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Italian Hospitality

June 25th, 2010

In America, we have this thing we call ‘Southern Hospitality.’ I am quickly learning that our Southern Hospitality has nothing on a phrase I’d like to coin – ‘Italian Hospitality’! I am astounded at how hospitable the Italians are! I am so grateful and feel incredibly lucky!

Home-made Pasta

Home-made Pasta in Tuscany

Rossella and Matteo took me on a tour of Italy from their small village of San Felice sul Panaro to Tuscany. Tuscany is gorgeous! Matteo’s cousin hosted us for a few days at their lovely farm in Tuscany. His cousins are retired restaurant owners and own a huge home with lots of fruit trees and a large garden. Every day we ate fresh, delicious home-cooked meals and I worked on my understanding of Italian. I am quickly picking up on the language – understanding what’s being said, not speaking – much to my delight.

I spent my days in Tuscany bathed in a lovely fog of delicious food and gorgeous scenery. I lay in the sun working on my tan, listening to music, and reading. I took a very long walk along the road in the Tuscan wine country, admiring all of the grape fields, wineries and adorable bed and breakfasts. I feasted on delicious, fresh meals and new flavors. Our first dinner astounded me – I mistakenly thought the antipasti was the main course and each time something new came out I wondered how I could possibly eat more. Oh, but I did!

Antipasti was a delicious bruschetta with pomodoro, garlic and olive oil, toast with pate, fresh cantaloupe, bread, cheese, homemade apple butter, Parma ham, artichoke hearts, olives and salad. I especially loved the cheese with a hunk of bread slathered in the homemade apple butter – what a delicious combination!  Wine, of course, flowed freely through every course of each meal (save breakfast of course!).

Dinner was an al dente pasta dish made with fresh pomodoro, basil, eggplant and mozzarella. Bella! It was so scrumptious!

After dinner they brought out a lemon torta, a homemade plum liquor (which was sooo strong!), and fresh fruit from their garden (strawberries, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, etc. so fresh, sweet and luscious)! Honestly I don’t know how I ate so much, but trust me I managed to pack it all in!

Tuscany is gorgeous – I suppose it’s the equivalent to our Napa wine country, except it’s better because it’s so close to the sea. Relaxing in the Tuscan countryside, eating fresh home-cooked food and taking long walks were so soothing for my soul. Ahhh… Italian Hospitality! Nothing like it!

One Response to “Italian Hospitality”

  1. Doug Wade says:

    Wine country next to the sea? it’s called Sonoma county…

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