trees that line a winding path leading to a winery, a villa or just to the top of a hill. The utter simplicity of the beauty overwhelms and seems to provide a restorative calm and peace. I always feel renewed after just a day or two in this part of God's country.
And--we have very special friends in Montepulciano, friends whom we treasure and enjoy. When we arrive there, it is like coming home to family. Nico and Elena are younger than our children but this is one of those situations where age does not seem to enter into the friendship equation, perhaps because with Casey we have the child thing in common.
We were there just last weekend-staying in one of the apartments at Sant' Antonio, a restored 13th century monastery which has been transformed into delightful vacation apartments. At this point, we have stayed in several of the units and each one is pleasurably unique. Nico takes great pride in providing quality in all things--from cleanliness to glass and dishware to pots and pans to fabrics and tiles. And then he tops it all off with a personality and charm that captivates.
Casey and Sofia, their daughter, have been friends for several years now, each holding a special place in the other's heart--the kind of friendship that will grow with the years so that time together will always be special and part of their growing up memories. This time was the best because now they can communicate with language since Casey speaks Italiano. Before they simply used whatever language it is that children seem to share with each other--the one that is unintelligible to adults.
Since we first knew Elena and Nico, little Filippo has been added to their family and this year he is old enough to play with the big kids. So, much of the time this weekend was a threesome--particularly because Filippo has molti Gromiti cards--something you need to be a boy and an italian to appreciate--both of which Casey now is. Fillipo is just as cute as his big sister and a real sweetheart of a child.
So, as always, we had a great time in Montepulciano. Ken and I even had time for one of our favorite pastimes-- exploring the mysteries of white roads as Casey played at home with the kids. And then in the evening we enjoyed sitting around the table with friends--good food, good wine, good conversation. Perfetto!!