Clients buying their home in Umbria. On HGTV this weekend.

HGTV on Umbrian home buying. Stew and Midge leave for Italy tomorrow.

Bob and Carolyn bought a home in Paciano. Their shopping, buying and renovating adventures have been captured on film over the last year or so. Here are some shots taken during the filming It will play out on national TV at the end of October on HGTV’s “House Hunters International.”

As of this point in time, it is scheduled to air Oct. 25th.

I just talked to Carolyn and they can’t wait for the show to come on. The producer says it is great. And of course, both Bob and Carolyn are looking forward to Happy Holidays in Italy. Their first in their new home.

We leave for Italy tomorrow! Follow us on Twitter or Facebook in words and pics buy clicking on those icons on the upper left of this page. See you in Italy!

These will get you to the church on time

Red Ferraris, White hair, Blue jeans and Blue dress shirts. I’m getting one of those blue shirts so I can hang out with the big guys the next time it’s Take Your Ferrari to Church Day in Italy

ORVIETO, Umbria, Italy – We leave for Italy in: 1 week. 7 days. 148 hours. But who’s counting? Me, is who. In the meantime our friends Cay and George are in Panicale and having a fine time of it. I’ll let their iPhone words and pictures tell the story of a typical day of spontaneous fun in Italy. It’s all about being open to the moment.

Just as we arrived in Orvieto this morning a whole string of Ferraris
came roaring by and parked beside the Duomo while Mass was going on
inside. Only in Italy! There must have been 30 or 40 of them. Didn’t
mean much to me, but George was going nuts!

Orvieto Underground was really cool and we went down into the St.
Patrick’s well with the two circular staircases.

Only 4 day left and still so much to see! But we are enjoying it all
and it is so nice to come back to Panicale at the end of the day!



OK, there’s a great story here dealing with lost opportunities,
temptation, marital relations, luck, and redemption. All intertwined
with Ferraris, including an F40 modified for the street.
Wait till you see my pix from the real camera
(I took about a zillion), plus short videos of 40 red Ferraris
zooming down the stone-lined, side streets. One of those religious experiences you
get once or twice in life. Cay wasn’t quite so moved, but I took it to be
a gender-linked miraculous event, in the land of saints.



Must be a cultural thing. Red Ferraris, White hair, Blue jeans and Blue dress shirts. I’m getting one of those blue shirts so I can hang out with the big guys the next time it’s Take Your Ferrari to Church Day.

See you in Italy, and see you there real soon!

Stew Vreeland

P. S.
If you want to follow along via Twitter, click this link, then hit “follow” under my getting-ready-to-go-to-Italy face. We’ll try to send a blurb and photo a day. Prefer facebook? We’re equal opportunity and we’re on that as well. Go “be a fan” and you’ll be all set

Coffee Rules – Italy


cappuccinoHere’s a link to The Rules of Coffee Ordering and Drinking in Italy. Saw it on a Twitter and think it says it all. Italians take coffee so rightly seriously. And of course if you want a cappuccino after lunch or dinner, and it makes you happy, by all means I say, Do It. If your barista was to give you a look, which they won’t, just shrug and say “Scusi, sono straniero.” That covers oh so much ground. Use it freely in almost any situation. Italians will happily accept our money. Along with our foreign idiosyncrasies. Goes with the territory?

Except maybe for Daniela.

Reminds me of a late night, coffee-like story:


We’d had a fine mid-day eatathon that day. And how we could even consider eating again, I do not know, but after an extended siesta/nap/fall-down-and-be-quiet thing, we did a walking tour of Panicale and then had a most excellent but light dinner at Masolino’s. Sans wine. But, then, to make up for that momentary lapse into the dark world of abstemiousness I found my lips forming the words “Nightcap, anyone?” All hands were raised and we wandered post-dolce to Aldo’s next door and had the Wiley Traveler’s Special. It tastes like a nice, late night coffee would. But it is coffee imposter, caffeine-free Orzo, brewed up like a cappuccino and topped off with Bailey’s. How easy was that to say? Orzo with Bailey’s. You might think so. But you’d be wrong. At least in Panicale’s Bar Gallo with Daniela in charge on a busy night. Elegant Daniela, who suffers fools hardly at all, decided I needed to be taught how not to drive her crazy. After a couple false starts over a week’s time, (practice, practice) we got me to parrot these words back to her:

“Orzo corretto con baaay-lees in una tazza grande”. Say that, like that, and you’ll get your foamed and frothed up Orzo in a cappuccino-sized cup with good shot of Bailey’s. At least from Daniela. I’d think in a place we didn’t know we’d have to specify. Maybe add “fatto come un cappuccino” or such. Be that as it may, we had to go around the horn a bit to get to this Daniel accepted version of ordering as I thought the “corretto” part would mean Grappa would be added. Turns out coffee can be “corrected” with any liquor of choice. I dare say if you don’t specify you will Get Grappa’d.

Regardless, it is as fine a sleep potion as I’ve ever come across. And a marvelous way to end a marvelous day. About a euro in your local bar. Sogni d’Oro/Orzo to all and to all a good night.