Archive | Italian Food RSS feed for this section

Still Saying “I Do!”

30 Oct

Wednesday was the last night in Cortona of our 9th stay, and also happened to be our 30th anniversary. 

We began the day with a wonderful walk through the parterre, bathed in sunshine and enjoying the magnificent October weather and views.

IMG_1131

©blogginginitaly.com

IMG_0788

©blogginginitaly.com

We ended the evening, surrounded by friends, at our favorite Tuscher Caffè.

We had told Massimo and Daniela we wanted to host a Brindisi D’Anniversario, or Anniversary Toast, with simple finger food…but of course, they always do so much more than expected. 

We arrived a bit early to find Dani and Edoardo making the final touches on the buffet…

IMG_0819

©blogginginitaly.com

and Massimo ready to open the Prosecco.

IMG_0806

©blogginginitaly.com

The food was not only delicious, but so creative! 

As we waited for our guests, Len rehearsed his toast. When all had assembled, we took our first group photo. Well done, Francesco!

IMG_0863

©blogginginitaly.com

After more toasts and eating, Len asked for attention. He began by apologizing for his Italian, but was quickly reassured by the group that his effort was well appreciated. Toasting our friends in his best Italian, he thanked them for their sincere friendship and for making us truly feel that Cortona is our second home.

And then he turned to me, with these words, also in Italian… “You are the butter on my bread and the fire in my heart.” Melted.

While the food was being cleared, we made some attempts at gender photos…

And then we were doubly surprised by the dessert…

IMG_0878

©blogginginitaly.com

First, that it was a gift from dear friends from Toronto, Carrol and Larry, and second, that all this time I thought I was married to LEN! (Technology can be great as we were able to FaceTime them in Toronto while cutting the cake!)

Such a wonderful evening, full of laughter, smiles, stories, and most of all dear friends. 

30 years ago, 

IMG_6875

©blogginginitaly.com

And today…

As I reflect on the the past 30 years, what comes to mind most is how blessed we have been and how thankful we are for our loving family, our dear friends, and our ongoing adventures. 

Hoping to get just one more group photo before we departed, we stopped a person walking by outside and asked him to take a photo. It was quickly evident this was not something he was used to doing… with his finger half over the lens and quite shaky!

IMG_1103

©blogginginitaly.com

But alas, with pure luck, he took this. A little finger shadow top left, but all in all, a great memory of a wonderful evening!

IMG_1028

©blogginginitaly.com

Many thanks to Daniela and Massimo for their hard work…we so love having parties at Tuscher. And our heartfelt love and thanks to family and friends, whether with us at Tuscher or from far away, for the wonderful anniversary wishes. I hope they all do come true and that we have many more years to celebrate.

And yes, after 30 years, I am still saying “I Do!”

Ciao,
Judy

The 2017 Olive Harvest

23 Oct

Every year, around mid to late October, many Cortonese hope to begin harvesting their olives. I use the word hope because Mother Nature plays a huge role in the success of the harvest. While 2015 was a bountiful year, the complete opposite was true for 2016 due to the dreaded mosca (fly).  And this year, the 2017 harvest was severely limited by the drought…hence,  small quantity but good quality olives depending on the location of one’s olive grove.

Nonetheless, October begins the eagerly anticipated time “olio nuovo” (new oil) signs begin to appear in restaurants and stores. And it is also a time when locals invite friends to celebrate their production. Lucky for us, friends invited us to dinner last night, but didn’t tell us they had already been to the frantoio (mill) to begin processing their olives.

As soon as we entered the cantina, we knew we were in for a treat. The bright green color and the light peppery taste of freshly pressed olive oil is unlike that of any other oil.

 

IMG_0727

©blogginginitaly.com

Lapo and Paola like to call this a peasant dinner – simple and fresh food picked from the garden or locally sourced, all designed to highlight the taste of the new oil.

IMG_0728

©blogginginitaly.com

New oil is traditionally first tasted as a bruschetta  – toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic and topped with the oil. We each made our own. Delicious.

IMG_0729

©blogginginitaly.com

We also added the oil to a dash of salt in tiny bowls – a wonderful dip for fresh vegetables from the garden.

