Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Get Your Satiricon

When we last left you, which was only yesterday, we were beating a retreat across the island of Sicily in our slightly wounded rental car, having attempted to fit it through a street just a bit narrower than its own width.  Although the front panel scraping and the subsequent backing into a parked car left my ego more bruised than our Lancia’s sheetmetal skin, by dinnertime we had arrived at our home for the next two nights, the estate of Gianfranco Becchina, producer of the award winning Olio Verde extravirgin olive oil in Castelvetrano.  Even under cloak of darkness, when we arrived at the Tenuta Pignatelli we knew we were in for a treat.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Maalox and Autovelox

Day One of our post Food & Wine Tour itinerary is under our belts.  After two weeks of eating and drinking with our guests (I tell my father it’s work) it’s surprising there was any room left under there.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Food and Wine - Part Due

And so 2011 Umbria Food and Wine II, the second installment of our annual food and grape binge in Umbria came to an end yesterday.  And the second week was as intense, enjoyable and interesting as the first.  And completely different.

Now we need a vacation.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Two weeks and it’s time to pull up stakes and move on.  For just over two weeks we have been eating and drinking and touring and guiding, introducing two wonderful groups of fellow travellers, now known as friends, to the wonders that make up life in Umbria.  Two separate week-long Umbria Food and Wine tours.  It’s time to close the book on this year’s experience.  It has been memorable.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Only in America

Only in America.

I thought this was a Jimmy Durante quote.  Wikipedia does not agree.  Nonetheless, we have a sense that certain things can happen only in America.

We keep returning to Italy, to Umbria, because days like yesterday can happen only in Italy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Wow.  It’s hard to find another word to describe Fabriano.  Yesterday was our third visit to this little town tucked away in an obscure corner of our next door neighbor province Le Marche.  Fabriano definitely has it goin’ on.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm a Pickin' and I'm a Grinnin'

Some of our experiences here in Italy just cannot be written about.  Others, like the impact of seeing a particular painting for the first time, the joy of spending a day cooking with a local chef, the taste of a great meal or an unforgettable bottle of wine, lend themselves to recreation through words and pictures.

But others are so elemental that have to be lived to fully understand and appreciate them.  Picking olives with the Palermis is one of those experiences.