Summer at the Seaside

25 Jul

July is the month many Italians go to the sea. This summer, we were invited to share in the experience with Anna and John, friends from Texas, at the summer home of Anna’s parents, Giovanna and Franco.

We headed to the Livorno area, the west coast of Tuscany situated on the Terranean Sea, for a few days of quiet relaxation, great conversation, delicious food, Italian hospitality, and incredible views.

The drive from Cortona took about an hour longer than expected due to some heavy downpours and overturned vehicles blocking exit ramps, but all that was quickly forgotten when we arrived and were met by our gracious hosts and a delicious homemade lunch.

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Then time for a passagiata, or walk, and a chance to take in the views of the sea, which was a bit rough for swimming but great for photos.

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After walking, hours of conversation, and brief naps, it was time for appertivo. John did the honors.

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The cheeses were delicious, including this one with whiskey,

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©Blogginginitaly.com

and this one with grappa.

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The gardener just happened to stop by with some porcini mushrooms. (Giovanna showing them to John.)

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Giovanna turned them into several dishes including this appetizer with shaved parmigiano and olive oil.

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Time for dinner.

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And finally, dessert. Giovanna actually made this for us for breakfast but I ate it all the time!

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The next morning, I learned that an “Italian lover” lived under our same roof but was not performing well. Anna and her mother believe that every woman deserves a lover, and one that meets expectations. This lover is named Giacomo.

It turns out, the lover of whom they speak is a robotic vacuum cleaner. Theirs was about 5 years old and had run out of steam, so to speak. So, off we ladies went to Euronics to purchase Giacomo Due (2).

With Giacomo Due safely in the trunk, I was treated to a tour of Livorno, a lovely port city, by the ever knowledgeable Giovanna.

Not sure the men missed us at all, but we were anxious to see how well the slimmer, sleeker Giacomo would perform. After reading the users’ manual online, Anna shares her findings with her mother.

Anna read the

Anna read the

After a three-hour charge, Giacomo is ready! Will he fit under the couch? The ladies are intrigued but not so Anna’s father, who is busy with world economics.

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The verdict is in, Giacomo Due stays! Time for lunch and wine tasting on the veranda as the winds have quieted.

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For dessert, peaches in white wine.

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Another walk along the sea wall…

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And, as Italians are prone to do, disregard the warning of falling rocks.

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The last night, we had a lovely dinner in the small town, giving Giovanna a rest from cooking.

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Many thanks to Giovanna and Franco for sharing your home and hospitality with us. We loved experiencing the Italian summer at sea. And to Anna and John, thanks for your friendship. We finally turned our goal of being in Italia together into a reality. Bravissimo!

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Ciao,

Judy

8 Responses to “Summer at the Seaside”

  1. annagrassini July 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM #

    Ah Judy…what fun to disregard the possibility of landslides on a sunny day!!!! Glad you came to share Quercianella with us! This little spot on the Tirrenean sea is dear to my heart…so fun to spend time there with you!

    Like

  2. Benita July 25, 2014 at 10:41 AM #

    Judy you should get recipes and put them on your blog! I’d love the eggplant one!!
    Xo
    Benita

    Like

  3. Janet Reed July 25, 2014 at 1:15 PM #

    What a delightful story with all the lovely pictures of your stay with the Grassini family.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  4. Barbara Kaines July 25, 2014 at 3:21 PM #

    I am soooo enjoying your time in Italy! Can hardly wait to get there. Barbara

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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