2013 – Lost, Loved, and Inspired

It only seems fitting that on the last year of 2013 that I write an update to my post-travel life. It’s been a while since I’ve continued the saga of my strange journey that began almost two years ago. I know many of you want to know what I have been doing, and ow my …

A Taste of Sweet and Succulent Sicily

Another one to check off the list: Sicily. I have always dreamed of Sicily…there is something about the romanticism of the island that had always attracted me. There was something about reading about fishing boats, the Mediterranean Sea, and sun that made Brandon and I talk about running off to Sicily together…someday…maybe. Lisa and I had talked …

The Wild Tulips of San Michele

I have been looking forward to this time of year for a long time! San Michele, the area where La Distesa’s vineyards are have a peculiar feature about them. Every year, as Spring arrives, wild tulips bloom everywhere. I missed this phenomenon last year as I arrived the week after the tulips died off. It’s …

Taormina and Agrigento (Greek Ruins Exploration)

Taormina After spending the morning swimming in Taormina, Giovanni, Lisa, and I went to explore the ancient greek theater of Taormina. This was quite a different experience. I went for my first Gonadola ride from the parking lot to reach the town. That was exciting and terrifying at the same time after Lisa told us …

Marsala, Italy

After a quick flight after dinner, Team La Distesa finally made it into Trapani, Sicily. The landing was the worst one I’ve ever experienced, but for 10 euros you can’t complain (yeah Ryanair!). We met Corrado and Valeria’s friend, Nino Barraco, a winemaker in Marsala, picked up our rental cars and off to Marsala we …

A Gift to Share and Grow

For Easter, Giulia and Giacomo made a sign and gave Lisa and I a special present: An olive tree for us to plant at La Distesa! I felt like I would burst into tears from this. It was such a cute gesture! So the next day Valeria, Lisa, and I went out to plant the …

Italian Easter = American Thanksgiving

I’ve never really celebrated Easter aside from Easter egg hunting as a kid. My parents are buddhist so it wasn’t really a thing for us. Easter is however a big deal in Italy (big surprise). I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than lots of food (GIovanni tells me it’s the time of year when …

Planting New Vines

There is no rest for the strong here! Once we completed pruning the vines, we moved straight onto digging up dead vines and planting new ones. Some of the young vines planted last year didn’t quite make it, so we marked them earlier in the fall when they were still green. That way we knew …

Review: Maiale Volante…(The Flying Pig)

I haven’t been quite up on my restaurant reviews in Italy since I’ve been so fortunate to be able to have homemade Italian food twice a day. I haven’t explored the fancy places to dine, and for the most part restaurant Italian food doesn’t have the same warmth and comfort as the simple pasta or risotto dishes …

Valeria’s Wine Bread in 5 easy steps

For lack of a better description, we’ve dubbed Valeria’s recent breads as “Wine Bread”. We call it wine bread because it’s made with yeast collected from wine. I know you’re probably confused, so read this short previous entry about the process. Now that you have your mother yeast, when you are ready to bake all …

E Poi? – And then? What’s Next?

It’s funny how you can build things up in your head sometime. It’s coming, it’s coming, this thing that you’ve been waiting for and as soon as it passes, whether it lasts a few hours or a few days, as soon as it’s over you either keep on truckin’ along as if nothing special has …

Sagra Dell’uva Round 2

Experiencing my second wine festival was for lack of better words: great. Having Jordan around gave me a chance to really show someone from home all the wonderfulness I love about Italy. Jordan decided to drive a motorcycle from Rome to Cupramontana, which sounded like a great experience, but like all Italian travel experiences, it came …

Vendemmia 2012

This year’s harvest was much different than last year’s. With a hot summer, we began the harvest much earlier this year (before the end of August). And while we had a couple long haul days, overall we kept to a regular day schedule. The weather was MUCH cooler than last year’s so we didn’t get …

Castelluccio, Italy

We stopped by this little town for some exploration, happy hour, and lunch before heading for an incredible hike to Mount Vettore. I’ve never had such a lazy morning/day before a big hike before, but there is a first time for everything. This little town was a bit strange, but cute in it’s own sunny …

Life in Motion

Now that I am all caught up on my London tours, I can finally breath and focus on writing something a little more substantial and something I know folks back home are wondering about. Ever since I left Turkey, I basically fell off the grid. Aside from the occasional texts, brief e-mails, and fulfilling the …

The Big 4-0

Corrado and Valeria turned 40 this year. Valeria turns 40 in October, but they decided to celebrate together this year. Nothing shows how well this couple is loved more than the people that were in attendance. Gifts ranged from hand crafted pieces to weekend getaways. They decided to celebrate their big bash with live music …

Milan, Italy

After 10 days on the coast, it was off to Milan for a couple days! After a brief welcome home to La Distesa, I barely had about 30 min to repack my bag for London. Taking out the swim suits and trading them in for a raincoat wasn’t as dreadful as I thought it would be. …