LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK – Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Italy. In three easy pieces. Audio excerpts from an interview we did with a NYC radio station. The host, John Vivenzio found us on the web and called and asked if we would like to talk. About Italy? Ma Certo!
The conversation ranged from the top of Italy’s boot to the bottom of her stylish toe. We talked about food, culture, restoring old, old houses, and making new friends.
The only thing better than chatting about Italy? You guessed it: being there. All this talk has got us really ramped up for our September trip. So far the tentative itinerary is Panicale, Venice and the Brescia region in Italy. With side trips to Dubrovnik, Corfu, Santorini and Beyond.
Non vedo l’ora!
See you in Italy!
PANICALE, Umbria, Italy–New web site to send your way. From our very talented friend and Panicalese neighbor Diletta. This is in our neighborhood. In fact, our house is just above her in the photo. The site is brand new, a work in progress, the English version will be up shortly. Watch for that, but in the meantime there are plenty of fun photos and a sense of good things to come. Say you have a desperate need for saffron, fresh from Italy, well, this could be for you. Or olive oil, or many other things that help awake fond Italian Memories of all things Umbrian.
NEW, NEW VITI TRASIMENO SITE. The site, for the moment, is all in Italian, but never fear, there are big pictures of the products and a link to email where you can write in English or Italian and ask Dily any questions you have about the products, about ordering. Her English is all inclusive, very fluent.
Allora, ci sentiamo and in September we hope to . . .
See you in Italy!
PANICALE, Umbria–There is no question about it. A garden ups the “degree of difficulty” of a home away from home by a factor of “lots.” But when it’s good . . . its very, very good. It is a happy place. With so many fun distractions. Much as I try to zone out and read and catnap, the Iowa farmer in me wants to study this year’s fig crop futures. Or to pinch off those two renegade weeds in amongst the wild strawberries. Or to lightly prune the plum. Or maybe check out . . . that bunch of clouds rolling up over the lake. Midge! Grab the magazines. I’ll get the laundry off the line!
See you in Italy,
MAY IN UMBRIA, Panicale–Our favorite month in Italy is probably always going to be May. Why? Short answer is Roses. The longer answer is everything is so green, so full of hope, promise of sultry summer days and swallows and sunsets.
But every now and then in May, you may want to know where your coat and hat are. And absolutely your umbrella and even gloves might feel good. Every moment of running back from Aldo’s with a coat over your head hiding from a sudden downpour is worth it, if for no other reason than for the roses. Whatever it takes to keep our new roses happy. One small bush, when seen from a walk by in the garden, seems a poor, underwhelming plant with no flowers to its credit at all. But, not so fast. Let us not judge this book by its cover . . . turn the page, move in closer and what the heck, it is over-producing. Its flowers are so dense and heavy that they point down like divining rods. Once we saw that, we just cut and then cut them some more. Roses for everyone. Roses on the house! Vases in every room.
TALK ABOUT CHANGEABLE.
Bruna, (on left, below) of Ristorante Masolino fame, has been the ranking chef, with the most seniority and history in Umbria for years. She lives a few steps from us one way, and her restaurant is a few steps on the other side of us. So, we see her coming up or down the street in front of us regular as the tide on Casco Bay. You can see she’s wearing an umbrella and a parka. And trust me, she needed both. For that moment at least. Look past her on the right of the photo. That is the top of our garden wall. In the other companion picture, at another moment, is Midge at the bottom of that wall, basking in the sun albeit in one of my sweaters. We’d be in the house and all of a sudden we’d see the sun was out and in a flash we’d be in lawn chairs and feel like we were in a solar cooker. At that point “someone” would “be up anyway” (gardening) and get sent in the house to fetch sunglasses. And before they could get back, the world would turn black. The theater would go dark. Summer would become winter.
Ma, va le la pena and worth the trouble too. In fits and starts, a chapter here, a page there, books were read, big thoughts mused, weeds met their final match. Glasses and spirits were lifted. And we put it to a vote, and we decided all was very right with the world.
PANICALE, Umbria–This time our excuse was . . . our anniversary trip. We think it was well deserved. 40 years for us and 40 for our best man, Harry and his wife, Alison. I was his best man and he was mine. I think Sandro said the simple way to relay that complicated relationship status was “eravamo testimone reciprocamente”. Tricky business, since Best Man implies a certain maleness I’d much prefer testimone ended in a clear-cut masculine “o” but no. Its that neutral “e” thing. Which is fine because technically it just means Witness.
We all enjoy Italy and so here we were, celebrating up a storm at GMB pastries outside of Castiglione del Lago. Here’s to many more! Salute! You can tell by the scarves and coats it was shoulder season.
See you in Italy,