Sunday, June 9, 2013


Well, it wasn't so easy to find, since Zia Graziella's home restaurant is located kind of in the middle of a field at the end of a nameless dirt road. You only know to turn there if you can see the homemade wooden sign with the fading letters. We had read about it in Toni DeBella's blog, "Orvieto or Bust," after having met Toni, herself, at an expat gathering the previous night.

We are usually slow to swing into action even after reading a "rave" review, but Jim was feeling adventurous, and since moving to Italy, I am learning to be less of a poop.

At first we weren't sure we were at the right house, since the only evidence of life was two cute dogs. There was another house up the hill, so we turned back to see if that could be where Graziella hangs out. A nice gentleman came out of his house while chewing his own dinner to reassure us that our first stop had been the right place. He apparently has to redirect a lot of lost seekers of Zia G's great cuisine, which is known to be a favorite of movie folks like Richard Gere, Martin Scorsese, and Richard Fox of Warner Brothers.

When we got back to the first house, there she was in her white apron and cap, wondering why we had disappeared. Not only were there no movie stars in evidence that Saturday night;there were no other patrons but us. But we still got the royal treatment--an unforgettable experience! Six different kinds of pizza kept coming, culminating in a white mashed potato and a cacio e pepe made with a special local cheese.

Graziella is adorable and as generous with cooking tips as she is with her food and homemade wines. She is justly proud of her skills, showing us the components of the banquet for thirty-five she would singlehandedly be serving the next day.

It was indeed an adventure and a chance to make three new friends:Zia Graziella, Agatha, and Agatha's four-footed sister who I'm sure will forgive me for not remembering her name--another of those increasingly frequent Senior Moments. Full of life and culinary wisdom, Graziella does not seem to be troubled by too many of those!

PS:Now, if you were these three photos, why would two of you decide to present yourselves sideways? As a self-proclaimed techno-dunce, I would never pretend to know the answer. But when I posed the question to the techno-experts in my family, they gave our all-purpose answer for whenever we have no clue about what's going on:"That would be due to something." Here they come anyway, with apologies for making you have to stand on your nose to see them!

PPS:Addendum--As I look at this again, a few years after the fact, I see that these photos are no longer sideways. How did this miracle occur? I see that they are still distorted, however, and likely to remain so.  Non importa. Italy is teaching me that I need to leave perfectionism to the perfectionists.

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