carbonara, which he did, and it was the best I have ever had. Margaret had an asparagus flan, fettuccine with pesto and tomatoes, and the rack of lamb I had the previous night. For dessert we shared the pistachio and vanilla gelato. Tomorrow is packing/moving day, so the lights were out early.

Posted by stevencavalli07 06:54 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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