Thursday, February 24, 2011

Italian Nonna Wanted to Rent!

I need a Grandmother in Italy!  As an Italian American I had a glimpse of daily Italian life in an American contex. Visiting my grandmother during summers, the cousins would learn to paly cannasta. One day Nonna showed us how to make one type of pasta. .    But since I have lived in Italy twice for periods longer than a vacation, I realize I need a nonna.

Italians are wonderful, gracious, kind and will help you whenever they can.  But I noticed as an outsider in a town of 17,000  I was not accepted.  Everyone planned their days around their family.  Dinner was at home with the family. Someone without a family did not fit in.

So I need to rent a Nonna.   Do you have anyone you think would be interested in applying for the job?

I would walk Nonna to the market to select fresh fruit and veggies.  I would learn how to pick the best zucchini, how to chat with the vendors at the cheese stand and ask about their families.   I would carry the shopping bag back to Nonna's apt; Then we would cook!   I would learn how to make the perfect pasta, how the vietello should be cooked and so much more.

And Nonna would tell me stories of life in Italy when she was young.  I would know about the festivals and what special foods they had for easter and for Christmas.    Oh I NEED A NONNA. 

Please apply.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Villa Rental in Umbria

Many, many people have read or heard about Under the Tuscan Sun. by Frances Mayes.

Have you dreamed of staying in a villa in Italy,  enjoying a meal outside overlooking the rolling green hills?  Living the life of an Italian where you enjoy your food, enjoy conversations with your neighbors and the intoxicating smell of the countryside?

Then you need to visit Villa-Fondo Le Teglie  Click now. 
You will find your dream villa in Umbria in the countryside not far from Todi.    And you can plan your next vacation in the Italian countryside.

The vision behind Villa-Fondo Le Teglie is an American woman who transformed a former barn into an incredible villa, a villa that you can rent for a week or longer to fullfill your dream of Living in Italia!

Susan Evans is an amazing woman who I met on my adventure to Italy in October.  I found Susan through a friend of mine who knows of my love of Italy and my goal to live there.    Susan's information was forwarded to me and within days I was learning about   
 Il Gusto del Paese   
 A portion of Susan's introduction best explains her philosophy and services:   "small, privately owned company focused on making your vacation experience in Umbria special. The right property for you and a level of service tailored to support your desire" 

Read Susans story and come back for my impressions on this incredible villa rental on a future blog.   

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Now that I no longer take vacations, I have adventures!

going home to Italy every year is something I look forward to every year.
I always visit Florence, the city that convinced me to return for a semester abroad while at Syracuse University.   As all college students I had gone through the shock of moving away to a town where I knew almost no one, but I was not very prepared to go to a city where I KNEW NO ONE and could not even speak their language.

For years after that event I visited Italy, England, Alaska and the far east as a tourist or on buiness.  But now I try to NOT go as a tourist on vacation by as an explorer on an ADVENTURE.  Yes my adventures are small.  I don't walk across the desert alone, I don't take a canoe to explore the Amazon or  climb mountains.  My adventures are traveling solo and meeting as many people who are willing to speak with me.

This does not always work.   I still remember the shop clerk in Venice giving me the shoulder shrug (that said who the h--- cares) after I explained how difficult it had been to find a sweater in large American sizes.  She also refused to let me purchase an item on "display" in the window.    After all these months I still wish I had walked out of the store.    But I have a wish necklace and it you are granted 3 wishes than I shall wish that she age gracelessly and become large............

Adventures can be small or large.  When you are going outside your comfort zone often a small adventure can be a great accomplishment.

Where   do you go on adventures??

Some of the interesting people I met on my last trip

This is Frank.    A very kind customer service rep. who never lost his temper or grace when clients were rude, loud and not very nice.  Mr. Frank translated something I had found in Spain, so that I could understand the lengend of the "ringing of the bells"

 I do not know this kind woman's name but I see her every year.
When I visit Florence each year I stop in the large central market.  Sometimes for a great cappucino at the stall that all the market workers visit.   They always know I am a tourist but treat me the same as everyone else.  

Most visits I stop at this one stall where you can purchase pannini's.  the owner always understands my requet for turkey and swill.  She always has a smile even when i am the last customer after her 8hr day.   This trip we exchanged emails and i shall send her photos of her stall.  

:While lost in Venice exploring the hundreds of narrow street on my way from St Marks to the train station.   I stopped in a small glass bead store.  There are many, many of these and there was no particular reason to stop here.   But while buying strands of her mini glass beads I had a lovely chat with the owner.   Her daugher uses the internet but
she was still not "ready" to join the email revolution.

Who have you met on your adventures that made a mark on you?   I keep writing about how surprised I am that the people I meet mark my life but I dont make any impression on them..   Perhaps because they meet so many more people than I do.