We started our two week Italian adventure with a flight from Gatwick London to Rome. After renting a car and taking the Autostrade (highway) we headed for our absolute favorite place..... Montisi! We had visited Montisi five years ago and vowed to come back and enjoy this quaint village with breath taking views. This is where I realized that my eyes saw sights that changed my heart and mind forever! ;) We were staying at La Romita .... a beautiful bed and breakfast run by Alberto and his lovely wife Giovanna. A beautiful room with a balcony, view and lovely furniture was just the beginning. Our room was upstairs with two other rooms and in addition they had two sitting areas that we enjoyed one afternoon and one evening after dinner. Alberto and Giovanna were the perfect hosts and made us feel like family. When we arrived we learned they had kept their trattoria open so we could enjoy a late supper. The first bite of my zucchini salad with fresh tomatoes (the best I ever tasted )with a simple dressing of Alberto's olive oil was tremendous! We followed it with some Tagtiatelle with tomato sauce, so delicious as well. Off we went for a moonlight walk and explore this village and its charm.
On another night I had asked Addita (know I spelled her name wrong...sorry) if they had any soup as the temperature was getting chilly...she said unfortunately no. I said no worries and thought Id order some hot coffee or something when back she came and said Giovanna was making me some soup. That evening we went to their trattoria across the walkway and I enjoyed the soup made with chick peas and greens and fresh tomatoes in the broth. It was so delicious and I felt so special she had cooked it for me in her kitchen and brought it over. Thanks again Giovanna!
Montisi is part of Montalcino and close to the Province of Siena. It is comprised of four contradas (neighborhoods). Little English is spoken here but communication is not hard with the lovely people so genuine and wanting to share with you their simple life and culture. This is a destination when your agenda like mine is to connect with the locals and experience their tastes, talents and simply their life style that is filled with pride and tradition. Italians speak in metaphors that make a simple conversation so descriptive with depth and meaning. One night we ate at a lovely restaurant in the village called Ristorante Ritorno di Fiamma and met the owner Marilena. She writes on her menu that "cooking is my way of giving, eating is a way to love" and also writes "During life we meet lots of masks and just a few faces". Marilena was a beautiful host and we talked face to face as she said. I tasted her gifts of food and yes felt the love in her delicious recipes and beautiful presentation. After dinner we met up with Pia and Klaus from Vienna also staying at La Romita for drinks. It was fun getting to know them and share our stories together. Hopefully some day we will meet again perhaps here in Florida or Vienna!
In addition to La Romita, Alberto has an olive oil business. He showed us where he presses the olives and how his family began many years ago. He also showed us his Mother and Fathers apartment from years ago and I will forever keep the images in my mind. The Fireplace in the Kitchen with the copper pot and old stove and big table and I could go on were a step back in time. Kept pristine, I was envisioning myself shopping at the local market and then coming back and start cooking in this magical space. For a helpless romantic like me... my mind, body and soul were on overload!! LOL!
It was such a treat taking another art class as I did five years ago with Elizabeth Cochrane. We did an outdoor scene on location overlooking the subject doorway pictured above in the photos. She is a fabulous teacher with such patience for beginners like myself. We set up the easels and sketched first then did the water colors. It was an amazing experience and I'm holding the picture above with Giovanna. Im laughing at the picture of me with Elizabeth ...live painting... as I had to tie my scarf around my sweater so I didn't get paint all over me and now looking at this picture ....saying OMG so funny! Elizabeth you look fabulous! ;) From long walks to talking with locals, trips to neighboring villages ( next post) we relaxed and took in the beauty of Montisi. A special thanks to Alberto, Giovanna, their son and daughter in law Kathy(sorry for my spelling and Addita, at La Romita.
Our visit this year will hold a special place in our hearts. We were touched once again by the kindness and true genuine spirit of the lovely people of this village!
Welcome to Britalia Way! Thanks for stopping by. Please join me as I share with you a series about food, people and experiences that are special to me. English and Italian traditions are so enticing and were the inspiration for creating Britalia Way!
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