This Crazy Little Thing called Retirement – Crossing Italy (Part 3)

My daughter lived in Dallas at the time, so we took different flights and met at the Marriott Rome Park. A lovely hotel not far from the Airport.  My husband and I stayed there a couple of times on prior visits to Rome. Jo and I met at the bar, giddy with excitement about our trip. After all, it’s not everyday you fly to Italy to buy a house. After a couple of cocktails we sat down to dinner. Our excitement was infectious, we had a lovely evening…unfortunately the wine and food didn’t make for a great night’s sleep! It was worth it though.
The next morning we returned to the airport to pick up or rental car. I wasn’t that confident about driving in Italy back then (that soon changed) so my daughter did the driving. An excellent job she did too. We’d never driven across Italy before, or visited Abruzzo, so we had to rely on the car navigation system, which seemed to be constantly confused. Jo wanted to take the smaller road across the mountains, rather than the highway. Once we got away from the hustle bustle of Rome, we relaxed a little and decided to stop for lunch.
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Luckily, we saw a restaurant right on the road side. This was our first real experience with “non tourist” Italy. We were the only folks who didn’t speak Italian. Tables were pushed together at one side of the restaurant to accommodate a large family gathering of at least 40 people. All talking together, drinking wine, sharing platters of food. Kids laughed, played (and occasionally cried). The menu was in Italian of course.
We ordered salad and meat, a little wine a bottle of Aqua frizzante, to wash it down with.
I looked around me at what would become my everyday life, and I liked what I saw. We couldn’t linger over lunch because there was a very long journey ahead of us. We had to cross the mountains of Central Italy, and find a small village called Colledimezzo.

A Very Fine Restaurant and Wine Bar – Sketch

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Last night I tried this restaurant for the first time, but it won’t be the last. It was a very friendly, European style restaurant. It was extremely busy, even at six o clock. The food was excellent. We started with a shared platter of antipasto, deliciously fresh olives, prosciutto, aged gouda as well as many other tasty treats. A great way to start the meal.

The Service was a little on the slow side, but I believe they were training new staff, and did I mention how busy it was? We were in no rush, and ate a leisurely dinner, enjoying each others company.

For my main course, I had home-made gnocchi. It was to die for. The tagliatelle also looked good, as did the risotto. We shared a salad of shredded brussel sprouts. Everything was cooked simply and to perfection.

I can’t believe we drank two bottles of champagne. It was one of those nights. We wanted to celebrate life. I highly recommend this casual, friendly restaurant. If you are in the area, give it a try. If it is a Saturday night, I suggest making a reservation.

http://sketch-restaurant.com/