Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving in Tuscany

This week Americans celebrate Thanksgiving – the holiday that truly belongs to everyone. As an American I have maintained this wonderful tradition here in Italy, sharing its meaning and its delicious food with my acquired family and closest friends. It is a day dedicated to expressing gratitude for the things we have, and taking pleasure in being with our loved ones. Of course, gathering around a plentiful table to enjoy a roasted turkey with all the trimmings is an essential part of the ritual.

In the US many people must travel to reunite with their families, all too often scattered around the country. Perhaps this is part of the reason that there has been a growing trend to combine the Thanksgiving celebration with a family vacation. In essence, it is an ideal occasion to meet somewhere beautiful to enjoy the holiday.

Tuscany offers a great setting for such a get together. A beautiful villa in the countryside can serve as a fabulous home away from home. Dinner can be prepared in a spacious, fully-equipped kitchen – or a chef can come in to do the honors. Elegant dining rooms can accommodate a large number of guests in grand style, while providing a unique atmosphere. The group can also participate in other activities and excursions to complete the vacation and spend quality time together.

November is still a great month to visit this lovely region. The autumn colors and numerous local festivals make it very worthwhile. Airfares are lower than at other times of the year, as are the villa rental costs. It’s no wonder that we have seen a growing number of reservations by Americans for this very special holiday. In response, local stores have started to carry traditional ingredients and Italian chefs have mastered the art of preparing a heavenly stuffed turkey – with all the proper trimmings! Visitors and even expats (who would prefer not to cook) can now find plenty of restaurants that offer a great Thanksgiving dinner.

So, if you have ever thought about going away to celebrate Thanksgiving – keep Tuscany in mind. You might be one of those people who does it once – and then keeps coming back year after year!

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