A week ago (read part 1, here), I spent two fantastic days with Tony and Cathy Mantuano, and world famous photographer, Jeff Kauck, in San Martino in Pensilis, where Tony and Cathy received awards and the keys of the town from the mayor, Vittorio Facciolla.
Tony, Cathy and Jeff were perfect traveling companions and we all had a lot of fun. Really. Archeological sites would open only for us, we were welcome in private homes where Tony had a chance to learn local recipes from local ladies, we would walk the streets of the town and local residents would stop us. Everybody knew who we were and everybody wanted to meet Tony and Cathy.
I would do the translations (not much needed, Tony and Cathy, more Cathy, speak Italian) and Jeff would be juggling with his heavy multiple pieces of equipment taking photographs. He must have taken thousands of photos and the selection must be daunting. In fact, we still haven’t seen them.
We did so much, I don’t even know where to start. They were only 2 days, the 29th and the 30th of April, but they were so well organized and so intense, they might as well have been two weeks. We did so much, I don’t even know where to start. Then, let’s start with breakfast at Francesco Travaglini’s small dairy where Anna (Francesco’s wife, Pia’s mother) makes the most spectacular ricotta from their own sheep. So, at breakfast we had: just made and still warm ricotta with honey and/or Francesco’s Tratturello, ricotta pie made early in the morning by Pia, pecorino cheese from their sheep and fresh fava beans from their garden.
This was heaven and set the tone of the whole trip. To be continued…