We spent Sunday with Jennifer and Francesco, meeting them at 10am to help pick olives on Francesco's father, Mario's, garden plot. The day started perfectly with a Café Corretto, or espresso with grappa. We then spread nets under the trees and got to work. Very light work mind you - we only managed two trees before heading off for a wonderful lunch at Mario and Gilberta's (Francesco's mother). All the family was there so Mathew and Ana had two boys (Thomaso and Alessandro) to play with. Despite the language difficulties they all got on well.
Lunch was a long affair starting with quiche, then cold meats (prosciutto, salamis and wild boar mini sausages) with bread and new olive oil, then spelt and mushroom soup, followed by lasagna, then spare ribs, chicken and potatoes (that were cooked in the wood fired pizza oven in the middle of the kitchen), then Bistecca alla Fiorentina (massive t-bone steak) cooked on the open fire in the living room. Then there were cheeses with a variety of sauces, then tiramisu made by Jennifer - an unbelievable meal with very good company. We were so warmly welcomed by the family and felt like staying the whole week! It's a great pity we are only making friends now with only four weeks to go.
Here are some pictures from our time picking the olives: