venerdì 26 dicembre 2008

A Season Filled with that Warm and Fuzzy Feeling

A Holiday Hello from your Home in Tuscany, Your Home in Cortona- We Wish you a Joyous Holiday Season, May Serenity and Happiness be yours in 2009! We look forward to welcoming you home ! Jeanette, Luciano and Carlotta

domenica 21 dicembre 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

One of the things that makes Cortona Christmas different from San Francisco Christmas is the timing with decorations. It seems that right after Halloween it immediately becomes Christmas in the US. Here in Cortona, the lights on Via Nazionale and Piazza della Repubblica were the first things to appear. The truck with the "cherry picker" basket arrived on December 7th and started to install the lights which hang above the street like a canopy of white strands of lights. The tradition is that decorating should begin on the holiday of the Immaculate Conception (December 8). Carlotta was decorated by her Sig.ra Paola, her groomer with her annual red holiday bows and then we set about deciding how to transform our B&B-
Here's a picture of some of our effort and that of some of our neighbors' to welcome in the holiday season:
Giulio and Antonella's window is always eye catching

No cookies and milk for Santa when he stops in Cortona-Vin Santo and Cantucci take the chill off better!

Ivan always goes all out-he really knows how to organize a transformation that would make the best Christmas elf proud


Marco and Paola Nocchia's Galleries bring back memories of Christmases Past in Downtown, SF.

Even Roberto and Nunzi got into the spirit:

Which spread over to Massimo's Bar

And so the stage is set for Christmas in Cortona 2008-

God Bless Us One and All!

martedì 2 dicembre 2008

I Can't Believe They Ate the Whole Thing !

Well, what do you think? In the end we had 15 guest and ourselves. We had leftovers all the same and our inn guest Judy Testa and her local friend , Teri, who took the following pictures helped us out with leftovers. We had already sent a few plates home with some of our guests on Thanksgiving eve as well as a few jars of quince jam!!

Final menu:

Pumpkin Leek soup with Barley

Roast Turkey with Sage and Herb stuffing

Baked broccoli

Cranberry with candied kumquat and ginger chutney

Regular Cranberry relish, Pumpkin Crostata with a Gingersnap Crust served with a dollop of whipped cream. Homemade white and whole grain rolls.

We put all five tables end to end and set about with the task of creating an authentic Thanksgiving dinner. Our company included the diligent electrician Giulio Moretti, who helped us create our incredibly up to date lighting system, with motion sensors, dimmers and the like. He came with his family, his assistant Simone and his assistant's fiancé, Giulia. Our talented housepainting team, Ademaro, Giuliana and Rolando-Ademaro's right-on sense of color and Giuliana's gift of hand decorating worked magic, while Rolando's good temper and dedication moved our works forward. We expressed our thanks then and we express our thanks now, that the teams of artisans who worked on Casa Chilenne believed in it and gave it their best.

I couldn't help but express our thanks to these neighbors, these friends who helped us through the first harvest of a long, hard year and a half.

We also wanted to thank the friends old and new who encouraged us on this endeavor. Who believed in us enough to cheer us on. Missing from these pictures but not at the dinner table, is one of my biggest supporters, Alberto who came to shiver in the dust while we went over his English homework and was a great help at our inauguration celebration shuttling food, dishes and beverages from the kitchen up to the terrace.

Casa Chilenne is the fruit of our investment, but more than anything it is the fruit of a labor of love for one's origins, heritage and the desire to share with others the beauty of their city. These artisans dazzled us with their dedication to making our bed and breakfast the best it could be.

As hectic as it may get and as uncertain the future may seem, we know we have much to be thankful for.