was not an expensive meal out at a fancy restaurant or some outlandish delicacy in an exotic country.
No, it was a span of three weeks at a country farmhouse just north of Rome.
I loved almost all the meals we had in Italy. Dining out in Italy is a delight. One to be savoured.
But more impactful than all those amazing restaurant meals was the Italian home cooking we enjoyed while volunteering through HelpX. In that way, volunteering was priceless – truly an experience not to be bought. There, we had some of the best food we had in all of Italy – homemade, simple and free (well, in exchange for our labour, I suppose. If you want to get all technical about it).
My tastebuds were introduced to the joy of tomatoes and string beans plucked straight from the vine only hours before. The simple indulgence afforded by a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a squirt of balsamic vinegar – a sunshower of cheese, on occasion. Baked eggplant. Grilled courgettes. Salmon swirled through spaghetti. Slippery cushions of ravioli, slick with flavourful goodness. Fresh bread to mop up the remaining oils and sauces. The wonder of burrata.
Italian food alone would have been worth the entire price tag of our trip. I’m only partly kidding.