Sorry I have been so busy since Stefano arrived ;) ...travelling around - beautiful places, delicious dishes & friendly people...this truly is the trip of a lifetime!
On my arrival in Genoa...on the bus to Tagliolo, I met a wonderful lady, Sarah Wallace. She and her husband own a beatiful bio-dynamic wine farm & Bed & Breakfast(mentioned at the end of my last blog)called Casa Wallace. Stef & I were invited to participate in a day of bottling...10000 bottles!! So on a boiling Monday morning we headed to Casa Wallace on the early bus. As we arrived, so did a huge truck, & to our surprise it opened up into a portable bottling facility!
We worked relentlessly the entire day, stopping only for a quick break of home made organic pizza, some cake (thank you Gina!) and the most delicious wine which we had bottled that morning. By 5pm we were all exhausted & stopped at 9952 bottles - a great team effort!
It was time for a dip in the warm pool, a rest in the hammock watching the sun set & an al fresco dinner under the stars next to the grapes in the most beautiful surrounds you can imagine. Thank you Claudio & Sarah for a wonderful experience & hospitality. (ps: I would like to add that Casa Wallace is for sale if anyone would like to live the Italian dream :) ) http://www.casawallace.com
Next we headed to a very beautiful town called Acqui Terme. As usual I was completely spoilt buying gorgeous produce at the market, including my favourite courgette flowers & porcini mushrooms (below). I think I will be a very disgruntled girl with the food shopping when back in PE :( .
I was astounded visiting my first ancient Italian church (The Cathedral of our Lady of the Assumption)...nearly 1000 years old...I had quite a reaction walking in which really surprised me, my eyes filled with tears, I dont know why ... possibly as it was soooooo beautiful. Glittering chandeliers, solid gold mosaics (below), the most beautiful paintings everywhere, marble everything! and a painted ceilings which were out of this world. My mouth was hanging open! The history in many of these towns (particularly the old Roman towns) is overwhelming (you realise how new SA is!).
In between Stef & I have been visiting small local summer festivals all over the place, sampling the local wine & speciality dishes. Sometime the most simple dishes are a complete taste sensation, I have no idea how the Italian people could, for example, make a simple chickpea broth taste so good! I do believe the Italian kitchen is one of the best in the world!
Tomorrow we are visiting the Genoa Historic centre... Tuesday a beautiful boat trip along the coast to the gorgeous & romantic Cinque Terre, Wednesday learning to make sweet treats at a well known Genoa bakery and spending time with Enrica Bottaro, a fabulous cook who will impart her Gnocchi secrets ....its going to be a busy week :)