Thursday, July 16, 2009

cooking with Marianna

When I discovered InItalyTours offered a cooking class in the mountains in a little country home I could not resist the offer from Tania the founder of the company. Since I also have a company that runs tours to Calabria .I wanted to sample this cooking class for myself. Marianna lead me to her herbal ,vegetable and fruit garden in the field where they are grown . My husband and I were also shown how to make home made fisilli (pasta). Our meal was accompanied by some wonderful Calabrese wines .It was like a journey through time.. What made this night so special was sitting down with Tania , Mariana and her husband Franco surrounded by the rustic beauty in the hills of Tropea . As we sat in the middle of the field under a beautiful white canopy with candles burning and the brilliant stars above I knew we were about to indugle ourselves in a great Calabrese feast.Buona Petito!!!!!!!1

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

After Calabria comes Lipari

After nine days of taking care of my aunt our 25th. wedding anniversary celebration began.
We chose the island of Lipari because we both love it there. Lipari in May is just perfect, not overwhelming with tourist yet just enough to make this place exciting. We had a wonderful time. Our days were so peaceful. We would take long walks to the markets, along the sea shore and enjoy the cafes and beaches.
Our favorite place to eat is La Cambussa. Nazareno and Franca are wonderful, warm people. Franca is the chef and Nazareno her husband is the waiter. By far best food and wine on the island. 
One afternoon we took a boat over to the islands of Panarea and Stromboli. So romantic!! Panarea is the island of the VIPS.  Stromboli is beautiful at sunset. The boat sails out and anchors in view of the active volcano. The stillness of the water, the red lava and listening to the rocks tumble down to the water is a spectacular event to witness. You must experience it. I highly recommend it.
We will be going to back to Lipari soon and visit LA CAMBUSSA and all the friends from our anniversary celebration.  Our next trip will include the islands of Alicudi and Filicudi. Both islands are on my list of must see locations. We will not wait 25 years to enjoy the wonders of Lipari.

Memories of Aunt Teresa and Montepaone

 On May 12th my husband and I arrived in Calabria. The name of my hometown is Montepaone
We decided to spend our 25th wedding anniversary in Italy this year. This was to be a bitter sweet trip for us. I knew as we left I was going to take care of my aunt Teresa who has been sick for a couple of years now. I never expected to fine her in the condition she was in. 
My aunt who always had beautiful hair , beautiful clothes and a little on the heavy side look so different. I watched her come down the stairs to greet my husband and I all I could think is who is taking care of her. She suffers from dementia and has mini strokes during the day. I was wondering how can anyone leave her in this condition.  This is where our journey begins.
My aunt is and was always a stubborn women. She will not let anyone take care of her. She refuses help and can get very nasty at times. The nine days my husband and I spent in Montepaone were challenging . I would follow her in the morning and watch her make her coffee with anisette. According to my aunt her doctor order that, of course that was not true. 
I cleaned her house as she yelled at me for throwing all her very old rags and old opened food away. The highlight of the day would be when my husband would sit outside with the old widow neighbors eating ice cream while I would cook and clean. During the night, my aunt had ritual that she performed before going to bed. The first night my husband and I were lying in bed and we heard screaming and banging on the windows. It was my aunt, she said "I am getting the demons out of my house".....  AH OK!!!! So after that we knew that she would do it each night. 
As the days went on it became clear to me that she really need 24 hours care.
I really did not want to leave her but it is her life and her little town with her close friends. She plans on coming to the USA with her nephew soon. I hope she is able to make the the trip.
As I said goodbye to my aunt and Montepaone I looked around at the houses and the little alleys I would play in when I was a little girl and was sad. 
I knew as my husband and I drove away that the next time I arrive in Montepaone my aunt will not be coming out to greet us instead the house will be empty waiting for the next generation to move in.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

May in Calabria

On May 11th my husband and I will be on a plane headed for Calabria again. This time it will be just the two of us.
For the past 10 years I have been a tour guide for the Calabria area of Italy that I know and love so much. It will seem strange at first, for everyday I would plan which beautiful little town we would go visit next. But this time it will be very relaxing and my husband and I will be able to see what we want at the pace we chose.
I am excited to be spending a week in the town of Montepaone. That is where I was born. The memories of my wonderful childhood will be so comforting and welcoming. I can not wait to show my husband all the friends that made me feel special whenever we would visit when I was young. Those months we would spend there would just fly by. Just like the 25 years of marriage we will be celebrating. We chose to go to Calabria and Sicily because they are the locations we enjoy so much.
For those who have not been . You must go !! I would recommend you go in the months of June ,July, and August.
Calabria is definitely a summer destination for those who love the sea. For those like me who have family. Calabria is a great family friendly place to visit.
I can not wait to tell you all about it when I get back
Viva la Calabria!!!!!!!