IMG_0730

©blogginginitaly.com

Next came what Len calls an Italian version of hummus, this one made from ceci (chickpeas), drizzled with the oil and topped with a sprig of rosemary. Can’t wait to try this myself.

IMG_0732

©blogginginitaly.com

The dish that followed was a type of bread soup, pappa al pomodoro, topped with a drizzle of oil. Simple, delicious and perfect for an autumn evening. 

IMG_0733

©blogginginitaly.com

Now this is Italy, remember, so you know there is more to follow, and what followed was rosemary roasted chicken and potatoes, with a splash of oil of course!

IMG_0743

©blogginginitaly.com

Now not all olives are turned into oil, as was the case with these tasty herb and orange marinated olives, served as a side dish.

IMG_0744

©blogginginitaly.com

For dessert, we were treated to Paola’s delicious torta della nonna, (grandmother’s cake), a traditional Tuscan dessert with a light custard. (I forgot to ask if she added a drop of the new oil to it!) Not being much of a baker, I bought the others at a local pasticceria. 

IMG_0746

©blogginginitaly.com

So that’s how we celebrate the olive harvest in Cortona, enjoying what Mother Nature provides, combined with the hard work of locals who pick by hand. 

From this…

IMG_0747

©blogginginitaly.com

to this. Doesn’t get much better.

IMG_0729

©blogginginitaly.com

Our thanks to Lapo and Paola for an always entertaining and delicious evening together. Complimenti to the cook and grazie for your friendship!

IMG_0734

©blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

In Love with Liguria

27 Sep

(hopefully reprinted with full photo views)

Liguria, a four-province region in northwest Italy, lies on the Ligurian sea.

400px-Map_of_region_of_Liguria,_Italy,_with_provinces-en.svg

Wikipedia

It is bordered by France to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romana and Tuscany to the east.

Due to its breathtaking coastline, Liguria is also known as the Italian Riveria, as this narrow strip of land lies between the Mediterranean, the Alps and the Apennine mountains.

IMG_9887

©blogginginitaly.com

While parts of Liguria have familiar names – Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Sanremo, others are much less known.

Liguria is the original source of pesto, and it is easy to understand when driving through some of the towns. Basil is grown in an abundance throughout the year.

Trenette is a traditional form of regional pasta served with pesto alla genovese, which can also include potatoes and green beans boiled in the same water.

IMG_0048

©blogginginitaly.com

We had never been to Liguria before last week, and now it is one of our favorite places. Town after town graces the Mediterranean, yet each has its own identity. We visited several with friends, one of whom calls Liguria home.

After a literal 2-hour complete shut down of the autostrada near Arezzo, and a 5+ hour drive, we were happy to finally arrive in Loano. My first sight of the sea, albeit cloudy, brought a smile to my face.

Then off to join Daniela’s family who welcomed us with warm hugs and hot soup.

IMG_9833

©blogginginitaly.com

The next day, we walked along the sea and took in the views from Loano and Verezzi. The photos tell the story best.

IMG_9875

©blogginginitaly.com

IMG_9878

©blogginginitaly.com

IMG_9882

©blogginginitaly.com

After a beautiful morning of sightseeing, we enjoyed a Tuscan lunch, complete with chianina beef, sausage, and Sangiovese brought from Cortona. And yes, there was even a large collection of pet turtles to entertain us!

Now, one would think this lunch would suffice for the day, but hey, this is Italy, so later that evening, we headed out for seafood, a major staple of Ligurian cuisine, as well as Lumassina, a local white wine.

After dinner, we visited a dear friend’s shop to purchase some fresh pesto.

Wednesday was Monaco/Monte Carlo day, about 60 miles from Loano. I had visited both when I was a student in Rome, and while the sights remain beautiful, today the tourists and cars are dense.

On the way back to Italy, we stopped for what turned out to be a rather “rude” lunch in Menton, along the French border, so we were happy to join Italian cousins for dinner later that night.

IMG_0045

©blogginginitaly.com

Thursday was my very favorite day. We headed to Alassio, a neighboring Ligurian town, for a most relaxed morning of boating and swimming.

