April is one of my favorite months. In 2015, we took our honeymoon and we’ve been traveling in April ever since. After a bit of a hiatus (with the rest of the world), we’re back on the road, and what an adventure it has been. We spent a few weeks in Italy. Our three week Italy itinerary included the following:
- 4 nights at Borgo dei Conti resort in Umbria
- 2 nights at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco near Montalcino
- 2 nights at Borgo Pignano resort near Volterra
- 3 nights in Florence for Easter
- 4 nights in Bologna and Parma
- 2 nights in Cortona
- 1 night in Rome
All in all, it was a great way to slow down and enjoy some of the smaller towns in Italy. We also enjoyed the pageantry of Easter in Florence. Getting back to Rome was a little bit crazy, but we survived.
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EATING | All of the things. We started a fitness challenge with my mom at the beginning of April. I won the first challenge, but I’ve lost my edge. I need to get back on track, but I’m really terrible at that when things are stressful. The only good thing I can say is that I have mostly been staying in my intermittent fasting window without too much trouble. Sometimes that gets really tough if I eat too many carbs, but I feel like I’ve been getting plenty of protein with my carbs.
Almost entirely water and a little bit of wine. My current favorite red wine is the Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino (2015). If you are a white wine person, I’m loving Trebbiano Spolentino from Bocale and Cantina Cimate in Umbria.
Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy will premier tomorrow! He’s heading to Umbria, so you might learn more about some of these wines. Umbria is considered to the green heart of Italy with some of the best food. We have really enjoyed visiting wineries and trying the local meats in this area. Valentino, pictured below, is one of the most amazing hosts. You should go visit his winery near Montefalco.
Sadly, I haven’t been doing much reading lately…. unless my previous submitted RFPs count. Maybe we can throw in the 2022 Relais & Chateaux Italy guide, too. It goes nicely with the wine.
Our new painting. It seriously brings me so much joy and its emboldened us to start doing a little more work on the art front. (Stay tuned!) This morning I moved the framed photo that was in its place to the master bathroom and I love it, too. I’ve been thinking about getting things on the wall for so long that it just feels good to have made progress on it. Our home is very us and feels very inviting, but adding art just hits differently.
I’m a broken record. The Marta Scarampi capes were on repeat for me throughout April. I even found ways to wear them with sleeveless shirts and not feel totally ridiculous, so they may become a year-round staple for me.
I’m going to take a week-long pastry class at the Ritz Paris Escoffier this summer. I really enjoyed the one-day class that I took and Tom really loves Paris, so we decided that it would be the perfect thing to do. I feel like I have a certain attachment to this because it’s the world coming full circle.
We went for dessert and drinks at the Ritz Paris in December 2019. I bought Francois Perret’s Ritz Pastry book in 2020 when we couldn’t travel. Last summer, we had dinner (and more desserts) at Bar Vendome shortly after France reopened in 2021. We had a few more Ritz pastry adventures throughout the winter. And now I’m learning to make those incredible pastries that kept me inspired when we couldn’t travel.
The only thing I have to figure out is where we are going to stay. The prices at the Park Hyatt Paris and the Hotel du Louvre are pretty steep during that time. I’d like to try a new arrondissement, just to help us continue exploring new restaurants in Paris (though I love our favorites so much). We’re also thinking about tacking on a few days in the Alsace after the class ends, though I think I would like to go to Normandy as well.
We’ll see. Life is but a great adventure.