I could have reached across the desk to kiss the hotel receptionist who kindly checked me in at 8am, seven hours before official check-in time. Could it have been my fragrant “overnight-on-an-airplane” ensemble that included a bent ponytail that defied gravity? Absolutely. I took a long, luxurious hot shower and tucked myself into the soft, white sheets for a catch up nap. I set the alarm for 1:30pm and when it chimed me awake, I bolted out of bed and headed out the door. Nowhere to be and all day to get there. Rome is the kind of city that creates indelible memories. And aRead More →

I am really doing this. I am going to learn how to cook authentic Italian food in a small, rustic village in Tuscany. And I am taking this gastronomical journey alone, the ultimate act of self-indulgence. Sure, I have plenty of reasons NOT to take this trip; plenty of work to do and people to take care of, but this trip is a personal challenge. And I am calling my own dare. Want to join me? I’ve packed carefully and thoughtfully for this journey, committing to carry-on only and expertly rolled each article of clothing into my suitcase to maximize my limited space. I tuckedRead More →

Today is the day I head to Tuscany! I check out of my Rome hotel and head for the train station, arriving in plenty of time to people watch and pay 1Euro to use the public restroom (Yay- it was clean). I boarded my train car and stretched out in the nearly empty coach. Lush, green countryside whizzed by as I headed to Chiusi, the closest train station to the village of Montefollonico, where I’ll be staying for a week. I am filled with excited anticipation, anxious to meet the other brave culinary travelers who have also left their jobs, their daily routines and theirRead More →

Coleen and Rhonda have so much fun planned for us! It’s exciting to learn all the details about our excursions. We will be going to historic villages I have only read about. This afternoon we head to Pienza, a small, charming town that features many cheese shops. The pungent, heady scent of aging cheese overwhelms me in a few of the shops I enter. Old wooden shelves filled with aged wheels of cheese line the walls of these small, windowless, shops and well, let’s just say there is a fine line between the smell of aging cheese and socks that desperately need laundering. Back inRead More →

I awake in my dark (thank you black-out curtains), cool hotel room, blissfully unaware of the time; thrilled to discover I slept past 11, unheard of in my life back home. I languished in bed surrounded by my travel notes and began to plan my final day in Rome. I heard Trastevere was a great foodie destination and since I had never been, I decided to make a day of it. I noticed on the map that just across the river from Trastevere was Volpetti, Rome’s oldest delicatessen. As a deli-loving Jewish woman, how could I pass that up? I took a taxi there andRead More →