Curious Appetite

Italy

Vacation on Elba Island, Tuscany

I love that in Italy, August is the national month of vacation. Towards the end of July, people go around saying “I’ll see you in September!” and this appreciation for leisure is partly why the Italian life is so hard to give up.

I went to Elba for a week. I’m not going to bore you with cultural facts and history (boring!).

My idea of a vacation is eating, working out (on getting a wicked sweet tan aka lying on the beach), drinking and lounging. And not feeling guilty for having brioche everyday at breakfast overlooking the sea. Fresh fruit and sweet island baby tomatoes. Crisp minerally wine. FISH. Oh man, I learned how to make octopus! I’ll make that adventure in a new post.

Elba island is off the Tuscan coast and can be reached easily by ferry from Piombino. It is one of the most authentic vacation spots with thriving fishing villages. Their wine and agriculture sector is exploding and bursting with deliciousness. The weather is perfect for ripe wine grapes and catches the perfect amount of breeze from the sea. The summer fruit like peaches and susine are simply incredible and juicy. However, this is not historic. In the sense that, Elba was originally a mining center and agriculture is just now starting to take root. If you are an Italophile like me, I highly recommend a stay in Portoferraiofor a real taste of Italian island life off the typical tourist path. If you do, do not miss a visit to one of the most beautiful wine bars I have ever been to in my life: Enoteca della Fortezza. They showcase Slow Food Italy wines from Elba and it is so not expensive! And you can get small platters and purchase bottles of wine on-site. Of course, you can sit outside with a view of the sea…che bellezza!

Enjoy the slide show!

Island cherry sweet tomatoes! Like candy!
Fishing man at the beach!
Gnocchi with clams and porcini
Fish antipasto platter- this Island got me hooked on octopus (literally!)
Pistachio semifreddo! It’s like a creamy pistachio ice-cream cake!
olive tree?…probably not. Still pretty, though!
Elba Rosso, Elba White and Rosato- at Slow Food Italy Enoteca Fortezza dei Medici. Best Cantina of the Year! (in my book;)
Bubbly and oysters- made me think of home:) These slippery umami pearls of gold were pretty damn good!
Rocky beaches! Off the beaten path!
Beautiful views from the shore! Not for the faint of vertigo!
Seriously one of the coolest vespas I have ever seen…

Move over Seattle- Italy's calling!

In the last few months, I sort of dropped off from updating posts and such. I was definitely out and about tasting curiously around Seattle- but I also was preparing for the biggest move in my life. Long story short, I got up and moved to Italy. Or at least I will try to. I always dreamed of one day living in Italy for more than just a few months as I had done in the past and now I discovered an opportunity of a lifetime to help me get started on that desire. I have been taking food and wine pairing courses at South Seattle Community College (Northwest Wine Academy) and I applied to a summer program in Italy (that my school works with for “study abroad”) to do a course on Italian Wines which also includes a hands-on internship. So here I am, in Italy, about to study wine from the masters themselves and attempt to follow my dream to live here. It’s pretty lofty, but what’s the point of living if we don’t follow our desires?

I have been in Germany for the last week and finally arrived in Piedmont which is a sort of hub for all things ‘Slow Food’. And let me tell you, I feel like a kid in a candy store- but in addition to candy imagine 3 euro wine (Piedmont DOCG stars like Barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis, etc) by the liter, buttery burrata , delicious salumi by the kilo and for less than any deal you can try to groupon our way into.

Pictures and posts to come- stay tuned to Curious Abroad. Salute!

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