One to Grow On

July 1, 2010

The Happy Wonders of Agriturismo

Filed under: children, food, Food Allergies, Italy — midway2go @ 5:09 am

We left Palau and ended up almost by accident in Cala Gonone, a town nestled into the base of a mountain on a gulf dotted with stunning  beaches and coves accessable only by boat.  Talk about happy accidents.  And what could make this one have an even happier ending?   How about an agriturismo perched on the side of a mountain with massive tent pitches?   The idea of an agriturismo is to have a working farm offer rooms (or tent space) to tourists.   The tourists get to see a farm up close, and the farm gets extra income.  This farm was well-known for serving up amazing dinners, family style.  The kind woman who ran the show (Signora McDonald?) didn’t bat an eye when I said we couldn’t have any gluten.  She barely flinched when I added milk and cheese to the no-no list.  I could hardly bring myself to mention my being a vegetarian, but I did, and she handled this final blow with grace and dignity.  She informed me that they couldn’t serve me fish, since all the meals featured the products from their farm, that they could only offer me an egg dish for my main plate.  I was thrilled.  A seafood reprieve!   We beamed at each other, Rory and her sons discovered that Pokemon transcends language, and a friendship was born.

Rory and Nora and I spent the next day taking a boat service from beach to beach.  The water was incredible.  The beaches were mostly white rocks, not sand, which hurt horribly climbing in and out of the steep surf, but didn’t cling and linger on our towel.  We spent a happy hour doing “math,” grouping and regrouping the beautiful jellybean-like rocks there by the sea.  

As fun as that was, my favorite memories will center around the food.    Both nights we started with an antipasti, marinated eggplant and roasted peppers for me, prociutto and other meaty delicacies for Rory and Nora.  Along with these came the best olives I’ve ever had.  I know, I know, I’ve said that before.  Still…   after that came, the first night, a simple pasta in a tomato sauce.  It was delicious.  So delicious,in fact, that when we weren’t served it the second night, Rory sat at the table and cried.  Really, it was that good.   Just look at those big, sad brown eyes.   The first night Rory and Nora were served braised “cabra.”  Nora didn’t care for it and swiped my fritata, but Rory polished off his and hers, raving about the complex flavor that reminded him of cheese.  He said it like meat from heaven covered with melted cheese.  I thought, after that, that he wouldn’t mind being told it was goat, and he didn’t, although he was sad to think it would be hard to find back home.  The second night we had the best lentil soup I’ve ever had, and I know beans.   After we ate we were summoned around back to see Signor McDonald roasting some suckling pigs by an open fire.  After fruit and coffee they came around with a digestivo,  mirto, a Sardinian liquor, like concentrated red wine syrup.  Monumental meals, both.  This may be the pentacle of camping.  We slept without our rain flap, under  a full moon as orange as freshly squeezed juice.  In the early morning I awoke  to the deep rumbling of bells as the sheep were brought to their breakfast.  All day we shuttled from one amazing beach to the next, and came back to a meal that was local, fresh, and delicious.   Possibly the rest of our camping life will  be, well, less.  Such a burden to live with.



  1. Those beaches are amazing!

    Comment by Jill — July 1, 2010 @ 7:30 am

  2. dying dying dying
    this is so wonderful

    I love the food stories.


    Comment by sally — July 2, 2010 @ 11:01 am

  3. Rory, your no spaghetti the second day sad face, is a heart breaker for grandma Barbara. It is a good thing that I see so many of your smiles to balance your one sad face. What a joy you are for a travel companion. I know you will miss the beautiful beaches as your travel continues. That spaghetti sure must have been special. The way your mom describes your food adventure makes me want to travel with you.

    Nora, so often when I see your photo, I love seeing the beads on you. I enjoy the colors because they are so cheerful. It is way fun for me to see the outfits you are wearing for travel and beach wear. Nice colors.

    Chrislyn, your linen dress is perfect for travel. It is pretty on you and I hope it keeps you cool. I am glad to get a photo with Chrislyn, the adventure leader, and Rory and Nora. I really appreciate the time it takes to write the blog, to share your fun and to upload your photos. Thank You. Grandma Barbara, Barbara, Mom

    Comment by Barbara — July 5, 2010 @ 8:01 am

  4. I have been viewing these great pictures and decided to print off one with the 3 of you—I need it for my refrigerator. You won’t believe that it printed a small fraction with no person visible except Rory’s right ear, eye and hair!! Some things I need to learn I suppose. Lovely view of the beautiful tree with purple flowers. I loved your blog and would say the same thing Grandma Barbara said. So I ‘ditto’ that. So good to read of your adventures. Love you, Nana Joan

    Comment by Joan King--Nana — July 7, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  5. Hi Globe Trekkers,

    So sorry I didn’t notice your website in your Christmas card until TODAY! I’m having a great time reading of your adventures. Wow! I’m adding you to my ‘favorites’ and will keep closer track of your journey. You all look so wonderful and happy!

    Comment by Beth S. — July 7, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

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