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Summer 2001 - Italy

The First SlowTrav GTGs

We had two great Slow Travelers lunches at our vacation rental in Tuscany, near Pienza in October 2001.

Lunch date: Wednesday, October 3

The following people joined Steve and Pauline at their vacation rental for a potluck lunch. It was a warm sunny afternoon and we all sat out in the garden.

See our lunch group photo on www.slowphotos.com.

Slow Travelers "potluck": Wednesday, October 3 in house near Pienza
  • Steve and Pauline from Santa Fe
  • Dale and Trudie from Hilton Head, SC. They were staying at a vacation rental near Bevagna in Umbria.
  • Paul and Claudia from Boston. They were staying at a vacation rental near Orte in northern Lazio.
  • Bill and Patti Sutherland, Texans who have transplanted themselves to a farm in Tuscany just down the road from our vacation rental. They run the company Tuscan Women Cook - www.tuscanwomencook.com.

Lunch date: Wednesday, October 10

The following people joined Steve and Pauline at their vacation rental for a catered lunch provided by Zak and Gary from the agency TuscanHouse (www.tuscanhouse.com). Sacha and her helper prepared the meal.

See our lunch group photo on www.slowphotos.com.

Slow Travelers Lunch: Wednesday October 10 in house near Pienza
  • Steve and Pauline from Santa Fe
  • Zak and Gary from TuscanHouse www.tuscanhouse.com
  • Chris and Bob from Pittsburgh and kids Elizabeth (7 1/2), Patrick (6). Chris and her family were in a vacation rental on the eastern edge of Chianti.
  • Betsy and Mark from CA - Betsy is "Cabet" on the message board. They reorganized their trip so they could make the lunch. They were on their way from Florence to an agriturismo near Pienza.
  • Bev, Noel, Harley and Paula from NZ with Heath who is living in London. The whole group was staying in a vacation rental in Pitigliano, in southern Tuscany.
  • Rick and Debbie from Ontario. They were staying on an estate near Montefalco, in Umbria.
  • Mare and Bruce, Kathy and Bill - all from Seattle. They were staying in an apartment on a farm near Colle di Val d'Elsa. We met Mare and Bruce earlier when they were spending a week near Cetona.
  • Nathalie from Umbria.
  • Judith from Umbria. Decobabe on the message board. Judith and Nathalie drove down together, with a brief stop in Siena for some shopping.
  • Shelley and Hans from Seattle. They are on a year long trip in Europe and have been away from home since August. They were in a vacation rental outside of Greve, in Chianti.
  • Cheryl from CA. Cheryl was staying in a vacation rental near Orvieto, where Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria meet.

What we ate

Sacha and her helper Anatolla arrived in the morning and did everything. Set up the outside tables, made flower arrangements (actually, I think Gary did the flowers), got all the plates and glasses organized, prepared all the food. Food just kept appearing! Then they cleaned everything up! We did absolutely nothing for this party - except eat and have fun visiting with everyone!

ANTIPASTI: Bruschetta al pomodoro, crostini with chicken liver pate, spinach tart, plate of mixed meats. I can only speak for the vegetarian selections - but they were great.

PRIMI: Vegetable lasagna, meat lasagna, trofiette with vegetables. The vegetable lasagna was very light - not a heavy dish. Trofiette was very good too.

SECONDI: Chicken (served hot), pork (served cold)

CONTORNI: Salad

DESSERT: Fresh pears and pecorino, chocolate and pear tart, walnut cake. We also had Vin Santo and Cantucci. The chocolate and pear tart was amazing. Also the walnut cake - very light.

Lots of wine (everyone brought bottles - we had lots left over), lots of water, olives, more cheeses.

The Weather

We woke up to overcast - dark and heavy clouds. I was in shock because the weather had been very good for the previous two weeks. But as the morning went on, the skies cleared. The day did not get sunny - but it didn't rain and it was warm. We were easily able to eat outside.

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