We drove a LONG way, got lost once and had to backtrack, but, finally, around 7 p.m., we approached the gates at Fontana del Papa. The house itself is beautiful, all of stone, surrounded by lots of land with gorgeous views and olive groves.
When we made our reservations, the only room available was the Jr. Suite, and it was lovely! We were at the top of our own stone staircase (perfect for my late night or early morning smoke), with a beautiful view. There is a huge, warm bedroom with lots of space for luggage, a fireplace, and a separate sitting room. The bathroom was also large with a huge shower with two rainforest shower heads! Were we still in Italy?
Assuntina brought us into the kitchen to meet some of our "housemates" for the next few days: a group of 5 friends from Toronto, celebrating their 50th birthdays, who were busy at work preparing dinner. We were invited to join in the meal, and two more places were quickly set at the table, while wine was poured for us on the beautiful terrace!
We were so tired, it was wonderful to not have to go out in search of dinner, and just sit with lovely people and enjoy a great meal and wine.
Our first course was a hearty, comforting mushroom risotto:
Next came salad, bread and veal cutlets!
Finally, we had jam crostata, apple fritters, coffee and grappa! YUM
Assuntina and I hit it off immediately, taking smoking breaks outside with the dogs and cats. She is an amazing woman, and her story and the history of Fontana del Papa shows a woman's courage and determination to make a dream into reality. But I'll share more on that later...