Thursday, July 17, 2008


Last fall we celebrated the re-opening of the building that houses our comune (city hall). The Villa Faina underwent a three year restoration and the end result was stunning...restored frescoes, beautiful woodwork, and at last, the public garden surrounding the villa was once again full of life. Except for the area behind the villa, which remained locked away behind a tall fence. I wasn't sure what continuing work was going on, but was afraid that it would continue for three more years. What a pleasant surprise to find out I was wrong! Suddenly one day the fences came down, revealing a new dance floor and areas for tables and tents....San Venanzo was back in the festa business!

Arch_0001Even a small town like San Venanzo can hold some surprises. One night on our way up to the festa we stopped to ask the workman about this new archway. The tiny room connecting the two buildings has been there for as long as we've been here...five years...but the man told us that the arch was simply "phase two" of the project. Apparently funds weren't available for the archway when the connection was added. We asked if the comune was paying for the arch but were told no, the casa dei anziani (the old folks home) was paying for everything. What a charming addition to the neighborhood!

At the festa I asked our neighbor Franco if I could snap a picture of him at the grill...Grillmasters

antipasti_0005Someone in San Venanzo decided to try a progressive dinner for Saturday night's festivities. Each course would be served in a different area, and accompanied by wine from a differnt area cantina. The antipasto course was the only one I remembered to take a picture of! We had panzanella ((tomato bread salad), a farro salad, and two slices of bruschetta, one topped with fave beans and the other with truffles. The wine for this course was provided by the cantina Colli Perugini.

For the next course we moved to the courtyard of the villa for two incredibly delicious pastas and again, red or white wine from Cantina Giovagnoli, which I'd never heard of before.

For the meat course we moved to the area in front of the volcano museum and received a platter of assorted meats and cheeses, and wine from one of our favorite cantinas, Busti.

After all the food and wine, dessert was simple: watermelon and cantoloupe, the perfect ending to a great meal....and all this for only €15!

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