Emilia Romagna, Italy
Pushing the glass door of the shop at 7 Via Caprarie feels like turning the page of a tale that started in 1868. Back then, Paolo Atti came to town to work as a baker, still unconscious of the fate that would lead him to start the dynasty of Bolognese gastronomy that still boasts his name. On a Saturday morning, the phone keeps ringing…
The walk to reach malga Fodara Vedla is the kind of gift we would like to give our children every autumn Sunday. Intersecting Altavia, which crosses the Dolomites from Braies to Belluno, you pass virgin woods, enjoy the first snow of the season, and grit your teeth on the steepest paths. As a reward, a delicious genuine mountain meal prepared and served by the descendants of grandpa Hans. He was a baker in San Vigilio and during WWI he bought the place from the Austro-Hungarian troops. The Mutschlechner family will dine next to you, talkative and harmonious, when almost all wayfarers are back on their paths, as the sun is setting behind the mountaintops and your children are blissfully enjoying the last sips of their cocoas with whipped cream before resuming the walk. Open end of May until November.
In Torre di Palme, on New Year’s Day, a kind young man lets us sit in a room with blue walls. Bells have just celebrated noon, a few tourists linger on the sunny lookout, a lady wearing an apron rapidly hangs out clothes in the Adriatic breeze. Our memories of this place will include the alleys we walk to reach it and the glimpses of the sea between century-old houses. As well as the handmade tortellini in an ancient flowered tureen, the white tablecloths on tables slowly animated by regulars, the intimate and discreet welcome, the perfectly salted grilled meat, and the exquisite herbs. At the end of the day, we wish the New Year were exactly like every meal in this inn – cheerful, precious and graceful.
Wherever I arrive from, Lisbon always greets me with a sort of elective affinity. Even today, when I put my luggage down in front of the tourists crowded in Jardim de S. Pédro de Alcantara, while I check in through a vivid red door, or while I get to the second floor in a casket decorated in toile de jouy (the most ancient lift in the city). Aristocratic furniture and a quirky atmosphere characterize my suite. In another age and in another life I would have stopped here to start writing about my life.