During my time in Italy I interned and stayed at Casa Caponetti. It consist of a bed & breakfast, cooking school and organic olive tree farm. Their olive oil is the best I've ever tasted! You can purchase cans of it online or if you live in the Kansas City area you can find it at Jasper's Marco Polo Restaurant. The Caponetti family also sells organic preserves they make from their gardens.
One of my jobs during the intership was to clear the ground area around the base of the olive trees and trim the inner branches to get ready for harvest. I really would have loved to have been there to help with the harvest. My stay in Italy was May through July and olives are harvested in November or December. To harvest the olives they place nets on the ground around the trees and scrape the olives with rakes into the nets.
I planted and maintained two large gardens containing zucchini, melanzane (eggplants), carciofi (artichokes), cetrioli (cucumbers), pomodori (tomatoes), fagiolini (green beans), insalate (lettuce), angurie (watermelons)...
In Italy everything is used or eaten when in season. That's why everything taste so fresh and delicious! While I was there I got to harvest or make preserves with fragole (strawberries), plums, carciofi (artichokes), insalate (lettuce), arugula, walnuts...
These are the women I worked with in the kitchen. None of them spoke a word of English which helped me learn more Italian!
This is the Caponetti's kitchen where they teach cooking classes and prepare wonderful meals for their guest.
I was given the pleasure of meeting journalist & author, Andreas English, whom accompanies the Pope in his travels. He saved me numerous times from working in the summer heat by taking me swimming and boating at Lago di Bolsena!
Lago di Bolsena is the largest volcanic lake in Europe. And because of it's volcanic origins the lake has black sand. It also has two islands, Bisentina and Martana. Andreas and I swam around the entire island of Bisentina!
Lago di Bolsena / Bisentina Island
What kind of accommodation do you prefer while traveling: hotel, B&B, staying with friends or family?
Do you seek local and organic foods?
Have you ever taken a cooking class or have an interest in taking one?
Have you traveled to any interesting places or met any interesting people during your travels?