One of the most memorable New Year’s Eve celebrations I actually have ever attended became in Pietralunga, Italy. My husband, Bert, and I had left the States the day after Christmas and arrived at our house, Caifiordi, on Dec. Twenty seventh. Our initial plan were to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve with a home cooked Italian meal through the fire at Caifiordi. Nothing incorrect with that plan; it’d have been delightful. Our experience of journey took over, but, whilst we heard that one of the resorts in Pietralunga had a massive New Year’s Eve party which include dinner and dance. At this factor in time, our Italian was deplorable so we had been very uncertain as to the information of this birthday celebration. The simplest factor we knew for certain turned into the location. So we wearing our finery and made our way to the Candeletto, the Swiss looking inn within the visitor zone out of doors Pietralunga.
We arrived a touch after eight, which we thought could be in step with the ordinary Italian custom of eating dinner late. We additionally arrived without reservations, some thing we by no means even needful. Of direction, as our good fortune could have it, the restaurant changed into full, no longer a spare seat to be visible, and the antipasti changed into already being served. An understanding eating place manager, realizing that we were strangers, confirmed the exuberant Umbrian hospitality I have come to recognize and love. He speedy set up a table for 2 close to a much large organization, served us antipasti and wine and otherwise settled us into an extended evening of food and festivities.
And then the food. There are virtually no phrases to describe the fine and amount of the meals we ate that nighttime or the flourish with which each path was offered. The antipasti consisted of various conventional meats and cheeses, olives, and crostini (small rounds of baquette blanketed with spreads made of fowl pate, olive paste or vegetable pate). Then the pasta-no longer one type however . The first with a white sauce and the local procini mushrooms so particularly prized on this a part of Umbria. The second with a heartier crimson ragu sauce. In between the publications, within the Italian manner, changed into time to interact in communication and those watching-probable designed as an useful resource to the digestion. Now the meat direction-stunning portions of beef, lamp, and bird-with vegetable facet dishes. Then the salad served within the European custom remaining as an resource to digestion. Following that were fruit and cakes. Throughout we have been served numerous white and crimson wines to supplement each path and, just on the stroke of middle of the night, a tumbler of prosecco (the Italian glowing wine) arrived. We all went outdoor onto the terrace in which we might appearance down onto the lighting of Pietralunga. We had sparklers to waive even as we drank our prosecco, the bells rang out and every person wanted every other “auguri”-“anno nuovo felice”-congratulations, glad new 12 months.
Back interior, just when I thought we might be leaving for fire and domestic, espresso was served and the dancing started out. And, oh, do the Italians dance. Grandmothers dance with granddaughters; men with men; ladies with girls; old men with more youthful kids; lovers with lovers. In truth, all and sundry in the location was dancing except for the only two Americans there-my husband and me. We did not realize the dances being danced-the mazurka, the Viennese waltz, the polka. So, I tapped my foot in time with the music. In the interim, we had made friends with the large organization seated subsequent to us-no person deterred by the lack of a mutual language. At one point, with an inquiring glance towards my husband, one of the men took me onto the dance ground where I stumbled thru a polka-each quite exciting for others to watched and being particularly entertained by means of the natural joy of the occasion. And the Italians dance for hours. Once begun, the dancing lasted till the wee hours of the morning while exhausted and crammed like the proverbial Christmas goose, Bert and I went home to sleep for nearly a whole day. It takes a remarkable degree of stamina to have fun Italian style.