Today all I want to write about is Italy.
I blame our friends Pam and Mark. They have an adventure planned for this summer so we had dinner together and they picked our brains on where to go and what to see. So I don’t just want to write about it, I want to go back.
I am so fortunate in my life to have visited Italy four times.
- The first was an end-to-end drive-through on my way to Greece, with a couple of stops at Rome then Pompei. In from France through the Mont Blanc Tunnel then out on a ferry from Brindisi.
- The second time was 2009 with Rebekah. Two weeks in Tuscany (Pisa, Florence, Livorno, Lucca, Cinque Terre) and Rome plus a few days in Milan and Lake Como.
- Next was just me meeting Andrew in Rome then stopping over in Umbria with another few days in Tuscany.
- Finally (well, I hope not) there was our 2014 adventure to Naples, Pompei, Assisi, Verona, Vicenza, Verona, Venice, Ravenna and San Morino.
But how else to spend the evening talking about Italy other than with great Italian food? So I dug out my Italian cookbook and made the “no holds barred” Lasagna, the one that begins the meat sauce by sautéing fresh onions, carrots, celery and garlic, that includes pancetta and heavy cream, plus of course parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta cheeses.
And you know I had to make my own pasta, simple but labor intensive, and worth every bit of effort. Served with Italian bread, and a simple salad, and then (why not?) a plate of Italian cheeses along with prosciutto. And a good full-bodied wine.
And as we’re talking Italian all evening we should certainly skip the ice cream and serve gelato instead, with great coffee.
We pulled out the photo books we had made, and talked art history, and architecture, and structures dating to the Etruscans, and great food, and opera in ancient amphitheaters, and hiking the Cinque Terre, and riding bicycles in Sienna.
And so much more.
Must. Go. Back. To. Italy.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.