I just tell you – I am quite the romantic! I mean, so much so that I didn’t have a card, a plan or a clue this past Valentine’s day. But I just knew something would work out!
“Sure hope Daddy has something special planned for us”
I figured, what better way to start a romantic Valentine’s day than finalizing one of our last major tasks – car shopping. Thanks to my new best friend – the internet – we found a car in a town about 40 minutes away. So we piled in and headed over. After some intense negotiating (and let me tell you – your author was winning like Tyson versus Spinks) we built up an appetite. We asked the salesperson for directions to a local pizzeria (having not eaten delicious Italian-style pizza for a full week). He asked if we wanted pizza, or we wanted to eat like a local. That was a no-brainer and we answered at the same time in Italian (my accent, perfect – Jen’s not so much) that we wanted to eat like the locals. He gave us directions and we set our coordinates to GO.
“Welcome to La Pioppa”
Within about 10 minutes, we pulled up to an Agriturismo called La Pioppa (La Pioppa’s Website). A couple years ago, we learned that an Agriturismo is essentially a cottage, ranch, farm or farmhouse that has working agricultural operations combined with tourism in order to provide a charming and authentic setting for it’s guests. We have great family friends that run a beautiful Agriturismo called, Il Ghiaccio (Il Ghiacco’s Wesbite). We spent a wonderful week in Tuscano (Tuscany) at Il Ghiaccio a couple years ago.
Fireworks overtop Il Ghiacco in 2010
I was a bit naive to think that Agristurismo’s only existed in Tuscano and have since learned they are not only all over Italy – but actually all over Europe. As we learned more recently, some Agriturismo’s focus on the agricultural, others the lodging (hosting private guest kitchens), others dining and others still a combination of the three.
Ducks freezing their butts on a pond
Lunch time for the horses too
This guy’s got to wait his turn
“Sure hope I’m not on the menu today!”
La Pioppa seemed to have an emphasis on the farming and dining, with only a couple rooms above the restaurant. But business must be booming because we noticed an entirely new building of rooms under construction.
After enjoying some time with the animals (Julia couldn’t pick a favorite), we headed in for our meal. A pre-fix menu for €11 gave us a prima (first), secondo (second), water, wine, coffee and a dessert.
Jen ordered the Ravioli con Carne al Sugo di Pomodoro (meat ravioli with a tomato sauce) and I got the Pasta alla Carbonara (a pasta based with eggs and parmigiano cheese). Or maybe it was the other way around… either way, I ate the lion’s share of both.
Paccheri Pasta alla Carbonara
Ravioli al Sugo
Next was a Bresaola (an air-dried, aged beef thinly sliced) along with Patate Fritte (french fries) fried in olive oil and Salsiccia e Fagioli (sausages and beans).
Salsiccia e Fagioli
For dessert, a Panna Cotta al Cioccolato (panna cotta with chocolate) and then… you guessed it, our coffee!
Beautiful water goblet
Some more time spent playing with the animals for Julia and then we were on our way. This will be a must-return visit when the weather is warmer to really enjoy the outdoors. I’d sure say that La Pioppa saved the day – the Valentine’s Day, that is! I even got credit for organizing a wonderful day!