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The Italian countryside with nine women in a van!  Nightmare or dream vacation?  Lucky for me, this tour turned out to be a dream vacation for me!  First, I found a comfortable, art filled, state of the art villa in a tiny village outside of Orvieto.  Villa Tripoli is located on beautiful acres of rolling hills with a private drive far from the road and other neighbors.  Except for the possibility of wild boar (just keep the gate closed when leaving, the owner prompted), privacy and an idyllic setting welcomed us. http://www.villatripoli.com

 

A view from the garden

A view from the garden

 

This eclectic group of women, including a young Smith College student, thrown together for a week, were kind, considerate and accommodating with one another.  The tiny, winding roads in Italy can wreak havoc on stomachs and there were times when tummies in the way back of the van were churning, so measures were taken to move people around or get more air.  I heard no complaints and much appreciation for the daily activities I had planned.  We had some wonderful meals out and a couple of dinners at home after long days of exploring the area.  Simona of www.sagraincasa.com entertained us while feeding us a scrumptious meal made with things from her organic farm.  She paired the wines perfectly, too, as she is a sommelier as well as a chef!

 

Dinner on the portico

Dinner on the portico

 

Dinner out at Locanda Rosatti http://www.locandarosati is always special.  Giampiero, the owner, invites not only outside guests to his table like our group, but also the people staying at the inn.  His chef, Nicola, is brilliant in the kitchen and Giampiero is the perfect host for this family style meal, making sure everyone feels welcomed and well fed!  The large plates of homemade pasta and local produce and meats just keep coming until we say “stop”!  Then, of course, there is the dessert, grappa and limoncello before we can leave for home.  It’s a true experience of Italian hospitality.

 

Dinner with Giampiero

Dinner with Giampiero

 

We didn’t just eat and drink great wines on this trip.  There were many other experiences, too.  A trip to Deruta which will be featured in another blog; two very different wine tastings; shopping frenzies in Orvieto and beyond!  And did I mention Luigi, a local man who rents out cars and vans?  So, more to come as this was a very fulfilling travel adventure.

Ciao,

Cheryl