Italy

A little over one week ago, Wade and I returned to the USA from Italy. We had been yearning for an Italian getaway. So, more two years after Negranti Creamery was born, we left our baby and jetted off to the land of exceptional wine and spectacular food; otherwise known as Italy.

Our trip was incredible. I’m unable to sum it all up in one blog post, so here are a few of my favorite memories.

The cappuccinos. I’m serious. They were so, so, so, so good. The rich espresso, the fluffy steamed whole milk… I’m fairly certain I had at least two each day we were in Italy. I’m also fairly certain I now need a espresso maker in my kitchen.

cappucino

Hiking the Cinque Terre. What an experience. We hiked after a day of rain so some of the trails were washed out (not quite maintained like the trails here in CA); but we were able to hike to Monterosso. The hike was incredibly scenic; perhaps one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done.

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I especially liked the trail signage (this photo doesn’t show that the letters were about 2″ tall, written on a guardrail, on the side of a back country road)…we almost missed it.

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Quick story: our hike took a about three hours. We were sweaty, thirsty (perhaps a little ill-prepared for such a trek), but feeling accomplished. When we finally arrived in Monterosso, we all went and grabbed a couple scoops of gelato (we deserved it!), then headed towards the train to take us back to where we started our three hour excursion. After catching the train, we sat down, and prepared ourselves for a long quiet ride back.

The train went through the mountain(s) we had hiked, so it was nice and dark, and relaxing. Then SHA-BAM! Within three minutes (I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING) we were back to the town where we had started our hike. Really? A three minute train ride? It took us three hours! We humbly disembarked the train, feeling a little less accomplished.

It was totally worth it.

Meat and cheese paninos. Oh boy. I might start drooling. Fresh baked salted bread, cured meat, and real, fresh, soft mozzarella. And sometimes, when I was really lucky, these paninos were made with buffalo mozzarella. The Mozzarella di Bufala is like no other…

I might just have to start a buffalo dairy so I can have these paninos here at home.

But let’s not mention that to Wade just yet…

panino

Tuscan wine country. My photos don’t do justice to how beautiful Tuscany really is. I thought we were in a movie (really, it’s that perfect).

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The restaurants are all so cozy, and all with amazing views.

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{my handsome man}

The wines in Italy are beautiful. They’re light, flavorful, and go with everything (like meat and cheese paninos…and gelato…just saying!).

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We were lucky enough to see a grape harvest, drink wine right from the barrels, and got to chat with winery owners and winemakers.

grapes

There are wild figs everywhere. I ate them like candy.

{One day I picked so many, I was able to make fig jam to bring home with me (I’m savoring the few jars I have)}

fig

The Vatican. Impressive, breathtaking, and moving. By far the most significant part of our trip. Whether you are religious or not, I believe it is a piece of history and architecture everyone should try to go see.

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And we did so much more; the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Palace, the Duomo, picturesque parks, a tiny restaurant with only 3 tables (where I had my best meal: wild boar ragu), Venice, Lucca, and the list goes on.

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We enjoyed every second of the trip..which is a good thing; I don’t know that we’ll be able to leave the creamery any time soon (read: I don’t know when I will be able to leave my ‘baby’ for two weeks again). Our time in Italy was wonderful; both refreshing and inspiring.

But, Im’ happy to be back with my dogs, horses, and garden. And I’m happy to be back making ice cream.

Really, there is no place like home.

Happy to be home,

Alexis



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