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swirl and savor

Eating, Drinking, Sleeping in Barolo

Beth Ribblett

View from La Morra of the Boiolo vineyards of Barolo
Your two weary travelers arrived in Milano early this morning here in Italia, around midnight in New Orleans. While most of you were sleeping we got a quick cappuccino and went in search of the bright yellow Hertz desk to pick up our brand new 4 door Fiat 500. The two hour drive to La Morra was pretty uneventful until the polizotti decided to pull us over for no reason at all, just to check our documents and have some polite conversation. Giving us more of a jolt than the caffeine, it definitely helped to clear our jet lagged brains!

Village of La Morra in Barolo
As we drove closer to the Alps the landscape changed from low lying plains to endlessly rolling hills with tiny villages perched on the highest peaks. We made the steep climb into our own little hilltop town of La Morra where with only a few wrong turns, found our apartment. After a quick introduction from Emmanuela we went in search of a few places she recommended for a light lunch. We chose the tiny traditional cafe over the more Americanized one, ordered a few local wines and a plate of regional cheeses and meats. At first we were the only ones in this six table bar, but slowly the locals started drifting in for a espresso here or a panino there, but mainly for friendly conversation. Very little English was spoken which is intimidating and exciting at the same time as I struggle to understand their rapid fire speech and hand gestures. But with our limited Italian we managed to have a conversation with one of the men who worked at a local winery. His pride, love and knowledge about that particular sub region and its wines spoken through his passionate delivery needed no common language to understand.
I am so happy to be here! It's hard for me to explain my connection with Italy and its people because I don't really understand it myself. All I can say is that there's a sense of comfort that comes over me as soon as I get off the plane. Their passionate nature helps me focus on what is important, their slower way of living life on what is real. As my friend Vincenzo once said, "life, there is only one"...more to come.