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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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