Sorry I’ve been silent on my blog these last couple of weeks. I have a good excuse: Like a lot of people, I was celebrating Thanksgiving with family. But this year, for a change of pace, we gave our thanks at a Tuscan farmhouse.
My wife and I grew up in Central Ohio. Today her family is scattered across the country: We live in Seattle, her folks are in Ohio, and her sister and her husband are in Boston. (If you consider the Great Lakes a coast, you could call our family “tricoastal.”)
We all look forward to the holidays as an excuse to head back home, share some family time, and reconnect with our hometown and old friends. But this year, we wanted to go someplace else. Where could we meet in the middle? Arizona, maybe? Snowshoeing in the Rockies? A Very Vegas Thanksgiving?
Just as we were deliberating, my inbox dinged with an email from Isabella, who runs my favorite agriturismo in Tuscany. “We have put together a spectacular Thanksgiving Week with wonderful activities to enjoy,” she wrote. I skimmed the list: wine-tasting, farm tour, truffle hunt, olive harvest, pasta-making class, day trip to Siena…wow.
The email went on: “Late fall is a beautiful time to come to Tuscany — particularly for food! It is the time of special seasonal delicacies such as white truffles, saffron, chestnuts, and new olive oil. Days are comfortable, evenings are cool and crisp — perfect for enjoying the pleasures of the season such as thermal hot spring soaks in nature, colorful foliage, and a fire in your fireplace or in the new fire pit in the garden.”
I was sold. And, after a remarkably brief email exchange with our family, we were all in for a Tuscan Thanksgiving.
I realize another big holiday is looming, and Thanksgiving feels like old news. But join me the next several days for reports on our Tuscan Thanksgiving. What are the pros and cons of winter travel in Italy? What’s it like to spend a major holiday abroad…and what do you to on Black Friday in a place where it’s just another Friday? What’s the proper way to hand-make ravioli or tagliatelle? And how do dogs sniff out those white truffles, anyway?
Andiamo! Let’s head to Tuscany.
(P.S. If you’ve been enjoying my Balkan reports, no worries — I still plan to blog about my fall travels to Slovenia, Romania, and Bulgaria in the New Year.)