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Brett's Mansion

Today we went wine tasting, but this part of the day deserves it's own post because it was so awesome.  My friend Brett (the one who came to the BBQ on Friday) just moved into a new place in Bacoli and invited Laura and I over for food and drinks with his new found neighbors Patrick and Christina along with his landlord Fabio and family.

It took awhile to find his house since Google Maps was no match for the random Italian roads.  Once we arrived, we were both in awe.  Brett opened his 10 foot iron gate (remotely, of course) and let us in.  The first thing I said to Laura was, "Look at all the parking he has!"  It was a good 40 square feet of driveway...unheard of in Italy!  We got out of the car and walked along the concrete pathway to his patio.  His landlord Fabio and his family had cooked us pizza and antipasto (appetizers), along with wine Fabio had made himself.  Brett took us on a tour of his house, which was absolutely amazing.  Jet bathtub, huge kitchen, the wor…
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Wine Tasting in Avellino

Today we went wine tasting with Aldo today in Avellino! The tour started at base and headed up the mountains towards Avellino. They made a stop at a rest area for café! My favorite!

 It didn't take too long to get up to the winery. The name was Colli Di Castelfranci. Castlefranci is a small village in the heart of Irpinia which is in the Province of Avellino. This logo on the wall their son created. He seemed pretty young and was the one who has started to take over production of the place. Grandpa and dad still lived there and worked but the son did most of it.

 The winery is very organic and they try to use all natural everything when they can. They even reuse willow tree branches and things like that for ways to hold up the vines or to tie things together instead of using plastic or metal objects. Aldo is holding some dried branches that when you soak in water they become soft enough to tie into a knot.

Inside is where they store the wine in huge oak barrels. Aldo told us that we …

Pinetamare BBQ

Today was awesome!  We woke up late again and made pancakes, which were delicious!  Laura used her Vermont Syrup again and I smothered mine with Nutella (so delicious).  After breakfast, I had to finish my homework for the week, which ended up being a lot.  Laura says I take online college too seriously, but I don't think I do.  I just make sure when I post things that they are coherent.  There's a barrel a monkeys running around in my brain most of the time, so stringing together intelligent thoughts is sometimes a challenge.  Anyway, I finished my homework late in the afternoon and we got ready for the barbeque near my friend Andy's house in Pinetamare.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Pinetamare is a beach-side residential area west of Naples.  Andy's house is literally 50 meters from the water...pretty much paradise!

We got to Andy's house and hung out with friends before heading to the beach party.  There were a lot of people we didn't know, but soon …

Lazy Thursday and The Empire Strikes Back

We returned from Sorrento yesterday and decided to make this a day of rest.  We woke up around noon and shuffled around the house, making a little breakfast and coffee.  I worked on some homework and Laura played on her computer.  We finally got out of the house and went shopping in Pozzuoli.  First we stopped at a record and sound system store, which I am convinced was a shop selling stolen goods.  I told Laura and she said it wasn't, but I told her it's not normal to sell items without the box.  Almost every item in that store was out of the box and "used", but I digress.  We stopped by the supermarket called Conad that's near my house and picked up some groceries. 

When we got home, we chilled some Prosecco and Laura made a cheese and crackers plate for us.  We sat on the balcony and watched the sun set behind the hills of Bacoli, talking about the past week and how much fun we had. 

After that, Laura prepared dinner and we decided to watch Star Wars:  The Empi…

Bringing the Cooking Lessons Home

We left the hotel at the Neapolitan time of 10ish or 11ish and headed back to the town to find some breakfast. We parked in another paid parking lot so Kyle was happy. After breakfast we looked in a couple of shops after to see if we could find a ravioli cutter but still no luck. So weird. It was so nice out again, such good luck with the weather. We found another cute look out area that was apart of the "public gardens" we found in the guidebook at the hotel. It was just a little area with benches and the look out, not many flowers or garden like things. 

When we were walking back to the car we saw this sign on a wood shop and I had to take a photo for dad. I thought it was so clever!
Still on a mission for a ravioli cutter we headed towards Pozzuoli to try and go to their "Costco-Like" or "Walmart-Like" stores they have. One is called Leroy Merlin and the other is Auchan. The one we went to was apart of this huge mall. Kyle and I had never been to Auchan …

Sorrento Cooking Class

We lived like true Italians today. Woke up, cooked a huge meal, ate that huge meal, took a nap then started over again. The whole day was full of great pleasures for the both of us and so fulfilling! Literally!
We started the cooking class at 10am this morning. It was held in this huge kitchen at the resort we are staying at. Chef Mina was our teacher and she usually has an interpreter but she didnt today which was fine because we thought her English was pretty good. She also knew German which Kyle knows too so that was helpful! She was from Germany originally and then moved to Italy so German is her first language then Italian then English.
We both got aprons to wear and started with making a pizza dough from scratch. Mina used live yeast which is something I've never worked with before. Kyle and I both took turns kneading the dough. He was hesitant at first but he did good! Mina covered the dough ball and put it in the oven to rise. After that we made the marinara sauce. Kyle help…