Direct from Italy! Follow the adventures of two Americans running a villa in Puglia, Italy, and learn all about Italian the culture, people, food and fun. Every week, we’ll share our lives with you and what life in Italy is really like especially for two Americans. From Italian recipes to travel in Italy to interviews with others who share the same Italian spirit, we’ll cover it all. So come along for the ride and discover that life is better when you put a little Italian into it.
065: Paul Cappelli
So, full warning, this is not a happy podcast. But I just wanted to say a little about Paul and thank you all for your support.
For those of you that don’t know, Paul Cappelli passed away this year after a short battle with cancer.
From all of us at the Cappelli family — Steven, Connie, Nikki, Casey, and Logan — we want to thank you all of you so, so much for all your support.
His creative, amazing, loving, and bigger-than-life spirit and love for all things Italian will live on in everything we do at Villa Cappelli. Forever.
064: Translating Pasta
We take a lot of pasta names for granted. Sure, we all enjoy “spaghetti,” but do you know what it means? How about “penne” or “fusilli”?
In this podcast, we talk about the names of various pastas. And in many cases how the name describes the shape.
If you want to see actual pictures of the various pastas, check out all the pics in the show notes.
Also, at the end the podcast, we give you a few cooking tips on pasta.
063: Caremongering, the virus, and gardening — oh my!
The title pretty much says it all. We talk a little more about the coronavirus in Puglia and how Italians are dealing with things. Luckily the medical system here is very good.
We talk Caremongering. A wonderful movement started in Canada. Essentially, it is a movement encouraging acts of kindness or assistance, especially to help vulnerable people, during tough times, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
And while it’s not an Italian expression, the sentiment is totally Italian.
Typically Caremongering revolves about starting your own local Facebook group. The more local, the better, like smaller towns or regions or neighborhoods in big cities.
Typically, posts are divided between two main topics: #iso and #offer. #iso posts are for people "in search of" help, whereas #offer posts are for people offering help.
For example, someone posts they are #iso toilet paper, and a neighbor can drop some off on their porch.
So, since we are spread wide and far in this group, feel free to start your own local Caremongering group!
Not sure how? Here are step-by-step instructions: https://www.facebook.com/help/167970719931213
Then we talk a bit about what we are harvesting from the garden as well as planting.
I’m not sure how we got on the top of canned bread, but I promised pictures in the show notes. So here it is.
062: Our experience with the coronavirus in Italy.
Not much in the way of show notes for this episode guys. And this might be a trend as we focus more on putting out good audio, and not so much on the show notes, so we can do more podcasts.
This episode, we catch you up with what life has been like with the coronavirus here in Italy, and more specifically, Puglia. It is definitely a strange time, but very manageable and fine from our perspective.
Do you have a question you'd like answered? Anything we didn't cover? Let us know in the comments. And we'll give you updates very soon in the next podcast.
Stay safe everyone! Wash and sanitize those hands!
061: Day in the life of running an Italian Villa
In this episode, we try to give you a bit of behind the scenes look at what it’s like to run a villa, especially from the tour and vacation rental aspect.
We cover all sorts of topics, including:
• Breakfasts, as far as what we serve and why a simple breakfast is never a simple breakfast
• Laundry. Again, while for most a load of laundry here and there during their week is a normal chore. There’s nothing normal about it when you have 10 bedrooms of sheets and towels to wash each week. Plus, you have to head down to hang them up to dry, which is another trip in and of itself.
• Meals. How we design meals and cook them, with and without guests. If you’ve ever made a big holiday meal for your family, you probably have some idea the amount of work that goes into that. So when are cooking for say 15 to 20 people each day, the chopping, cooking, and cleaning all add up.
• Touring. Paul is the man who drives everyone around on tours. So after breakfast, he’s driving everyone to the next site and leading the tour at that location. He also sticks with everyone to order everything for each meal, and make sure everyone is taken care of at the restaurant.
• Shopping. This is never a quick task when food shopping in Italy. You could just go to a supermarket, but we never do. So you head to your butcher. Then the local produce vendor (aka farm stand essentially). The baker/breadman. The local cheesemaker. Etc. Etc. Etc. We, of course, have our favorites spread all over town. So Paul is either driving guests around to visit each store during our tour. Or if we are making meals for guests, he is doing the shopping for that.
• Cleaning. This isn’t just about a turnover day, which is always a very long day, but also about during the week. On the turnover day, you have to clean up the whole villa. Which meals cleaning 10 bedrooms, 2 common rooms, the kitchen, and all the outside spaces. During the week, there’s just normal everyday cleaning, but also clean up after a meal with guests. Which if you are serving a four-course meal to 20 people means 80 plates alone, not counting pots, glasses, etc.
• Entertaining. Probably the most fun, but this would include handling happy hour drinks, taking guests on special outings, and at as a concierge.
• Product work. So when we don’t have guests, we switch to making products to sell to mainly the U.S. So this includes, of course, harvesting olives, taking them to the mill, etc. It includes catching up on inventory and making other products like our conserves. It’s putting labels on all the packaging and making sure everything is ready to ship the states. All the stuff you might think of with a business like that.
So, that’s just a bit of our excuse for being so tardy with doing more podcasts, but we do hope to do more very soon!
060: Italian Villa Projects
In this podcast, we catch you up on the projects we’ve been doing at the villa during our “off time” without guests. From major new interviews to unexpected construction, we’ve had a lot going on.