Last night we went to a Slow Travel Get Together at Gisella's. It was a group of about nine people that have met via the Slow Travel message board. We all have a connection to Italy... either planning a trip to Italy, leaving for a trip shortly or in one couple's case about to move there permanently. So it was great fun for me to spend an entire evening talking about traveling in Italy. With this group there's no need to even pretend interest for any other subjects other than Italy... trading tips on where to go, books about Italy, cooking classes in Italy, etc.
It goes without saying that a crowd that loves Italy loves food and wine. Food Note: I had a delicious salad with pear and gorgonzola for my first course and I had a pasta dish with a sundried tomato cream sauce for my main course. But much as I love some of the Italian restaurants in Santa Barbara, there is nothing like eating in Italy. I am counting the days until my first meal on Italian soil. Buono appetito!