Aki Solomos

Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.

TWO WEEKS IN TUSCANY – day 6: Food, Wine, and Grappa

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Oct. 09, 2010

Another Italian morning, another light breakfast (fruit, espresso, and biscuits) -thoughts of a good American breakfast kept coming to mind. And another heavy lunch (soup, pasta, variety of cold-cuts, bread, cheese, wine, etc…) -now this I can get used to.

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I found out earlier today (Saturday) that we’re going to one of the younger cousin in-law’s confirmation at a nearby church in Collodi. So that’s what I was being invited to a couple of days ago. It was a special and large event since it was shared with about a dozen other kids. The confirmation lasted for about 1 & ½ hours. The church was another example of combining the old with the new.

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At the end of Christian’s confirmation, everyone started leaving except for a few family members. They wanted to make sure we all knew where we were all going to celebrate. As usual with family, some grumbled about the distance and why not a closer location. And as usual with Italians, what seemed like an argument and loud fighting about the best direction to get there, was actually a normal conversation. In the end, as always, they shared wine and food as they continued their loud conversation over a different topic with laughter and hand gestures.

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The restaurant where the celebration took place has been around since 1863, according to the sign, but very modern and chic. And apparently, we took up the entire room -this was no small restaurant! In the traditional Italian celebration, eating and drinking was never-ending.

During the meal, the cousins I was seated with offered me some grappa (an Italian liquor akin to whiskey). When I downed it, everyone around my table fell silent and gazed at me.  A couple of them even gasped. I paused for a moment and looked back at them, worried that I might have done some sacrilegious faux pas that would cause an international incident. One of the younger cousins that did know some English asked if the grappa was strong. Relieved, I tried to explain to them about my college days -I can definitely hold my own. I went on to tell them about Everclear and how potent that drink is. Their smiles returned and offered me some more.

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As much food, wine, and grappa that went around, there was just as much joking, laughter, and lighthearted conversation with lots of hand gestures –good fun!

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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