Dinner with Italians and Americans – al fresco

I got a call from Susan yesterday about an obscure invitation to come to we were not sure what. We just knew the nice lady with the scarf shop (Luciana) who is friends with the lady we bought our apartment from (Elisabette) as well as Joseph and Paul who live in the same Piazza as us were all invited.

Evidently this is kind of normal. There is no set time to come, we weren’t sure if dinner was involved etc. It was at Elisabette’s husband’s house. It was out in the country south of us.

We walked over to Susan and Gary’s house where we waited for a call from Joseph and Paul and then Susan, Gary drove us all to the train station to caravan down with them. The house was way up high in the mountains. Wonderful views. A beautiful house with pool and the most amazing outside kitchen with a big wood fireplace where all the meat was cooked. There were countertops and about 6 tables under a pretty flower arbor. Just incredible.

We had some nice antipasti beside the pool with a rose wine. There were a cast of characters. Most spoke only Italian. Some spoke a little English. I still had fun. I understood a lot and it was just fun watching everyone.

After a while we all wandered down to the outside kitchen and there were several dishes. French fries! And a big salad. Green beans and some other beans that I couldn’t identify. There was Prosecco and red wine etc. Then all the grilled meats came out. They had been basted with rosemary branches. So good. There was chicken and not just any chicken but gallo or rooster. Then sausages and ribs. All good.

Next we had cookies that Paul and Joseph brought, Biscotti with vin santo, an apricot tart. All really good.

It was just like I’ve read about in books. Everyone eating and talking, sitting around the tables. The cool night air wafting around us. The smoke from the fireplace and the smells of roasting meats. It was the quintessential Italian experience. I would love to have been able to talk to the Italians but there were enough English speakers that I didn’t feel left out. I am so happy to have been invited.

I am sorry I didn’t bring my camera!

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