Bill and Shelley head for home in North Carolina

(October 22-23, 2015) Paola is adamant that when friends leave, their last meal must be at her table—and there is no finer place to eat in Umbria. In the spring, the Trowells were here with me for a month while they signed documents, shopped for furniture, and moved into their new apartment in Palazzo Salmareggi. The second month of their stay they completed the kitchen, assembled furniture, and got delivery after delivery of furniture to try to finish off their new home in Spello. This fall trip, however, was a trip to enjoy their time here, to continue to finish and furnish the apartment, all while “leaning in” to Bill’s recent retirement.

Shelley and Bill, at "The Last Supper"

Shelley and Bill, at “The Last Supper”

Stella, granddaughter to us all

Stella, granddaughter to us all–with mom, Giorgia

Our Stellina

Our Stellina

Paola and Leonardo sat us all down in the living room at the dining table for dinner together, and dish after dish came out of Paola’s kitchen (although Leonardo takes credit for preparing each one—always). It was a bittersweet gathering—knowing the Trowells were leaving the next day—but little Stella kept the mood light with her antics. All of us are thoroughly entertained by her, and she never seems to cry or fuss—or run out of energy and sleep.

Leonardo, Paola and Giorgia

Leonardo, Paola and Giorgia

Stella's "Crazy American Aunt Bonnie"

Stella’s “Crazy American Aunt Bonnie”

We are buddies!

We are buddies!

Gelato for dessert!

Gelato for dessert!

Stella and Giorgia

Stella and mama Giorgia

New dollies from Shelley and Bill

New dollies from Shelley and Bill

Love that new dolly!

Love that new dolly! (With Nonna Paola)

With Crazy American Aunt Shelley

With Crazy American Aunt Shelley

Good night kiss for Uncle Bill

Good night kiss for Uncle Bill, with Nonno Leonardo

Bill and Stella

Bill and Stella

Our last meal was a lighter one—lunch (“pranzo”) the next day, with pizza and some of Paola’s best appetizers, as Shelley and Bill needed to drive to Rome, turn in the rental car, and prepare for their flight out the next morning. Once again, Stella was our entertainment, and Giorgia and Arianna, both of Paola and Leonardo’s daughters, joined us.

Meeting up again for pizza at lunch

Meeting up again for pizza at lunch

Arianna and Leonardo

Arianna and Leonardo

Soup and croutons

Soup and croutons

Roasted tomatoes and Umbrian sausages

Roasted tomatoes and Umbrian sausages

One of Paola's pizzas--gorgonzola and red onion

One of Paola’s pizzas–gorgonzola and red onion

Stella and Giorgia

Stella and Giorgia

No one was in a hurry to finish the meal—and then watch the Trowells leaving. After a final bowl of gelato and a couple of posed photos, they were gone for the year, with plans to return in the spring.

Leonardo, Giorgia, Stell

Giorgia, Bill, Shelley, Paola and Arianna

Leonardo, Giorgia, Stella, Bill, Shelley, Paola and Arianna

Leonardo, Giorgia, Stella, Bill, Shelley, Paola and Arianna

 

 

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