Greetings from Carrboro,
In life, it’s the little things that you remember. The grand gestures are often just too weighty to digest. And I knew that. Full stop. So I swore to myself that traveling in Europe with my daughters would be peppered with small, intimate moments to shape their memory of the proverbial Grand Tour. I owed them that.
To that end, a friend who’d lived in Florence got us the best room in her favorite small hotel; she knew the owner. It was dreamy. The wood-shuttered window in our room opened out over the city. Standing there, looking over the terra cotta roofs to the surrounding golden hills felt outside of time. Voices of children playing and the steady hum of city life was all we could hear; no cars, no TVs, no cell phones.
That first morning, I sat on the stone ledge of the window watching the sun rise over Tuscany. My daughters were still asleep. And then, suddenly, the glorious peal of myriad church bells rang out across the city. My daughters stirred in their bed. At about the fifth chime, my eldest lifted her head, bleary-eyed, and pointedly said to me, “Will you stop those damned bells!!!” And to emphasize her great displeasure, she slammed her head back down, grunting and pulling the pillow over her ears.
So, yeah. Dad really nailed it. There’s little doubt my daughters will always remember that July in Florence and the Uffizi and those damned, infernal bells. Oh, and let’s not forget the ridiculously bad wi-fi. Like I said, it’s the little things.
But, of course, we ate like kings. Which, admittedly, isn’t hard in Tuscany; eating gelato sitting on the edge of a marble fountain doesn’t suck. So – it being July in Carrboro – I figured that there really wasn’t a better time of year for the Acme Staycation World Tour to drop down in Italy. These lazy, languid days of summer just beg for olive oil and tomatoes and sweet melon. Not to mention a perfectly chilled bottle of wine. And then just put that on repeat. But, you know, maybe lose the bells.
The Acme Staycation World Tour, The Italian Leg. Sweet melon & paper thin Carolina country ham with a mint vinaigrette. Perfect tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar reduction. Bruschetta with tuna caponata and slow-cooked tomato jam. Summer vegetable lasagna with basil ricotta and fresh mozzarella. Scallop and calamari risotto with oregano, grilled lemon, and summer squash. Fresh corn panna cotta with wild blackberry whipped cream. Drooling is ok. Because it’s going to be delicious. All weekend long. Capisce?
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme