Sunday, October 23, 2011

Treasures to discover!

I am loving my Italian lessons via the Pimsleur audio CDs. It is especially fun to practice with Fabiola at our neighborhood Ristorante de Mario! I've learned several phrases...but not a lot of nouns. I'm sure those will come.

Since my last post, I chatted with Elliott Wiser of VP, News & Sports Programming at Bright House Networks and charming host of Vino Vino TV. Elliott has been to Italy numerous times and generously offered recommendations...including the name and number of his travel agent! He also strongly recommended Anacapri. Just look at that view!

Another part of my acclimation to all things Italy is learning about true Italian food. I am absolutely loving the Italian Food Net. It serves as a language tutor as well as educates me about cooking Italian. I am surprised at how pure and simple the recipes are. They are fresh and incredibly delicious!

Another aspect of preparing for the trip that is calling me is the "musica". I already love the beautiful Italian's one that was featured on NPR this past week, Joseph Calleja, The Maltese Tenor. I don't need to understand a word he sings to absolutely be mesmerized! So my plan now is to listen to the music on my drive to work, and practice my Italian on the drive home.
This is so much fun...and I thank you for sharing the journey with me. Arrivederci!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Eat, Cheer and Dream

Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra was born on May 12, 1925 in St. Louis, Mo. and grew up on Elizabeth Street in a neighborhood called "The Hill". So did Joe Garagiola Sr.

Anyone who has lived in St. Louis and has become a Cardinal baseball fan, know the Hill as the home of these two Hall of Famers. (St. Louis broadcast icon, Jack Buck also called the Hill, home.)

The Hill is well-known for their authentic Italian restaurants. Often, when we return to St. Louis to visit our family, we make a reservation at Charlie Gitto' of our favorite restaurants on the Hill. Romantic dinners for two and Many special occasions have been celebrated here. I anticipate many wonderful meals when we are experiencing Italy. I love Italian food. There is a small delightful restaurant right here in Madeira Beach, Mario's. Recently taken over by Fabiola Beltrano, we have been going almost weekly the past few months. Fabiola is delightful and graciously let's me practice my Italian conversation skills.

If there is a home series when we are in town, we don our Cardinal gear and head for Busch Stadium with over 35,000 other fans. Managed by Tony LaRussa (and Joe Torre before that), we have enjoyed watching many Italian Cardinal players... Gary Gaetti, Nick Punto (on the 2011 team!), Tom Nieto, Mike Laga, John Frascatore, Ray Giannelli, Mike Gallego, Joe Girardi, and
Tom Pagnozzi.

My beloved Cardinals are in the National League playoffs battling the Milwaukee Brewers as I write my blog today. So I thought it would be appropriate to tie the Cardinals, the Hill and Italy together... Until next time.. Arrivederci!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

To Tour or To Be? That is the question.

Is there a middle ground? Rick asks me "are we going to be tourists or are we going to just be in Italy?" And I said "Yes!"...But I probably need to be realistic.

Having never been to Europe, I know I will be fascinated by the historical sites and stories...yet I am as easily fascinated by the history of a small family farm as I am about the Colosseum.

Rick and I have discovered an organic Italian red wine called Fabula...that we love love love! Checking out its origin, we found Montebelli...and were thrilled to find there is history, lovely accommodations and only 20 minutes from the sea! Searching accommodation availabilities for next are no! I think I will need to call them to confirm that they are indeed sold out.

A friend of mine suggests that we work with a travel agent who is familiar with know, that is probably a really good idea...does anyone have a recommendation?

I love James Martin's Wandering Italy blog...he recently posted a link to an Italian Food Network...and I am so inspired...we are having this wonderful dish for dinner tonight...if it turns out well, I'll post pictures!

An update on the "Learning the Language" post...CDs have yet to arrive!

Ciao for now!

P.S. Here are pictures of our Lasagna was really good, rich and a bit too salty. When I make it again...I'll cut the Pancetta in half.