Monday, 27 June 2011

Anglo-Italian relations

Arriving at Antico Mulino (The Old Mill) near the town of Missanello, we immediately had a good feeling. Vito greeted us warmly and invited us in for coffee. In the blessedly cool converted mill building, we met his partner Nadia and their almost 2 year old daughter, Domenica.

Vito, a former chef on cruise ships, was living his dream of running a farm and restaurant near his home town. He keeps horses, pigs, lambs, chickens and a truffle hunting dog called BoBo, who was a major hit with Frankie (who now refers to all dogs as BoBo). We couldn't have been made to feel more welcome and, in exchange for helping out on the farm (which for Will meant erecting swings and exciting visits to cheese factories and for Emma, lifeguarding and kaka scooping the paddling pool - bitter? No, not me) we ate all our meals (and delicious they were too) with the family and drank countless espressos.

Towards the end of the week, Vito (who seemed prone to harebrained schemes) decided that he wanted us to help him paint all his plaster pots and garden statues. There were some good natured artistic differences but Vito got his way and the results speak for themselves...

Somehow a week had gone by and despite some pressure to stay, and some temptation too, we decided we must tear ourselves away. We said some genuinely sad goodbyes and, with bigger bellies and more chins, and better Italian than we had arrived with, and Frankie walking properly at last, we headed once again for the coast.

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