Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm going to ITALY!!!

I know...right? 48 hours ago, a trip to Italy wasn't even on my radar, and now...BOOM! I'm headed to Italy in April for a culinary extravaganza in the Abruzzo region. Thanks to the good folks at Epitourean and the even discountier folks at Groupon, I'll be drinking wine, making pasta, truffle hunting, and drinking wine (ooops, did I already mention that?) in just a few short months. Guess I better get moving on that passport thing...

Lately, I've been feeling a wee bit stagnant. Work is good, home is good, Munchie the Wonder Puggle is good, but I've felt the need to get my creative juices flowing. And nothing has been cutting the mustard around here.

Lo and behold, this trip falls into my lap (or more so my email) thanks to a most excellent friend, a willing and way more than capable savvy traveler decides to join me and I'm off! A huge thank you to John for not saying "How are you paying for this?" or "Who will take care of the kids?" Nope. He said, "You should totally do this. It's a great idea! Just what you need." Thanks honey. :)

Want a taste of what I'm doing? Check this out:

Cooking classes: During a pasta-making class, you’ll learn to craft your own gnocchi, cavatelli, and chitarra. Later on, the Palazzo's sommelier will conduct a lesson on the art of pairing food and wine. Chefs will also demonstrate preparations for classic Italian sauces, and during a dessert-making class, you’ll enjoy sweet bites alongside regional liquors. Last but not least, you will also make authentic Abruzzo-style pizza and appetizers. In the peasant food and biscotti class students learn old-world recipes. In addition to a vegetarian dish you'll create an almond biscotti. 

Truffle hunting and salami-plant tour: The group will learn how salami is made on a tour of the plant. Truffle-sniffing dogs assist in a morning truffle hunt.

Excursion to Vasto: On a day trip to Vasto, an ancient settlement on the Adriatic coast, the tour swings through the historical center of Vasto, stops at Piazza Rossetti for shopping, visits a unique Trabocco fishing house, and is topped off with a “Taste of the Adriatic” seafood lunch.

Cheese-making tour: During an afternoon excursion to the inland town of Agnone, you’ll observe the artisanal techniques used to make mozzarella, ricotta, and caciocavallo cheeses.

For a novice traveler, this looks to be the perfect way to dip my toe in the water of European travel, and man oh man, I cannot wait! This is not my usual M.O. I'm careful and thoughtful about where I go and what I do, but this, I don't think it's even real yet.

Want me to bring you back a treat?



JenniferG said...

Fabulous! Go YOU.

Lillian said...

I am going to Italy in May 2013. Can you recommend some cooking classes or a truffle farm/hunting trip? please email me back at