RHK's heading to Europe

Old May 5th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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Tell K that many are enjoying your report so keep it coming!Fun to read about pappardelle with cinghiale, a favorite of mine..yum.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 04:54 PM
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Following the few crumbs that you have been tossing our way...

Try to keep it coming. I know that Japan will be far more worthy of a detailed report...
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Old May 5th, 2013, 05:29 PM
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Following and enjoying. Do continue.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Of course Karen thinks it's boring. She already knows how the story ends!
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Old May 6th, 2013, 04:19 AM
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Any discussion of pappardelle with wild boar sauce, and preferably a bottle of chianti to go along side it, is not boring.

Pls tell Karen to ask for the recipe.
Have fun.

PS
Hope they don't charge you for extra miles when you return the rent-a-car.....
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Old May 6th, 2013, 05:50 AM
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we have a lease on the car robert... can drive 1 million miles if i want, can scratch the thing all up..no problem... can crash it too...100% insured...

lcuy... you always have the best lines...

ok we will continue....
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Old May 6th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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I have enjoyed your report so far! I'd love to keep hearing more!
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Old May 6th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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for dinner on friday K had veal rolled with stuffing with mushrooms and wine sauce on top... I had gnocchi with porcini mushroom wine sauce, we shared a salad and for dessert we had 2 things we can't remember, but they were good.... our wine was a bottle of rose from cortona. we rate the meal an 8... 48.50E. great service.

Osteria il Porto; 226 B via Roma, Ponte di Poppi.

we love our room and are always glad to return there... its large and comfortable and has a great view of poppi on the hill---i love the bells..


Saturday May 4

More great pastry for breakfast, with an apple, sponge cake addition.

We moved a bit slowly, or at least i did and we decided to head over into Chianti for lunch. we took a back road and wound up in Lorro Ciuffenna where we had stayed for a week a couple of years ago. no changes there. the scenery was beautiful along the way and it was warm and sunny---tons of wild flowers---i just can't get enough of the red poppies, along with the iris, the lilacs, the yellow, pinks, purple and other colored weeds.

After a while we ended up in Radda in Chanti. a lovely small town with a walking street over a small hill. we had a pleasant lunch at a roadside cafe just opposite the entrance to the town: K had a huge salad with smoked turkey and i had ravioli filled with cheese and spinach... water...

K walked into the town and i counted sheep.

From there we headed for Grieve in Chianti--- just a drive thru.

Tired of riding we took the main road back to poppi passing by Arezzo on the way... we both find the winding and turning of hill driving tiring, but we love it.... our car handles well and in 3rd i can make the turns and accelerate sufficiently to climb the hills.... did i mention how italians hug your bumper?? no wonder there are so many accidents... oh, yes and passing on curves and missing on coming trucks by inches... they don't like to use signals either...

for dinner we ate at the hotel.... K had a prosciutto and mushroom pizza and i had a junk calzone with extra red sauce, plus a shared salad. we had italian beers and water... pana cotta with a nut base and caramel sauce...

all meals come with un-salted italian bread, some with a bit of foccia.

Sunday was a down day and it rained quite a bit, but we decided to go out for a late lunch back to Filetto in Stia, by far our favorite on 2 previous trips and again on this trip. It rained hard on and off on the way over to Stia, about 8 kilometers. luckily we found a parking space in the old square right across from the restaurant.

we started with an antipasto (prosch., brushettas, salami, mortidella), this was followed by the amazing bread and tomato soup. we also added a plate of spinach ravioli with a ragu sauce... the waitress remembered how i had reacted to the profiteroles on friday and sadly told me they did not have them on this day.... we both had their pana cotta, mine with blackberries and K had it with caramel sauce. we shared water and a bottle of white wine of the house ( we drank part of the bottle---they only charge you for what you drink (3E in this case). K had coffee. 32E.

now it was pelting down... we shopped at an adjacent shop selling quilts, table cloths, sheets, etc. K bought a new plastic bag holder...

the rain let up a bit and we dashed to the car...

water at restaurants--- most restaurants offer both naturale (still) and fizzy waters. some come in old fashioned heavy glass bottles but many come in carafes supplied by a water company which are reusable and filled from larger tanks of that companies' water.... fee: 1.5E usually... all are very cold.

we returned to the hotel after a ride up into the tiny narrow streets of old poppi. very charming up there. we hung out in our room and in the "living room/game room" which we just discovered in our bldg. our "new" bldg has 8 rooms, btw.

we ate dinner at the hotel. btw, by 8:30 each night the dining room is full. K had a delicious pork chop and i had the prosch. and funghi pizza again. rose wine again/water. for dessert i had panna cota and k had lemon sorbet (gelata)--home made.

i can't believe it but we did not go to bed until 11ish.


