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Italians and their relationship with food

After a fun trip to the US, we were gathering the bounty of our weedy garden, and set to cooking. We were eating a garden salad, roasted rainbow chard, polenta crusted baby zucchini, and homemade fig gelato, when my very Italian husband had himself a bit of an epiphany regarding the important difference between Italians […]

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My Friendly Neighborhood Goat Battle

Last Sunday I went to my friendly neighborhood goat battle. About a kilometer down the road, there is a ‘campo sportivo’, which is a big grassy field with a track around it.  I often go running there, it is fabulous.  It is also the location for occasional festivals, parties, and barnyard battles.  I’ve written about […]

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A Vending Machine Tour of Valle d’Aosta

Yesterday we had friends from Piemonte visit us for the day, so we took them on a personalized tour of my own making of the region. A vending machine tour.  Because Aosta has some pretty spectacular vending machines. You’ve already heard about my dairy farmer neighbors with the raw milk vending machine.  That was our […]

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Hands in the Dough: Introd Black Bread Festival

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this yet.  It was just such an incredible experience that I had to let it marinate for a while so that the words came out right…. but then I forgot about writing it.  So here we are, six months later. Seuppa valpellenentze ready to go in the oven […]

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The Désarpa, AKA Cows with Flower Towers

Get excited or run away, but it’s time for yet another post about one of my favorite subjects…. cows! I don’t know what it is about ‘cow culture’ that fascinates me.  More than anything, I guess it is that I am fascinated with the local fascination with cows.  You could say cows are a way […]

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Napolean Lives Here: the strangest museum in the world

  Whenever I drive south of my village in Valle d’Aosta, I’ve passed by a bizarre site.  It almost seems like a junkyard, but not quite.  It is a lot on the side of the road filled with strange constructions made of scrap metal, ancient industrial fans on tall polls with brightly colored paint peeling […]

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Italian Men and Their Cheese

Italian men love to talk about their local cheese.  Within moments of meeting an Italian man, likely as not, they will wax poetic about the cheese of their particular village, and how it is better there than anywhere else.  Don’t get the cheese from the neighboring town, it’s not as good.  Their cheese is the […]

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Black Bread Adventure and Zuppa Valpellinese

A few days ago I took my mom and her friend Randy up to the village of Ozein.  It’s a paradise…there is no other word for it!  Well, a paradise for people who love ancient picturesque villages immersed in a sea of wildflowers, with breathtaking views of the tallest mountains of Europe.  It’s pretty spectacular.  […]

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Crazy Cow Party in my Backyard

I was in the middle of making some gnocchi (post to come soon on that!) for dinner, when my husband Gianluca runs into the kitchen shouting, “Go outside! Go now!  The cows!  They are being funny!” So of course I tossed down my potatoes, my hands still covered in dough, and I scampered outside.  If […]

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Raw Milk Vending Machine

I’ve mentioned the raw milk vending machine before, but it is so cool I think it deserves a post all to itself. Just to set the scene: I live in a small village across the river from Aosta, a 2000+ year old town nestled in the steepest part of the Alps. So, while I live […]

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