Madison News • Monaray Powers
Group of Madisonians journey all the way to Italy
Like the travelers in “Canterbury Tales,” a congenial group of Madisonians plus two Chicago friends recently returned from a sojourn in Italy. Bobby and Nancy Crawford, Joyce Thomas, Gail Crawford, Warren and Joyce Few, Dottie Porter, Jane Bostwick, Bob and Carole Mason and Lee and Rita Gilbert toured Northern Italy by chartered bus and enjoyed the hospitality, beautiful scenery and delicious food of the area.
One of the highlights of the trip was a half-day cooking school in Bologna, where the group members were the guests of Chef Carlo Antonio. Big Carlo took them on a walking shopping excursion to the meat market for pancetta and sirloin, then to the vegetable market for fruit, carrots, onions, celery and flour. The walking in the heat made for tired feet, so there was a needed cappuccino break.
At Carlo’s apartment the friends made their own pasta from scratch and learned to make Bolognese sauce; then sat down to a delicious three hour lunch of many courses. Everyone passed the cooking test and received a diploma and apron from the Bologna Cooking School. After walking back to the hotel a nap was enjoyed.
Many wineries were also on the agenda with extraordinary wine tastings. Each winery the group visited prepared a three to five course lunch paired with wines of the region. Needless to say it took up to three hours for these lunches.
In Parma the group learned about the curing of hams and the process for making Parmesan cheese.
Like Maggiore with the breath-taking views of the Swiss Alps was a special place. The Hotel Rigoli, where the group stayed had such wonderful five course meals that all other restaurant plans were canceled. A delightful ferryboat ride brought to life all the castles and churches located on the islands in Lake Maggiore.
Near Lake Como Bob Mason, Joyce Thomas and the Gilberts decided to walk the trail connecting two of the villages. It was beautiful but steep and a little scary. The other group members toured by boat.
Who would have thought that a Disney-like train would be so appreciated by a group of seniors in the hill towns? By the end of the trip everyone was delighted to board the train and ride to the town center of Lake Orta. There they shopped for souvenirs and took a charter boat to see sights.
This Italian adventure earned the travel agent Lynne Graham an A-plus. Her company, Europe Made Easy, earned its reputation and everything went well – no lost luggage or lost people. It was certainly a vacation to remember.
– The previous story was
contributed by Carole Mason.
The families of the late Tom and Fannie Lou Gilbert held their annual family reunion Sunday, July 22 at their homeplace on the Apalachee Road. The barbecue lunch was enjoyed by a large number of family and friends under the big pecan tree, which was planted by the late Tom Gilbert. The Gilberts had a large family of 11 children who are all deceased.
I am glad to report that my sister Glenda Nelms is now recuperating at home following back surgery three weeks ago.
Sympathy is extended to the family of Mark Simpson who died suddenly last week.
Ina Wallace is at the home of her nephews Jason Grant and family in Acworth where she is recuperating from surgery. We all hope for her a speedy recovery and hope she will soon be home.
Printed in the July 26, 2012 edition.