Monday---moving day...

all packed we loaded the car for the 5+ hour drive north.
we hit the road by 9. it was a pleasant cool day.

we crossed the mts thru Consumma and down near to florence where we joined the highway which would take us through a series of connecting toll roads to Lake Maggiore, north of Milan (this was our destination on 9-11-01 but we had to cut this portion of the trip). Tolls are outrageous, totally more than 30E ($40.), but the tollways are a huge time saving.

we stopped along the way at a My Chef in a roadside plaza near Palma and were quite surprised by their offerings. I had a plate of smoked prosch. and a wedge of brie cheese and K had reg. Prosch. and pecorino cheese, which she gave to me. our fruit desserts were so so---good fruit, bad crusts. 21.5E.

we arrived at Bavena on the lake about 2:45. we found our B&B in the tiny restricted town square fairly easily. La Canda Nelia (#1 on TA) has only 5 rooms and is owned by the family who own the poste restaurant on the ground floor (since 1961). we were greeted by a very enthusiastic owner, Barbara, who speaks excellent english. our room called "Terra" is on the 3rd floor and has a king bed with two large sound proof windows and a large bathroom. we are very pleased with it.... pls. note there are church bells here too. i forget the price, but around 100E. we can see the lake from the windows looking to the left.

you gotta love my spelling...
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Old May 6th, 2013, 07:15 AM
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just for those who do not know us or our previous trip reports.... we travel to relax, and eat, and shop (not europe---they have now priced themselves out of most markets..

we do some sightseeing but not that much. i am so proud of myself that i have left my camera at home... how this increases one's enjoyment...
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Old May 6th, 2013, 10:26 PM
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enjoying your report!
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Old May 7th, 2013, 01:00 AM
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very beautiful all along the lake side... huge lux hotels from a by-gone, yet modern era, plus very large private villas and lots of boating..

our little town of baveno is quaint and we are perhaps 500 yards from the boat dock. we notice the difference in the towns here, very tourist centric.

pizzas, beer and red wine last night for dinner, followed by gelata (dark chocolate and raspberry for me, mango for K) at a lakeside spot.

early to bed again... sound sleep.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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woke to a lovely day. K decided to walk about town a bit and sat by the lake for a while.

we left the hotel about 11:30 and visited the market just above the hotel on a small square where we have been parking the car---lucky to find a spot thus far..

i've been dying for a simple cold sandwich, so we bought some sliced ham and some sliced salami, two rolls, a wedge of a soft cheese and soda, plus chips.. our intent was to travel south and maybe a bit around the tip of the lake and stop lakeside and have a picnic...

Last night we had driven, after dinner, past some of the local lux hotels with their shimmering chandeliers, and in day light the large elaborate buildings were even more impressive, and so were the private homes/estates along the way.

we rounded the tip and drove a few miles and stopped right next to the lake under a large tree. we got into the back seat of our car, which has drop down trays, like an airline seat tray. PERFECT.. we had a quiet lunch looking at the lake, some boat activity and the snow on the mountain tops across the lake.

we sat out on a park bench for a few minutes after lunch and K suggested that we drive completely around the lake. the whole trip took about 5 hours including the 1/2 hour lunch.
it's amazing how each small town was so varied. btw, the trip included about 45 minutes in Switzerland at the very north part of the lake. we decided with the exception of one town just north of here, we are in the nicest area..

i have failed to mention the wisteria which is growing and blooming everywhere in italy. here around the lake there is even more, both purple and some white. the azaleas in many different colors are a blaze of color, often several bushes of different color wedged together. many villas have them lining the drive. there are some lovely pine species which we have never seen before, as well as palm type trees and even some cactus. the camellias are starting to bloom too.

it's 5:30 and we are enjoying some of the white wine we bought in tuscany, tonight a Grechetto from Signae.

dinner downstairs tonight at Poste.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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error, the wine is from umbria
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Old May 7th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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sounds like the perfect day!
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Old May 7th, 2013, 10:09 AM
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It is a sweet corner of the world. (And I assume that your bread now has some salt in it.)

I've never figured out the Italian part of Switzerland, the part you touched on and that includes Lugano and Locarno. I can't imagine more opposite abutting cultures than the Swiss and the Italians (though the Chinese and Japanese might be contenders), but the province of Ticino manages to combine them. If you can imagine a place where the pasta is superb, where everyone is speaking Italian, but where people actually form lines and behave mostly calmly. And, oh, the scenery is gorgeous with mountains and lakes and flowers wherever you look.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Sounds like such a pretty area! I love wisteria. I would love to visit this part of Italy. How funny (and convenient) that there were "airline trays" in the car! Very much enjoying this report.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 12:53 PM
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dinner was very good. we were seated next to an english couple with whom we had very pleasant exchanges..

K had veal pate with blueberry jam for a starter, followed by pasta with swordfish chunks with basil, olives, capers and tomato. she ordered the house white which was bubbly and tasty. she had creme caramel for dessert.

I had onion soup for a starter, different than the french version. i had a huge plate of beef caparchio with capers and goat cheese as my entree. i had panna cotta with saffron for dessert and water to drink, plus a little wine.

we were given lemon-chello complimentary with our 54E bill. i hate it... a very pleasant evening.

we will return there thursday night again.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Ticino is my favorite part of Switzerland. When I win the lottery, I shall buy a spectacular house in Locarno!

Glad to be finding time to catch up with your trip report! You journey sounds lovely!! Enjoy what is left of it...
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Old May 8th, 2013, 04:16 AM
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Bob,
Just admit it: you are staying at George Clooney's villa overlooking the lake. That's a pretty fancy invite you managed to snag.
Have fun. The picnic sounds great.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 06:25 AM
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B and K...as usual, you are a pair of artists painting a beautiful picture (suitable for framing)...I'm going pasta- crazy reading your dining reports. Somehow, spaghetti with ketchup doesn't do it for me! Keep on truckin' through Italia.
stu
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