Being in Italy this week has brought my attention back to the basic Italian culture of fresh, local food, eating in a relaxed, leisurely way and always with a bottle, can or jar of local olive oil.

For me, I tend to eat fast to get on with the next event but here in Italy, it’s about eating, spending time with your friends or family and enjoying stimulating conversation – or at least try to understand – when the language is Italian.

I spent a few days with dear friends, Barbara and Alessandro in an adorable town called Scanscano.  Barbara, who also is my wonderful Italian teacher, invited some of her local friends for dinner one night.  It was a great experience watching and trying to understand the conversation.

But what I did understand is the beauty of friends chatting about everything from their day to politics while enjoying delicious food and each other: the other component of the Mediterranean diet that doesn’t get discussed as much as it should.

When I got back to my place in Chianti on Sunday, I went to dinner and was again witness to the connections of family and friends chatting, eating and hanging out with each other.

Finding time to connect with friends, old and new, contributes to a healthy, happy life.

As I sat alone watching everyone having a great time, I was overwhelmingly grateful to my family and friends and my husband who is generous enough to hold down the fort at home while I go on my adventure.

Cheers to making time to connect with your tribe!

Ciao for now,



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