Auguri Street Rome

Auguri

Auguri Street Rome The Christmas season in Tuscany has little resemblance to our U.S. commercial run up to the celebration of baby Jesus. A dozen years ago, Jill and I had the good fortune to feel the divine spirit of Natale in it’s pure form. In nearly every Italian village the presepio (nativity) evangelizes inhabitants and visitors. The passing faithful pause to acknowledge the reason for the season. In our …

Giorno Ringrazimento-Thanksgiving

Giorno Ringraziamento-Thanksgiving

It would take me nearly a day to acknowledge the dozens of special family and friends in our midst. Although there isn’t a formal holiday on the Italian calendario, I’ve unilaterally decided that May 8th is Thanksgiving Day in Italy. One of my important friendships was born on that date. On that fateful Sunday, I was learning to become a Montanarese-Contadino, Italian farmer. Ca’ D Maestro owner Piero was demonstrating …

Vino Amore

Monitoring first-hand reports of the destruction from fires in California’s wine country, I cannot imagine the feelings many families have about their roots in Napa and Sonoma. Over 50 years ago, Roberto Mondavi brought his family’s Italian heritage to what is now California’s most productive wine production center. Much of our love for Italian wine villages isn’t just the wine. It’s actually the families we’ve met while enjoying them. Montepulciano, …

Amedeo and Larry

Bridge Across the World

Amedeo and Larry In the fifteen years we’ve been friends, Amedeo and I have benefitted from advancements in new technologies. The idea that I could use the World Wide Web from my Seattle living room, drinking my second cup of coffee watching Ame and Rosy prepare dinner in their kitchen nine time zones away would have seemed like a fantasy when we first met. These multi-media tools build a bridge …

Sharing Hope and Treasure

Our white nine-passenger Fiat van left Montanare with each seat occupied. Five adults and four kids, off to make good on a promise born last September at our dining room table in Redmond, WA, USA. At 3:35AM on August 24th, 2016 a major earthquake shook the village of Amatrice. Even though we’d never been to this 800-year-old hill town three hours south of Montanare, Jill and I are very familiar …

Amore e Pizze

Three rectangular tables connected made a tavolo lungo, a comfortable space for 12 seats outside L’Oasi di Pizza in Pergo. This was to be the celebration of Mary’s Birthday. It was also our final opportunity to break bread (actually pizza) with remarkable friends Bill and Tina in advance of their return to Great Britain after their annual, two week Tuscan viaggo. Although our al fresco pizza feast was challenged by …

Drowning in Gratitude

The June calendar is making me realize not only how lucky I am but just how many really special people I call friends, both near and far.

Happy Hour Radio

Listen and Experience Italy

Listen to Happy Hour Radio with Christopher Chan with “Miracles in Montanare: Ten Years in Tuscany” Author Larry Snyder

Anticipation

Mid-May is my season of Tuscan Fever. It’s not a common abnormality but I get it every year. It’s an illness I’ve learned to celebrate. On the other side of the earth, a couple dozen Tuscans have come down with the same ailment. Our social media message boxes seem to acknowledge our collective seasonal anticipation. Three important things sit on my mind a few times each day for the coming …

Ten Years in Tuscany Dinner Menu

Secret Cucina

We could easily create a popular cookbook from all the recipes Ame and Rosy have taught us in Montanare. Be it Crostini, penne al fumo, or tiramisu alla Rosy, each one allows us an immediate return to the rectangular, dark wood trestle table at Ca’ di Maestro. Stateside friends, the beneficiaries of this cooking, ask us for the recipes nearly every time we share them. So far, I’ve been able to dodge these requests …