Saturday, December 25, 2010


I love this word Eataly.  MARIO BATALI the famous
 NewYork chef opened EATALY, a food emporium
with the owner of the original one located in
Torino, Italy.  Both are suppose to be fabulous,
sorry to say I have not been to either.  I read about
it on the plane coming home from Italy and
I thought that describes our trip perfectly.
I thought I would show you some of the great
things we ate.  Breakfast is not a big production
in Europe, sweet roll, fruit or cheese and espresso

a converted convent in Urbino was the exception

Sorry to say we only stayed here one night, it
was a real treat.

The biggest frustration when it came to lunch
is when we were ready to eat, 1:00-3:00 places
were starting to close for there mid day break.
Everywhere we went except for Roma and
Milano business closed down from 1:00 to 4:00
with very few excepts.  We had a very
hard time getting into the swing of this.  So when
we found something open or was smart enough
to eat earlier we were thrilled.
In Noto, Sicily a women was just about to
close her door on a little enoteca (wine bar)
when we walked in a she kindly remained open.
This was the perfect peasant lunch, caponata
bruschetta, cheese and a bottle of wine.

Another variation on the peasant lunch, pizza

and a antipasto bar not to be equaled.

We had some company who were waiting
for something to fall off our plates

across the Piazza from where we were
having lunch this couple were taking some
 wedding pictures in a beautiful setting.

We went to Udine to visit a DOMITALIA a company
that manufactures chairs that John represents.
They took us to a local place for lunch
which was another high light of our trip
One of the walls in the dining room was covered
in all sizes and shapes of cutting boards
and the pendant lights are flour sifters

the other wall there were pots and pans
very simple and effective
We had an appetizer of speck (ham) and
fried zucchini flower

also frico, which is a parmesian cheese heated and formed
into a cup that held the creamiest most yummy

a very fancy carved pumpkin was on the counter

the resident dog did not want John to leave

On Thanksgiving we were in Sicily and we
were told of a great place that only served
fish and had no menu.  Sounded great to us.
First course was cod balls and crab cakes

second course was a fabulous plate of
 anchovies, langoustine, calamari, and sea urchin


 Misto del Paese, various local fish deep fried
grilled octopus and eel
If you like fish like we do this was a most
satisfying Thanksgiving dinner.

Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There's no looking at a building (or a plate of food) after seeing Italy.

                                                        Fanny Burney

Monday, December 20, 2010


We had many wonderful experiences on our
trip to Italy, which I think you can tell from
my many blogs.  Some are places we discovered,
people we met and places we stayed.
This one was all three rolled into one.
Ca' del Cardo is a wonderful country bed
and breakfast in The Marche region of Italy.

We decided we wanted to explore this area because
we had heard it was the Tuscany of 40 years ago,
and hardly anyone knows about it.
This is a region rich with culture thanks to its
artistic heritage, beauty, and friendly local people.

Here, soft, rolling hills meet the sea, whose
blue shades merge with those of the Apennine
mountains which, in turn, gradually blend in with
 the rich green Sibillini Mountains. We also heard
it was a great place to relocate for Americans
because the cost of living is lower than in the
more touristy areas of Italy.  Our friends
Gabriella and Rino suggested we stay at
Ca' del Cardo because it is a great central
location for the area and it is owned by two
very nice people, Carlo and Donatella. They were right on all accounts.  

They decided to leave their jobs in Rome and dedicate them selves to a new life. A life that would allow them to share this magical place, bewitched by gullies, with old friends and new ones, our guests, alike.
They created a wonderful place where you
immediately feel at home.
This fabulous dining table serves breakfast
and if your lucky dinner cooked by Carlo.
Their home is filled with beautiful painting,
Murona Glass, that they collect as well as
some original works by Carlo. 

When they did the refurbishing they designed
 everything themselves, from that dinning
table to this matching sideboard

as well as all the doors

They have a furniture maker in the Northern
part of Italy who did all of this fabulous woodwork.
Donatella thinks I should come back and put
together a cantainer of his things and local
antiques to take back to my customers in
Los Angeles.  Something to think about.
We stayed here for two nights and it was
much too short of a visit.  The day we left
was our wedding anniversary that I causally
mentioned the night before and after
breakfast they presented us with this memorable gift.

It is a understatement to say we hated to leave.
The drive to the main highway had a lot
to offer. 

We stopped at a local winery and bought
some wine for our next stop

and stopped at a dairy farm where we
bought some of the best home made
cheese that we enjoyed with the wine.

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”
                                                            – Tim Cahill 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We spent four days in Milano and 2 were designated to
window shopping and who better to be our guide than
our good friend Gabriella.  So we set out on a fairly
gloomy morning to see what we could discover.

Gabriella took us to a very nice area with a mix of
high end clothing stores, antique stores,
and great little cafes.  The gloom magically
disappeared and I knew this would be a fun day.
Loved this window, which had nothing to do
with the clothes inside but made you want
to go in.

The antique stores had such creative windows
with a mix of elegance and whimsy

I wanted to bring these chairs home knowing
that many of my customers would love them

This was a nice sight to see

These shoes looked like a piece of art

Italy is the master of contemporary

Much to my delight we found a darling store for
our four legged babies and loved the name

For the first 12 years that I was a sales rep, I
sold hand made silk flowers.  I was very
impressed with this store that sold
silk flowers made in Italy

These artificial pomegranates were so charming
with a pewter frog, turtle or butterfly. I bought one for Gabriella

She displayed it on glass shelf in her living room

Away from the designer store neighborhood we
found this window that I thought was a fun end
to a really wonderful day

You may have the universe if I may have Italy.
                                           Giuesppe Verdi