Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost in Translation

I've never been very comfortable with foreign languages. I barely managed to finish two semesters of Spanish when I was at Tulane, and never became as fluent in German as I should have considering that I lived there for three years when I was in the Army.

Some of the Spanish came back when Lisa and I were in Argentina last September, and it's overwhelming the little bit of Italian that I managed to learn before we left Seattle; I keep asking for the bill in the wrong language.

Given my troubles, I'm always encouraged to be reminded that I'm not alone in my frustrations with translating thoughts into words.

Here are two classic examples we've discovered hanging by the doors to some very nice restaurants we've enjoyed - the first is from a place in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome, the second from Orvieto.


Friday, May 21, 2010

The weather could be better...

But the food is fantastic!

We haven't been blessed with the weather I enjoyed when I was cycling my way through Tuscany three years ago - it's only in the mid-60s, and overcast during the days, although the sunsets have been great.

But the food is every bit as good as it ever was, and even better sharing it with Lisa and friends.

Here are the highlights of yesterday's lunch at an out-of-the-way spot in Pansano:



Pappardella with wild boar

Ravoli with spinach and ricotta

Tuscan wild boar stew

Today will feature a battle of the towns... and their wines: Montepulciano and Montalcino!

Who will win? Brunello di Montalcino or Vino Nobile di Montelulciano?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


We arrived in Poggibonsi via train on Monday and were met by Kurt & Jamie at the station, who drove us up to our remarkably cute place in the Tuscan hills.

Our friends Gilles and Daria were delayed in France - their flight to Rome cancelled due to a temperamental Icelandic volcano. But they managed to get a train to Florence and then arrived at our place just as we were returning
from a day trip to Siena.

Last night we enjoyed a home-cooked meal of sauted atrichoke hearts followed by a pasta, washed down with several bottle of Chianti and a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Vita Bella

Friday, May 14, 2010

Poggibonsi or Bust

We’re on our way – almost...

Saturday evening Lisa and I will be en route to meet friends in a lovely little villa just outside of Poggibonsi, a village in Tuscany about half-way between Florence and Siena.

Yes, I know – it seems like one of those wispy vacations invented by Jane Austin or by Hollywood for a romantic comedy: three couples sharing a country farmhouse for a week, including one couple that lives far away and hasn’t seen the others in years, another couple that’s just announced that they’re having their first baby, and a third couple consisting of “the new guy” in a woman’s life whom the first couple hasn’t met yet.

FOR CLARIFICATION: I’m “the new guy,” and Lisa and I are NOT the couple having a baby!

After our week in Tuscany with friends, Lisa and I will spend a week in an apartment in Rome – just the two of us. We have an extra night in between, and I’m surprising Lisa with an overnight stopover in...

Well – you’ll have to wait to find out, just like she does!

In the meantime, keep checking in to find out about:
  • A potential flight delay caused by an Icelandic volcano...
  • The meeting of friends in our cute villa...
  • The historic sights we’re seeing...
  • The fabulous wines we’re tasting...
  • The incredible food we’re eating...
  • And so much more...