"Adieu! I have too grieved a heart to take a tedious leave." ~William Shakespeare
1 Giuseppe and Graziella who have helped us with so many things as we learned about living in Italy. And of course, Graziella's amazing cooking.
2. Cristina and Massimiliano - Cristina has been so patient with us as we struggle to learn Italian, and Massimiliano has given us many opportunities to learn more about wines. They are an amazing couple.
3. Alessia, what would we do without her friendship and her wonderful restaurant at Vittoria il Graditempo where we dine weekly.
5. The ability to take our dog, Luca, almost everywhere we go including hotels, restaurants, stores (except grocery stores) and trains. This coming year will be hard on Luca as he will not be included as often as he is now. For this reason, we will probably be entertaining at home a lot in the coming year. Good thing Jim likes to cook.
9. All of the little local festas - Every little town seems to have something to celebrate - pasta, wine, mushrooms, polenta, wild boar, truffles, you name it and there is probably a little town somewhere in the Marche celebrating it at some time during the year. These celebrations are mostly in the summer, but many spread into the fall and the Christmas season. We will be missing the Grande Maiolata celebration (the big pig) in our little town of Poggio San Marcello in January.
11. Our Alfa Mito - it is little and handles as well as the BMWs I once drove. I wish the car was available in the US.
12. The grocery shopping experience - Well, I am actually putting this here for my husband, Jim, who does most of the shopping - first the grocery store, then the bakery, then the butcher, then the fruit and vegetable store. Food tastes different here, so flavorful.
13. Sunday lunch - In Italy, Sunday lunch is a major event when friends and families get together to share a leisurely multi-course luncheon sometimes lasting 4 or 5 hours. We hope to keep this tradition alive in the US.
14. The ability to hop on a train and be in Rome in 3 hours. We will miss our annual Christmas trip to Rome to do some shopping this year.
15. The language - While we do not speak it very well, it is going to be very strange to hear English everywhere we go. In Le Marche dialect is a prevalent language and you do not hear English often.
16. Those little things that you only can find in Le Marche like Visciola, a wine made from a small cherry that grows wild in Le Marche, and Varnelli, a licorice liqueur.