We left Turin on May 2. Seems like we just got here, and now it’s time to go. Our time with Marialuisa at her wonderful home went quickly.
First order of business, get the car. Donna had suggested we rent through http://www.kemwel.com because not only are their rates good, they give a 0 deductible for insurance. And Marialuisa arranged for us to pick up the car nearby her house instead of going back to the airport. So Don set out to find the car, while I packed, blogged, and talked to the housekeeper, Maria, who is from Avellino, the same town as Nana Weinberger’s parents.
I could tell that Maria was getting nervous because she kept asking if I could call Don to find out where he was. . . This is all in Italian, of course!! I told her he would be Ok. I later discovered that she wasn’t so worried about him, but she herself wanted to leave and wanted us to leave before she did! Anyhow, soon don arrived. . .
We packed the car, took one last look at our house. . .
And off we set, to the Piemonte region. Within a mere half hour out of Torino, we were seeing beautiful rolling hills. . .
and in an hour we were close to our destination, Cascina Sant’Eufemia
Now we had read about this place in one of our favorite magazines, Budget Travel, and after some investigation, a few emails, we knew this was the place for us. How did we know that?? Because the town of its address, Sinio, was NOT on our very complete map of Italy. So we remained true to our mantra of avoiding places on the map in bold print, and instead, seeking out those you can barely see!!!
HOWEVER. . .we were hungry and Sinio had NO places to eat. NONE. we started thinking, ” Wait, this is Italy. there must be food.” In my best Italian, I asked a delivery guy if he could tell us where to find lunch in the area. He recommended OSTERIA GEMMA, about 10 minutes away. Well, we knew with a name like that we’d be sure to remember it. Off we went. soon, a good sign. . .
Then we saw cars and BIKES parked at the entrance. A peek inside, dishes clattering, we knew we’d found food.
I was interested only in making sure that we weren’t too late for lunch, and the sign on the door gave the hours, so I knew we were there before closing. I didnt stop to read the obvious. . .
We went in, were seated, ordered a bottle of wine, and before we knew it, a server brought a cutting board with salamis. . .sort of a serve yourself. Sorry, no photo. . . We didn’t know at that point what was to come!
The salumi board disappeared and then a bowl of what turned out to be ground raw meat appeared. Sorry, no photo. . .we stills hadn’t caught on that this was a fixed price, “Non-democratic” menu. We were served what everyone else was being served. vegetarianism be damned. . .Im in Piemonte and whatever this stuff is, it’s good and I’m eating it. Turns out it was veal and now I’m really in chagrin. . .
Well, that dish disappeared and then another one appeared. Now I started taking photos. . .Vegetable salad
then the next appeared. . . Roast beef with a creamy dressing. . .
we were guessing the next course could be pasta. . .yep, we were right. . .delicate and thin. . .
Oddio!!!! a second pasta dish. . . Tiny raviolini. . .OMG. . .so delicious. . .
we knew we must be getting close to the meat course. Sure enough, here it is. . .Beef cooked in wine, rabbit, and endive. . Divine. . .
We nearly dreaded to know that the next course was dolce. . .sure enough. . .FOUR of them. . .
Yep, we ate them. . . Finished off the bottle of wine, too. I said to Don that we HAD to be officially Italian and end with a coffee, so we did. . . A decaffeinato. . .
We kept thinking that the meal was going to cost us a small fortune and agreed that we frankly didn’t care because it was so good. Well, the meal was €25 each plus €2 for the bottle of wine. . .a total of €52 for an amazing meal and a wonderful introduction to the Piemonte region!!!
Back in the car, we found our way to our agriturismo, Cascina Sant’Eufemia with the excellent directions given to us at OSTERIA di Gemma. . . And with a name like that it HAD to be excellent.
Our studio apartment here is bright, sunny, cozy, and exactly what we want for the next 7 days. . .
We unpacked, settled in, went out to a small market to pick up a few ” spuntini” just in case we got noshie later.
returned, sat in the sun. . .YAY, sun. . .you’re back. . Agreed we could not possibly eat even ONE morsel. . .and by 9 pm were tucked into the antique bed in our room. . .the bed that once belonged to Chiara’s grandparents. . . With a mattress stuffed with wool. . .so cozy and comfortable I didn’t move all night. . .