IMG_0148

©blogginginitaly.com

Up next, a moto ride for me around the harbor before a delicious seafood lunch.

Afterward, we strolled through colorful Alassio and learned some of its history.

In the early 1950s, Alassio was a capital of international highlife along the Riveria. The owner of Caffè Roma came up with the idea to create a wall with the autographs he had collected of famous people that came to the bar, including Ernest Hemingway. Hence, the Muretto di Alassio was born and now boasts about 550 tiles.

After our walk, we drove to the top of the cliff to visit Santa Croce Church and take in the marvelous views of the sea and Isola Gallinara.

Now just in case you’re concerned we might not be able to handle this lifestyle, we found our motto early on…

IMG_0030

©blogginginitaly.com

Our last night was a “typical small Italian family” gathering for pizza. 

IMG_0206

©blogginginitaly.com

It was hard to leave this beautiful part of Italy, but we know we’ll return. To ease our “sorrow”, we stopped in Portofino for lunch on the way home. 

IMG_0234

IMG_0235

Len and I began planning our trip to Liguria a year ago. It ended up being so much more than we had ever expected – the natural beauty, the sea, the people, the food, the colors, and most of all, the incredible hospitality shown to us. 

And now since it is Wednesday, I can finally say:

Buon Compleanno, Dani. Tantissimi Auguri cara amica!

IMG_0073

Grazie per una vacanza che ricorderemo sempre!
Thank you for a holiday we will always remember!

IMG_9897

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

How Does My Orto (Garden) Grow?

26 Aug

Many have asked me that question, especially due to the unrelenting heat wave and lack of rain in Tuscany. In Italian, the saying goes, “non c’è male” or not bad, and that’s my answer. Not great, and not poorly, simply not bad, especially compared to what I’ve seen.

Usually in late summer, sunflowers look like this…

img_4418

©Blogginginitaly.com

This year, they look like this.

IMG_9411

©blogginginitaly.com

As for the orto, since it is small, it has been watered and has some shade. While not nearly producing the quantity of last year,

IMG_3833

2016©Blogginginitaly.com

it’s not barren either.

IMG_9414

2017©blogginginitaly.com

And although small, the tomatoes still taste delicious.

IMG_9421

©blogginginitaly.com

So while I enjoy them,

IMG_9422

©blogginginitaly.com

I’ll dream of sunflowers and hope they return healthier than ever next year.

IMG_3460 - Version 2

©blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

Do You Really Know FCO?

25 Jun

Looking back over the years, since my junior year of college in Rome, I’ve probably landed or taken off from FCO more than 40 times. The formal name of Rome’s largest airport is the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, but to many, the Rome Fiumicino Airport is simply known as FCO, short for Fiumicino.

Like most travelers, the less time spent at an airport the better, so at the end of each Cortona stay, we would leave in the wee hours of the morning to catch a late morning flight home. But last year, when the traffic stress got to be too much, we joined the ranks of those spending the night before departure near FCO.

Not wanting to stay at the airport, we did some research and much to our surprise, we discovered that Fiumicino is much more than an airport. Fiumicino is a town/comune in Metropolitan Rome, with a population over 77,000. And based on its location, the northern side of the mouth of the Tiber river, it’s also an important source of fresh fish for Rome.  Best of all for us, it offers travelers a place to walk, relax, and eat well prior to an international flight.

A stroll along the Tiber is filled with colorful fishing boats,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

fishing nets,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

fishermen,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

fisher “birds”,

©Blogginginitaly.com

and fishing apparatus of every kind.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The long walk, adjacent to the river, is also filled with a variety of shops, tabacchi, restaurants, bars, gelato shops, etc.

©Blogginginitaly.com

This June was our third stay in Fiumicino, and our custom is to take a long walk to the end of the pier and enjoy the incredible sunset before stopping for dinner.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Wanting to eat light, we discovered this gem last year – Uniti nel Gusto (United in Taste).

©Blogginginitaly.com

This year, upon returning, we got to know the owners who, by the way, are not nearly as stern as the photo suggests. Trust me, it’s an Italian thing.

