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 …

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 …

Dividere–To Share

Dividere–“to share”–is the latest addition to the dictionary of Larriano. It’s a meaningful word that represents much of why I’m on this earth and very much describes my experiences of the previous 60 days. Friendships (new and well-established) have opened hearts, homes, and nations to such a rich level my soulful cup flows well beyond its rim. When Ivan and Victoria said they would take the lead on planning, promoting, …

Coffee Here, Coffee There

Nearly everything good in my life over the past 10 years has included Starbucks. Most of you reading this have been brought to me somehow via a small coffee shop on the corner of 108th Ave NE and NE 2nd in Bellevue. My vast coffee community is another ironic tie to the old country where coffee shops become the center of social community even in the tiniest of villages, like …

Excitement at the Post Office

The first orders at the post office. Thank you to all! Like many, going to the post office doesn’t fit in my Top Ten list of thrilling life experiences. That is, until yesterday. With Iron Twine Press founder and publisher-extraordinaire Ethan Yarbrough riding shotgun, I pulled into an awaiting spot at the United States Post Office in Bellevue, WA with the first dozen orders of Miracles in Montanare: Ten Years in …

Making History in Larriano

Photo by Young Reflections Photography Having Ame, Rosy, and Laura on our side of the Atlantic is an exercise in bewilderment, for all. They get the opportunity to experience our America with eyes wide open in the same way we appreciate everything about their special country. If I had $5 for every inquiry Ame has made over the past six days, I wouldn’t need an AMEX for MY upcoming flight …

Anatomy of a Book-Ten Years in Tuscany

1000 covers, printed at DCG One in Seattle, await their journey to the bindery. What began on January 25th, 2004 as a blog to stay in touch with our friends on native soil is about to become a complete volume of literary work. Miracles in Montanare: Ten Years in Tuscany, or the idea of writing a book in general, has been a core life goal of mine since 1987. As we near …