Home Again in the Lunigiana

A morning of rain after a night of rain.

There is always a rush, when we return to Italy, to get into the spirit immediately. Before even opening our front door we head to a restaurant, any decent one, to take in the Italian spirit of eating as much as to ingest the food. It’s all in the passionate voices, the hand waving, the smell of hot pasta arriving in bowls, the heat the comes in puffs as the pizzaiolo catches the edge of your quattro stagione with his crude peel and gives it a flip to rotate it on the hot stone floor of the wood-fired oven, the waitresses who scurry to fill orders…

Then shopping. A joy, even in the rain. A hundred salami, who can choose just one? Bread, “forno a legno, per favore!“ Cheap wine, then maybe a great one because you can afford it, too. Then those chicken legs that roast so well, the skin rendering its fat and transforming itself into a thin and tasty parchment wrapper, grease free—a trick American soggy, water-chilled chickens cannot learn. But you needn’t buy chicken if your cravings are fowl, there’s dark-flesh piccione, hacked pheasant, quail.

Lunch: Anchovies in green sauce, garlicky salame, torta delle erbe, a special, “Piccante” type of Gorgonzola with an exotic place of origin you’ve never heard of, fragrant bread to stack it upon.

And after lunch? The sun arrives. We are home.

Home Again in the Lunigiana originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Sep 18, 2010 © .

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