|

Benvenuti (welcome) Tour

Last week my husband and I attended Right Start, which is a week-long program that introduces you to your new base. Basically, people come in from alllllll of the different departments and they explain, step-by-step, how to in-process, as well as clarifying what each particular office does and how to find them. It was a fantastic class and even though jet lag definitely caught up with us during that time, I was extremely impressed with this base’s Airman and Family Readiness Center; I especially appreciated that they encourage spouses to attend. 

Not only did they get us familiar with our new base, but they also took us on a much-needed tour of the area. After feeling an almost reverse culture shock when I first got here, and then being cooped up in a room last week, I desperately needed to see Italy. Luckily, the tour was exactly what I needed to get me out of my funk. 

This was our map for the day, and all I can say is that I’m glad I wasn’t driving!

0930_0369ed.jpg

We started off by going to a place near us called Gorgazzo (Gore-gah-tso).  It’s a classic Italian town with teeny roads, brick facades on all the structures, a great-looking restaurant, cobblestone roads, and it was complete with a shrine to Mary. 

0930_0384edit.jpg

0930_0380edit.jpg

It has a little spring running through the town and ends with a pond, where it’s said there’s a statue of Jesus at the bottom. Apparently on Christmas day, locals adorn the statue with lights so that He’s illuminated. I’ll have to report back.

0930_0390edit.jpg

The lighting was gorgeous and a goose graced us with its presence. 

0930_0387edit.jpg

0930_0392edit.jpg

After our quick stop, we hopped back on the bus and made our way to a market in Porcia (Poor-chee-ah)! Each town has a market once a day, every week. It was great to experience a market, and it made me anxious to check out the one in our (hopeful) town.

0930_0394edit.jpg

0930_0395ed.jpg

Stands were overflowing with fruit and veggies, flower, fish, meat, cheese, other local produce, and everything—and I mean everything—in between. (I didn’t take pictures of the lingerie, curtain, knick-knack or other stands…I’ll have to go back and do a whole other post on that someday!) 

0930_0396ed.jpg

0930_0397ed.jpg

0930_0400ed.jpg
perfectly sweet local honey I bought

0930_0402ed.jpg
CHEESE!
0930_0404edit.jpg

Once we had our share of the market it was off to Pordenone (Poor-den-own-eh) for some very necessary coffee. The java here is great, but I need to figure out how to get the perfect ratio of espresso to milk. Every drink I’ve had has either been way too strong (even with packets of sugar dumped in) or way too milky. I need to find that balance asap. 

0930_0371ed.jpg

Our tour guides, Christina and Sergio, were wonderful and took us on a little walking tour of the area. 

0930_0414edit.jpg

0930_0411edit.jpg

0930_0413.jpg
Pordenone’s City Hall
0930_0415.jpg
The Duomo of San Marco: built around the 13th century in a Gothic-Romanesque style. The spear alone is 70 meters tall. The bottom level was used as a jail, and later as wine celler.

We viewed a gorgeous church, St. Mark’s Cathedral. It’s amazing how ornate and beautiful even the simplest churches are here in Italy. I forgot how much I love them; I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more. 

0930_0423edit.jpg
Amazing alter.

0930_0417edit.jpg
loved the angels!

0930_0418edit.jpg
Stunning, and at the same time, a very interesting lectern.

0930_0421edit.jpg
I lit a candle and said a prayer for good health for all of our friends and family back home.

Lunch was up next. I hate to say this, but I wasn’t very impressed with the food where we went. It tasted like they made it for a large group of people in a cafeteria setting or something, but I took pictures of it anyway. The house wine on the table, however, was pretty good. So good that I forgot to snap a picture…whoops! 

Picnik-collage3.jpg
Ristorante al Ciasa de Gahja (I’d like to go back there and try their food again when we’re not in a large group)

Despite a mediocre lunch, we still chowed down and cleaned our plates, and really wished for a nap. Instead of dozing off, we had one more very important stop to make…

0930_0446edit.jpg
The Alpi e Prealpi Carniche (The “Pre Alps” is the backdrop to our new town!)

The winery! This particular winery, Podere Gelisi Antonio in Villotte di San Quirino, has a sweet deal with the base here. The winemaker does 56 percent of his sales to military bases around the world. And every Friday he lets the Benvenuti Tour stop by for a sample of his wines.

0930_0450ed.jpg

0930_0454ed.jpg

…and when I say “sample” I really mean he lets you have full glasses of his 13 varieties of vino to try. Not only that, but the bottles are cheap—three euro (around $5) cheap. We couldn’t beat that deal, so we walked out of there with a half dozen bottles. I hear we can get even cheaper and better tasting wine at some of the local stores, so we’re pretty excited about that.

0930_0458ed.jpg

0930_0456ed.jpg
0930_0459ed.jpg

0930_0461ed.jpg

In my opinion, although the wine was tasty, the views were even more remarkable. This was the Italy I’ve been waiting for:

0930_0447edit.jpg

0930_0444edit.jpg

0930_0475edit.jpg

This weekend we’re hoping to head out of town and make our way to Venice! Until next time…Ciao 🙂

Similar Posts

12 Comments

  1. I love your blog! The photos you posted of Italy are amazing!! I so want to go back, espically loved the market ones! I hope I can find the wine on on P's post when I visit next month 🙂

  2. Such beautiful pictures…it's interesting about the food…my son travels to Italy often and has not been impressed with the food. He may just be spoiled because we are all good cooks! Enjoy the fabulous views though!

  3. I'm glad you're starting to love Italy. 🙂 My mom went to Italy once and said it was amazing so I can only imagine what living there would be like. Ciao, bella!

    PS. Oh yea, I took some Italian…if you need help 😉

  4. AH, I am so jealous! I at least want to visit Italy once in my life. Thank you so much for the post and how to say the words!!

  5. Your pictures are wonderful! I am so jealous that you will be able to go to a local market to get fresh fish, produce, fruits, etc. When I go visit, you MUST take me there!!!
    (and to some winery's too!!!)

  6. I'm so glad that you guys have something like this. I'm a west coast girl, and although we didn't move to a diffrent country, we moved to a diffrent coast and was so lost when we first got here! I love your pictures!

  7. Great blog! So glad I found it. My husband and I just moved to Germany exactly one month ago and it is quite the adjustment….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.