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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vado In Italia ! (I'm going to Italy!)

Summer...just the sound of that word puts a smile on my face and a skip in my step. Each summer I travel with my 2 sons, Gianluca and Massimo, and my husband, Fabrizio, to his hometown village in northern Italy. Three glorious weeks in the land of food, wine, laughter, and family!

We leave today at 6am. We land in Rome at about midnight PST then rent a car and drive 6 white-knuckled hours on the autostrada to the very small village of LaVerna. Luckily there is an AutoGrill (which deserves a blog post entirely of its own) about every 25 km where drivers pull off for pastries, panini, bathroom stops, etc., but mainly for shots of espresso. We stop there for the latter at least once an hour to try to trick our bodies into thinking they're supposed to be awake.

My husband was born in LaVerna which is where my mother-in-law, Caterina lives half of the year (the other half she lives with us). LaVerna, located in the Appenine Mountains at about 3,000 ft. elevation, is in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy which is known for Pavorotti, Balsamic Vinegar, Parmigiano cheese, Ferrari, and some of the best food in the country.
The region of Emiglia Romagna - where LaVerna is located
Everyone knows everyone's business in LaVerna (well there are only 100 residents during the summer and about half that during the other months). The village even boasts it's own bar and ristorante as well as a tiny church on the corner where the priest does a quick 40 minute mass so he has time to drive to the next village to say the next one.

A glimpse of part of mother-in-law's house is on the left
There's a lot to say about this little village, and you'll get bits and pieces of it and it's surrounding villages during the next 3 weeks. But suffice it to say, it's a little slice of heaven. Or, as my husband claims, "E Paradiso!"

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