New 2015 harvest olive oil directly from the Spello frantoio

(November 1, 2015) One of the reasons that I plan to stay in Spello until after the first week in November is that I don’t want to miss the opportunity to go home with the new season’s olive oil. With a disaster year in 2014 due to the invasion of worms into the olives . . . → Read More: New 2015 harvest olive oil directly from the Spello frantoio

“Flying” to the Ciampino airport

(November 1, 2015)  I had been out with other friends, and was just being delivered back to Piazza Vallegloria (only a few steps from my door) when Paola and Leonardo asked if I’d like to go with them to take daughter Arianna to the airport at Ciampino. It is the secondary airport in Rome, . . . → Read More: “Flying” to the Ciampino airport

A trip to the produce shop in Bevagna

(October 29, 2015) Every week, I catch a ride with Paola and Leonardo to a small produce shop outside Bevagna, where produce of all kinds costs only €1 per kilo—a very good price, and the fruit and vegetables are sold directly from the producer. Apples and peaches are in huge bins on pallets, and we . . . → Read More: A trip to the produce shop in Bevagna

Anne Boulamakis–and her miraculous new heart

(October 28, 2015)  I posted a blog on September 11, 2013, telling the story of my friend Anne Boulamakis, in Florence, and her recently implanted heart pump. It was called an LVAD–Left Ventricular Assist Device–and was powered by a battery pack and computer that she had to carry around in a fanny pack all . . . → Read More: Anne Boulamakis–and her miraculous new heart

Five Americans for dinner at Lampone, in Spoleto

(October 26, 2015)  I made friends some time ago, on a previous visit here, with two couples who were renting a vacation apartment across the piazza from my home here. As is often the case, I offered (and they accepted) my American coffeemaker, so that everyone could have a cup of coffee together in . . . → Read More: Five Americans for dinner at Lampone, in Spoleto

Baking in Spello, sharing some American favorites

(Fall, 2015) Especially when I am alone in Spello, with plenty of time in my day for cooking and baking, I often try new recipes, or bake desserts to share with my friends when I am invited to their homes for dinner. I have “introduced” to Spello a few American favorites, and also some . . . → Read More: Baking in Spello, sharing some American favorites

Spello celebrates a newly-restored 1645 Bible, in seven languages

(October 24, 2015) I had seen posters all over Spello advertising a presentation at the Palazzo Comunale, and a discussion of the restoration of one of the most important books in the community library. On that evening, the first restored volume of an twelve-volume “polyglot” Bible published in Paris in 1645, and in seven . . . → Read More: Spello celebrates a newly-restored 1645 Bible, in seven languages

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 . . . → Read More: Bill and Shelley head for home in North Carolina

Off to Perugia for Eurochocolate 2015

(October 19, 2015)  The annual Eurochocolate International Chocolate Exhibition, held in Perugia each year, is one of the largest exhibitions of chocolate in Europe, and draws thousands of visitors to sample the wide variety of products presented by hundreds of vendors. Bill and Shelley Trowell, Paola and Leonardo and I chose a weekday afternoon and . . . → Read More: Off to Perugia for Eurochocolate 2015

A few final days with the Trowells

(October 14, 2015) Bill and Shelley Trowell are my friends from North Carolina, now also fellow part-time residents of Spello. We met nearly 5 years ago, when I was returning from grocery shopping and walking up the hill toward my home, and heard them speaking English. I introduced myself, and became their tour guide . . . → Read More: A few final days with the Trowells