Hospitality & Food – when a whole village becomes your ‘family’

Photo – courtesy of Walter, our special correspondent during the event

Last Friday (on nov. 9th) – exactly one week ago – families of our Province, in the Municipalities of Tavullia (Belvedere Fogliense), Montefabbri, Montegaudio, Sant’Angelo in Lizzola and others, opened their doors to perfect strangers to host them for dinner (within the initiative “Dinners at home” – part of a wider event called “One village, one hundred stories”).

Where Lemons Blossom tried to give the initiative the deserved attention, being it a unique experience in Italy, from the opening cooks tea (“a mad tea-party”) – during wich the event was presented to the press and to the people – to the final feast of hospitality and food in Belvedere Fogliense, the little village where the whole ‘adventure’ started 7 years ago.

Our food & wine expert at WLB, Walter, lived the initiave in all of its phases and I thank him for being such a scrupulous correspondent (I must admit I can think of worse tasks than that of tasting delicious local genuine food and wine for 4 days in a row!).

Anyway, today I just want to pay a tribute to the organizer ot the event, Cristina Ortolani and to all the people

Casa Macchini, the house of story-telling and of children’s activities

involved in the initiative. However, special thanks today to the inhabitants of Belvedere Fogliense, for hosting the final feast of hospitality and food, besides opening their houses to the “cene in famiglia”.

Sant’Angelo in Lizzola

Despite the persistent rain, last Sunday I did spend, together with my family, a merry afternoon in what looked to me more an enlarged family than a village.

Many the (free) activities offered by the inhabitants of Belvedere last Sunday: starting from 4.30 pm the ‘happy few’ who booked on time, were able to learn how to make ‘patacucci, piadina and strozzapreti’, and children, instructed by loving cooks of Belvedere, had fun making pizza (have a look at this post).

A ‘briscola’ contest for the elderly, or simply for ‘briscola’ enthusiasts (I remember long Winter Sunday afternoons playing cards with my grandfather Carlo, who – needless to say – let me always win), food & wine tasting, families opening their doors to tell stories – those stories tied to the territory which disclose the soul of a place and would be otherwise doomed to oblivion – a little open air farm, exhibitions, readings and, to top it all, the ‘gara delle torte’ (the cake contest) and award of the winner.

The whole WLB staff (me, my husband and our little Costanza!) was there.

Following a few pictures to say thank you.

Ida Bartolucci – “granny Ida” – entertaining her guests

When  a whole village becomes your ‘family’ – because you are treated as ‘one of the family’ – you cannot but express a deep gratitude.

Especially today, when nothing seems to be given for nothing when everything seems to have a price I should say – let’s learn what hospitality means.

Simple gestures making you feel at home. And you feel at home because those people really open the doors of their houses to host you and to take care of you.

Not just food, wine, stories, but soul. One’s real self. As it is.

In one word they offer you their presence. Their being there with you, enjoying being together.

Thank you, Belvedere.

A November view on our hills. Ph. courtesy of Walter, our WLB food & wine expert

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