25 November 2007

More gelato please!

Chris and Nicole in Italy

Valerie’s brother Chris and his daughter Nicole were here last week, this being their first trip outside the US. We picked them up Saturday in Rome and, after a quick tour of Ostia Antica for them to stretch their legs, we headed back to Ascoli Piceno for a couple days. Both of them enjoyed Ascoli, being able to walk to everything you need, the friendly people, the travertine city and for Nicole especially the gelato.

Nicole was on a mission to have gelato each of the seven days she was in Italy and she succeeded, and then some. We took her to several of our favorite locations and she tried different combinations each time. As we would walk around she was always quick to point out signs for a gelateria.

After a couple days seeing the Piceno hill towns and fortresses, sampling the local cuisine, wine and showing them an oleificio where we purchased some freshly pressed oil we headed towards Assisi. On the way over the mountains we stopped in Norcia and Spoleto for quick tours. In Assisi we had our most difficult time locating gelato for Nicole as it was a Tuesday and many shops are closed in Assisi on Tuesday, the gelaterie included.

The next afternoon, after finding gelato, we headed to Rome for their last few days in Italy. Rome provided an abundance of gelato choices for Nicole at some of our favorite locations near Fontana di Trevi and Piazza del Popolo. We were lucky to have warm weather and small crowds as one morning we were able to get into the Colosseo after waiting less than ten minutes in line for the ticket office…a first for us. They enjoyed the ancient sites in Rome and we tried to show them as many of the Eternal City’s highlights as possible in two days.

No visit to Italy is complete without the food. Chris was able to sample the vino novella available this season while Nicole enjoyed the gelato choices. They sampled Olive all’Ascolana, ate lots of pasta and even indulged in a few desserts. Thanksgiving provided us with an invitation for turkey at our friends’ home Giorgio and Francesca in Rome. When we told them the significance of the holiday for Americans Giorgio prepared a feast that was different than what most Americans ate that day but was delicious, as always when he cooks.

We returned them to the airport yesterday morning before heading back to Ascoli Piceno. It is always fun to have visitors but as there is no place like home…maybe we will have some gelato today.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you showed them a great time. Having gelato everyday is a worthy goal :)I'm curious about what your host cooked for the Thanksgiving meal.Ours has the turkey and all the trimmings but also an antipasto, pasta dish, and meatballs, sausage, and braciole :)

Bryan said...

Our only request to Giorgio was turkey. We had antipasti with salami, cheeses and vegetables. We than had a small pasta dish with funghi.

Giorgio prepared turkey legs cooked in red wine with sage and rosemary. He made slits in the meat which he stuffed with sausage. I must say this was one of the tastiest turkeys I have had and I am not a dark meat fan.

We also had potatoes with onions followed by an apple tart. By then we were all stuffed.