Here I'm going to group some things together for the sake of being caught up. Don't worry once I start writing about my actual work I won't leave things out.
Aug 19th was my first time to see La Cantina Fattori, or the winery. It was a bit confusing because Antonio wasn't here when I got here and neither was Giorgia who had been my main contact. No one seemed to know excatly what I would be doing, so I was left to the only English-speaking worker in the Cantina, Alesandro. He took me around and showed me the inside of the winery, telling me the best he could what all the different machines did and I looked at the place with a wide-eyed childlike "Wooooooow" face. This is when Sarah came in to whisk me away. Sarah (from the UK) took me to her place in Santa Marghertia. Sarah explained to me that she is in the process of building her house and right now is only living in a one bedroom apartment. I decided to stay with Sarah until Antonio returned from his holiday in the mountians and my bed at his house would be ready. So that first day of work in Italy was spent building a chicken coop at Sarah's new house with Claudio her apartment landlord who doesn't speak a lick of English, and my Italian was still horrible. That night I got my first taste of Italian pizza at a local pizzeria called Mocambo. I had my pizza with porchini mushrooms. I must say, it was quite yummy.
Aug 20th We went to Montichiari to a big outdoor market. It not only had food but also had a lot of livestock. I didn't care so much for the animal part of it but getting ot see the food market was amazing! I got to see cheese that had been made in this region of Italy and also wine and meats as well. The food market reminded me of one I went to in Costa Rica only on Italian steriods. There was even a HUGE table of Italian candies. After the market we came home and stacked wood at Sarah's house. Nothing in the night time because we were so "stanka" meaning "tired."
Aug 21st we went to do my grocery shopping as well as to buy me an Italian SIM card. I didn't really plan on buying on but Sarah insisted, so that's where the confusion between the Italian, UK English, and States English all came into play. In the end I have an Italian SIM card that is a pay as you go with a little credit on it so that my friends from the Cantina or my boss can call me. My favorite part of the shopping that day was the grocery store! The meat and cheese counter was so neat. You walked up, got a number and when one of the 6 workers behind the counter was ready to serve you they would click up onto a board the next number and you'd tell them everything you wanted and they would get it for you. Also right by the meat and cheese was the wine section where I spied Fazzi Battagli which we sell at Vino100! I forgot to look at the price to see the comparison since they don't have to pay for importing but I'll have ot remember that for next time. This was the day that I was able to let everyone know that I had made it to my destination from my little blog spurt. After the blogging we went back to Sarah's and stacked even more wood and FINALLY got it finished. There was a lot of wood. That night we went to a local restorant call Gasparin. It's an agritourism restaurant that only cooks and serves what they grow in their region. This is a big trend for Italy. The meal was the Italian meal you always hear about. We were there for two hours and ate four courses and had three types of wine. First course was a simple polenta with asiago cheese. Second came a big bowl of boigli (thick spaghetti) with tomato sauce. Third course was a BIG plate of grilled meat. Lucky for me there were side dishes of green beans, potatoes, salad, and more cheese (yes Dad, there was stinky feet cheese and I ate every bit of it!) The last course was a type of pound cake and a type of cookie bar with red currants. The wines we had were the Savingnon Blanc from Fattori and the Prosecco from Fattori and then the Grappa that the restaurant provided with our final coffee. After that it was home to bed.
Aug 21st we spent the day lounging around until the afternoon when we went to Antonio's house to go swimming. Have I mentioned that it's been incredibly hot here, just like it was in Springfield when I left? After swimming we went with Sarah's friend Ralfiella to her sister's house for another long dinner. This dinner lasted 2 1/2 hours and, if you can imagine it, even more food than the night before. We had salad, grilled eggplant and zucchini, mushrooms, a squash and peppers mixture, polenta grilled or soft, sausage, procuicitto, chicken, I had a plate of three cheese and grilled hard boiled eggs (because Sarah and told them I was a vegetarian). Then we had a fruit course with apples, peaches, and pears. THEN we had gelato of all different flavors with something called chocolate sausage made with Nuttella and THEN we had coffee. They served a Gargangia wine that was too acidic for me, and Primitivo from South Italy that was aaaaaaaamzingly smooth and had an aroma like you wouldn't believe. They also served a new type of dessert wine that this region is producing called Durello as well as Grappa and Scotch. THEN we had coffee. I was so tired and ready to be home after this. So Sarah took me to Antonios and now I am staying there. Antonio's house is pretty big. And by that, I mean it's huge.
When I got to Antonio's for swimming that day I finally had my "Oh my gosh this is exactly what I pictured," moment. His house is large and very much in an Italian style of yellows and oranges outside and beautiful wood and antiques inside. However his house also has all up to date appliances. The best part? THE GRAPE VINES ARE IN THE FRONT YARD. It was like pulling up to Italian Heaven.