travelling with kids / where we go

a slice of Italia

Our medieval home reminds me of Kapsowar…but larger, with consistent electricity and more hot water, similar WIFI capacity (not good). Tiny little kitchen with window by the four person table and dish dryer above the carerra marble sink is handy. The grand fireplace in the family room is fun to play with before the kids’ bedtime, sitting on the sofa reading to candle and firelight is charming, but does make us smell like we’ve taken up cigarettes.

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The beds are comfy, the wool blankets plentiful, and necessary, as the days grow cooler, and darker. Still, the plus 22 is enough for my bambinas and hubby to get into the outdoor pool. I’ll sit by the pool with my book for one last summer day this October 2. The view is a little too pristine, so I must, just to have this memory planted in my mind mid-January in Canada.

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The sow had her babes while we were here…nine little piglets, possibly two pounds each. Madelyn would have held them if she could, but they were kept behind an electrical fence in the Italian forest. The piglets were too occupied snuggling to their mamas teats anyway.

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Our two hour morning hike to a crumbling monastery revealed the Beautiful Ruins that might one day be restored for prayer and meditation. We walked all the way to the dried river to see the Ancient Roman bridge…a sharp arch toward the road, daunting. No side rails, curved in the middle, so no more than one person could pass.

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The girls would like to recreate it for their Secret Garden…Spannocchio already has a delightful Secret Garden, created by the farm’s interns, for the enjoyment of visiting children. Willow-tied deer and porcupines, little paths, a pond and playhouse with nature guides and samples; even a bat harbouring in the corner.

Wild boar with chocolate was our dinner last night, prepared by the Spannocchio cooking staff. Now that’s not something I’ve eaten before. Thought it would taste like bacon, or the pancetta we eat for breakfast. Tasted more like a mildly gamey beef, not nearly so gamey as bison. The kids preferred the cannelloni di ricotta di spinachi. And the drops of Spannocchia’s rose in water was a hit too. Their first ‘glass’ of vino, in Italy!

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