May 3, 2013

Buon Aperitivo on Lake Como

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:58 pm by newsurroundings

Sometimes a brief encounter can really make your day.  That’s what happened in Bellagio, Italy, when my friend, Gina, and I stopped in a little shop with a sign outside offering “degustazioni” (tastings).  The shop, La Boutique Del Buon Gusto (the Boutique of Good Flavor), was small but packed with typical Italian delicacies and Italian wines- cheeses, breads, biscotti, wine, grappas, nuts.  The owners, Alberto and Antonella, were generous with their samplings and we were having so much fun tasting everything (especially the limoncello- wow!)

We picked out a few items and then Alberto invited us down in his wine cellar for an “aperitivo”.  He opened a bottle of Chianti and pulled out a big roll of salami that had just arrived that day and was absolutely delicious.  We had our own private happy hour- right after lunch.  Alberto spoke almost exclusively in Italian and it was fun for me to try to converse and translate for Gina.  Much of the time, I was just nodding and saying, “Si, si”, as if I understood.  It’s not often that you get this kind of experience when visiting another country, which makes it really special when it happens.  After the grappa and wine tasting, we were really giddy and in a buying mood.  We bought so much that we asked them to hold it for us till the end of the day.


After walking around Bellagio and shopping and taking in the beautiful scenery, we bought our ferry tickets to return to Menaggio and then home to Lugano.  The shop was up the hill from the ferry stop and Gina, always thoughtful, offered to go back and pick up our things because my foot was hurting.  Antonella took a picture of Gina carrying our bags and put it on Facebook- good advertising for them.  Under the picture she had written, “Oggi non sono mancate le risate, il buon umore, incontri internazionale e sacchetti che uscivando dalla La Boutique Del Buon Gusto”.  Translation- “Today there have been laughs, good humor, international meetings, and bags that came from La Boutique Del Buon Gusto”.   So true!