Monday, August 04, 2008


Art's birthday fell on a day when most of our friends were out of town. Although we really enjoyed our lunch with those who were able to come, we also wanted an excuse to get everyone together, and and excuse to try out a pizzeria in Fratta Todina that we'd heard about.

By some miracle everyone was free to meet for pizza on Friday evening, and Belinda had even invited the Canadian girls to join us. I hadn't been sure if they'd want to spend an evening with the 'old folks', but either they were too polite to say no, or didn't find the idea too disagreeable.

In all there would be ten of us, and we'd given general directions to everyone to meet at the pizzeria. We didn't know the name of the place, but the location was pretty easy to describe, along with the words "Pizza" in large letters on the building. We were the first to arrive, and the building looked closed....maybe even deserted. Hmmm, not good. Maybe they were closed for vacation. We called Belinda and Giacomo who'd told us about the pizzeria, and they made a few suggestions for alternate locations. After phone calls to Keith and Janine, Wendy and Shelly, we eventually settled on Wendy's suggestion to drive up to the restaurant in Motecastello di Vibio. There was sure to be a breeze and a view, so as long as this restaurant was open, everything would work out.

In August it's hard to know if places will be open or closed. To our American way of thinking, being open in August is a great time for a restaurant, gift shop or other tourist related business to rake in the bucks. Of course the Italians don't look at things the same way Americans do, and the almighty dollar, or euro in this case, doesn't always rule. Our first two choices had been closed, but hopefully this next restaurant, LO SCUDIERO, would open since it was connected to a hotel, il CASTELLO.

Yes, the restaurant was open and we had a wonderful dinner....a great mixed antipasti platter to start, then pizzas all 'round. The breeze and the view were both wonderful as expected, and of course the company was the best! During the course of the evening someone asked the Canadian girls how they were passing their time, and when it was discovered that they had no television Wendy offered to lend them one of hers, along with a DVD player and some movies. I'm not sure how much time the girls will spend indoors watching television, but at least they have some options now during the heat of the day or after their evening passiagiata.

On Sunday Wendy delivered the electronics, then she and the girls came to our house for lunch. When the girls rang the bell, Art and I were both surprised to see the beautiful flowers they'd brought as a gift! Of course here in Italy you NEVER go to someones house without some sort of gift...a bottle of wine, flowers, a plant, maybe some sweets...but we certainly didn't expect a gift from two teenage girls, even ones as mature and thoughtful as these two!

Lunch was simple: a pasta salad to use up the last of the peppers, tomatoes from Armando's garden with fresh mozzarella, and grilled eggplant, again thanks to Armando. Dessert was Sicilian pastries that Giacomo and Belinda had brought back from their last trip. Nothing too fancy, but delicious none the less. Once again, simple food and good friends made for two very enjoyable days...but such is life in Italy. It's a tough job, huh? ; )

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At 8/05/2008 02:56:00 AM , Blogger Gil said...

Happy Birthday Art!!! It sounds like you had a great time. If Agent Orange didn't get him my little Brother would have been 62 Today. I guess Happy Birthday to Paul is also in order.


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