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A Special Sendoff

November 9, 2018

It’s nearly two months since we left beautiful Croatia, and I’m finally getting around to wrapping up this series of posts.

It was sad to leave lovely Opatije. I could have stayed another week just walking the Promenade, taking the sun on the rocks and ducking out to visit the picturesque towns of the Istrian Riviera — not to mention devouring more white truffle pasta. But our final drive back to Venice was not without excitement.

Once back in Italy, we stopped for our farewell lunch at Agriturismo Lunardelli, a family wine-making enterprise. Luigi, patriarch of the family, greeted us warmly and poured glasses of the best moscato I’ve ever had: refreshing and not too sweet. We toured the winery before lunch, and Luigi treated us to an impromptu concert (scroll to the bottom).

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Roberta, Luigi’s daughter, is the chef, and what a delectable meal we had! Antipasti of cheeses and homemade salumi, a perfect Caprese salad and gnocchi with pumpkin, sage and a hint of Gorgonzola. I could have eaten that gnocchi all day and into the night.  After multiple desserts and coffee, we trundled back into the car and made our way to Marco Polo International Airport, where we said tearful goodbyes to Ivana and Livio, who took such good care of us this week.

What a satisfying trip this was: for Jama, her first visit to Venice, and for both of us our maiden voyage to Croatia, a place to which we’d love to return and explore. And here’s Luigi, who as a boy wanted to be an opera singer, but his father didn’t approve. So he uses the wonderful acoustics of the winery to make his magic.

And so to the next adventure. Watch this space in January… or before.

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