©Blogginginitaly.com

We chose a wonderful array of appetizers to go with the best bread we have ever had in Italy –

©Blogginginitaly.com

really, the BEST!

©Blogginginitaly.com

On the way back to the hotel, I mentioned to Len that it would be interesting to spend a day here, seeing the fishing boats head out to sea and return with their hauls. Besides, we had so many questions about it all.

The next morning, we awoke to emails telling us our flight was delayed, then rebooked, then ultimately cancelled. Hmm. I guess we get that day in Fiumicino after all.

After a long walk including other parts of town, we put aside some slight concerns we had about eating fish before a flight and headed to the end of the “pier” to Al Molo Bastianelle for lunch. Our waiter assured us that the fish had just arrived, so why not try?

We began with insalata di mare, a freshly made seafood salad,

©Blogginginitaly.com

followed by sautéed sole and roasted potatoes.

Both the setting and the food turned out to be great choices!

©Blogginginitaly.com

After lunch, the boats began to return.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Fortunately, we stopped to talk to the one person who could easily answer our questions.

Massimo was born in Sicily, raised in Gloucester, MA, and now worked in Fiumicino on a large fishing boat. When I approached him with my best Italian, he turned and said with a Boston accent and his best smile, “Do you speak English?” …He had us at Hello.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Massimo explained that they prepare the boats each afternoon and head out to sea at 11:30 pm. They sweep, or drop the nets, usually three times, then return home the following day at 3:30 in the afternoon. When they return, they stop at the end of the pier to unload the day’s catch. The fish is weighed and immediately taken to auction. Len had some other fishing questions, including how often. “Five days a week.” Obviously, fishing is not a hobby here.

Before saying our goodbyes, Massimo said, “Follow the sign and you’ll find the auction.”

©Blogginginitaly.com

Follow we did and came across this serious and immaculate setting, which we were not allowed to enter. Seeing how clean it was made us feel even better about what we had just eaten.

©Blogginginitaly.com

On the right side behind the railing, the buyers are bidding as the auction takes place. If I understand correctly, there is even a doctor on site monitoring the quality. Fish auctioned here remains in Rome.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Massimo also explained that undersized fish cannot be sold at the auction, hence the vendors on the pier.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Satisfied that our questions were answered, we walked more, until the sun set once again.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Eventually, we ended the evening back with our new friends at Uniti Nel Gusto.

©Blogginginitaly.com

As it turned out, exploring Fiumicino was the perfect way to spend a flight delay. And now you know FCO – so very much more than an airport!

Ciao,
Judy

San Feliciano Umbria

18 May

After many years in Cortona, I thought we had visited most towns and villages that surround Lake Trasimeno, but not surprisingly, there is always another gem to discover. Knowing we love fresh fish, some friends suggested we head to Ristorante Da Massimo in San Feliciano, Umbria. The restaurant is nestled on a quiet hill overlooking the lake.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Meet Massimo, chef and proprietor of this over 25 year-old restaurant.

©Blogginginitaly.com

We began with appetizers, and they were so good, we jumped right in and I didn’t get photos. Len and I shared an enormous plate of spaghetti con vongole (clams), one of the best we have eaten in Italy, while our friends shared a mixed seafood appetizer – first cold seafood then hot.

While this is not what we ate, I was able to get a photo of this spaghetti with mixed seafood.

©Blogginginitaly.com

For our second course, Len and I shared grilled spigola, or sea bass, and it was delicious!

©Blogginginitaly.com

Our friends ordered the oven roasted version with potatoes and olives.

©Blogginginitaly.com

To accompany our meal, we drank a light sparkling white wine, perfect with seafood.

After coffee, we decided to take a walk in the town. From Cortona, the winding scenic ride along the lake eventually brings you to this small fishing village, perhaps “on the map” as it is one of the places you can catch a ferry to Isola Polvese in the lake. San Feliciano is about 35-45 kilometers from Cortona, depending on your route.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Being that it was a weekday, and not quite summer, the town was quiet and we had much of it to ourselves. Not sure how busy it gets in summer, but there are campgrounds nearby, so our timing was perfect. In addition, in late July each year, the town hosts the annual Festa del Giacchio, a festival that pays tribute to an old fishing technique dating back to Etruscan times. Although the technique is no longer used on the lake, during the festival there are demonstrations, competitions, and opportunities to participate in all kinds of events.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Len has long wanted to rent a small boat and fish in Lake Trasimeno, and San Feliciano seems to fit the bill perfectly. Perhaps the best part for me is that Len can throw back whatever he catches, and after a relaxing day, we can all eat well at Ristorante Da Massimo, no fish cleaning or cooking required.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Ristorante Da Massimo and San Feliciano, two great additions to our list of favorite places!

©Blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

2017 Orto Planting

6 May

Finally, finally, our plants are in the orto, or vegetable garden. We waited two weeks later than last year due to cold weather and are so happy we did. We have some friends who planted in April and now need to replant due to frost and a recent 0° night. In fact, we know several people whose fruit trees suffered a lot of damage and now won’t produce fruits like figs, apricots, cherries, etc. this year.

It’s hard to believe this small bunch of plants will populate Fernanda’s orto…
12 tomatoes (4 varieties); 12 red onions; 4 zucchini.

©Blogginginitaly.com

As you might recall, four of us, all novices, planted a vegetable garden last spring at our friend’s home in the country. And here’s a reminder of last year’s success!

©Blogginginitaly.com

Having set the bar pretty high, and wanting similar results, some advice was sought (“offered”) from more skilled neighbors. It’s a funny thing about “orto rules”…there seem to be as many as there are vegetable gardeners. In addition, Italians who live in the country are known to have superstitions about doing things on certain days of the week – but we didn’t let that bother us.

First step was for Len and Loreno to count off the space needed for the tomato plants.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Once measured, building of the cane structure commenced. There was some “debate” this year about teepee style (last year’s) vs. box style, but after much consideration, box style won.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Looks like a tying lesson is going on here.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Tomato plants were added, water troughs dug, and once completed, the perfectly aligned tomatoes looked like this.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Then the onions and zucchini were planted in the rear of the garden where there are also garlic and artichoke plants, hardier plants which had been planted earlier in the season.

©Blogginginitaly.com

After a very productive afternoon, Fernanda treated us to a delicious dinner and the day treated us to a beautiful sunset.

©Blogginginitaly.com

When your daily view looks like this…

©Blogginginitaly.com

how can you not want to plant your own orto?

Here’s to our orto trio, our hard-working contadini (farmers)…can’t wait to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Loreno, Carlo and Len©Blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

Pasqua and Pasquetta

17 Apr

Yesterday throughout Italy, families and friends gathered after mass for warm hugs, long Easter lunches and lively conversation. Intermittent rain showers didn’t dampen any spirits, although we were happy we ate inside.

We joined some friends at their beautiful home just past Pergo, a short ride from Cortona. We’ve been before, but it is always a pleasure to return as the setting is incredible.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Len, of course, needed to check out the 1975 Fiat 500 parked in the drive.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

The house, built in the late 1700’s, was originally a farm-house, but is now a beautifully restored/renovated home with guest house, covered pool, garage and incredible 360° views, (and it is on the market as grandchildren live too far away!)*

©Blogginginitaly.com

We began on the terrace with a Prosecco toast.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Then lunch was served in the dining room.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Unfortunately, I missed taking photos of the delicious chicken with gorgonzola lunch, but desserts included a traditional Easter colombo – a dove shaped cake…

©Blogginginitaly.com

as well as fresh strawberries and cream on sponge cake.

©Blogginginitaly.com

After a few attempts, we even managed to take a timed selfie.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Afterward, some of us took a leisurely stroll around the property, admiring the views…

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

while others retired to the terrace.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Many thanks to our gracious hosts, shown in a photo I took of them on our last visit.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Pasqua and Pasquetta, Easter and Easter Monday, two holidays in Italy, the first religious, the second not. Once again today, Cortona was packed with people. In fact, both yesterday and today, there were traffic jams.

But today, Pasquetta, is a day set aside for relaxation. All the solemnity and preparation of Easter are over, and it is a day to relax, except, of course, for restaurants and retail shops who serve the masses of people enjoying a day off.

Strolling is the norm, so strolling we did. The park was filled with people,

©Blogginginitaly.com

taking in the views.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Others were enjoying entertainment in the piazzas, including the Old Florence Dixie Band,

©Blogginginitaly.com

and just appreciating the beautiful day.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Between the park and the piazza, we found an empty park bench and literally put our feet up as we took in the view.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Late afternoon, we headed home for a brief riposo (rest) before meeting friends for dinner.

©Blogginginitaly.com

And that’s what one does in Cortona for Pasqua and Pasquetta, a perfectly lovely few days.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

*Note: Many have asked me what the inside of an Italian house looks like. If interested, you can see more photos via the listing link below.

http://www.abodeitaly.com/property/68c/tuscany/casa-giordano-piazzano/arezzo/farmhouses-and-count/4-bedrooms

 

 

Risotto Made Easy

3 Apr

Although my mother was a great Italian cook,  risotto was not something I grew up eating. My ancestors were from southern Italy, so pasta with red sauce was the norm.  When I finally learned about risotto, it always seemed like something that required too much patience and time to cook.

Lucky for me, my native Italian friends have taken the mystery out of risotto.

Tonight I made risotto con cipolle e piselli – risotto with onions and peas. Perhaps the most important tip I have learned is to use Carnaroli rice. It seems foolproof and makes a wonderfully creamy risotto. A second tip is to flavor the water or broth with what I am adding to the risotto.

Obviously, you can make risotto many different ways, but I thought I’d share my simple recipe for others who are hesitant to make it. And, Len said it was really good!

Tonight’s Simple Recipe: (measurements are suggestions!)

Ingredients:
Carnaroli rice, onion, garlic, water or broth, peas, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Directions:
Start with two pots: one for the liquid and another for the risotto. Use a ratio of about 3;1, liquid to rice.

  1. Add 3 cups of water (or broth)  to the small pot and 1/2 cup frozen peas; heat to boil, then lower to keep simmering.
  2. In the larger pot, sauté one medium onion and one garlic clove in olive oil for a few minutes, then add one cup of risotto, and sauté a few more minutes. Don’t burn the rice!
  3. Begin to add the hot liquid to the risotto, one ladle at a time. Stir a bit and when the liquid is almost absorbed, add another ladle and stir, and continue in this process until the risotto is done, about 15-20 minutes. Note: I used all of the liquid, but did not stir constantly.
  4. Turn off heat, add parmesan cheese and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and enjoy.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

Note: Broth and white wine are great liquid substitutes or additions (when you have them!), but water works fine, as do any number of vegetables, e.g., roasted red peppers, mushrooms, asparagus.  Be creative and let me know what you come up with!

 

 

Familiar Footing

30 Mar

Why did we fall in love with Cortona? So very many reasons, but suffice it to say we did –  this being our eighth stay. And although so much is familiar, this ancient Etruscan town never ceases to amaze.

The incredible views…

©Blogginginitaly.com

Local food sourcing… (10 huge fresh artichokes for under $4.50!)

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Tiny cars that seem to suck in their sides as they traverse the hills and uneven narrow streets – (my Fiat 500).

©Blogginginitaly.com

And of course, the delicious food.

AD Braceria ©Blogginginitaly.com

AD Braceria ©Blogginginitaly.com

Tuscher Caffe ©Blogginginitaly.com

First day of 2017 outside seating at Tuscher Caffe ©Blogginginitaly.com

The weather has been perfect – blue sky sunny days, cool nights, and signs of Spring’s magnificent return in the colors popping up everywhere.

And while all of the above is wonderful, nothing quite compares to the sincere smiles and heartfelt “ben tornato” (welcome back) long embraces we’ve received from our local friends.

I guess the answer to my opening question is simple: they are truly the reason we fell in love with Cortona and why we happily return.

For now, time to give in to jet lag, but much more to come.

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

%d bloggers like this: