That sunny Sunday morning offered new experiences. We enjoyed winding through cobble streets, riding a mountain tram, praying in five hundred year old cathedrals, and appreciating the local art work.
The view from the top of Mondovi offered lush green vineyards and olive orchards nestled in the foothills of the Alps. Interspersed within agriculture was architecture revealing red tile roofs with earthy tones made from local resources. Sundials decorated the buildings with hanging baskets of flowers and wrought iron balconies.
Famished from our explorations, the four of us questioned a fellow on the street for a “ristorante.” Giorgio smiled broadly motioning us up a hill to a plaza with a quaint open air café. There he introduced us to his friend the owner of the restaurant and a wide array of Italian cuisine.
We eagerly pointed to items on the menu thinking we would share one of each—a cheese appetizer, a meat appetizer, one pasta dish, a salad, and an entrée. Giorgio slapped the waiter on the back and they both laughed and said something in their beautiful native language.
When our first course, fresh mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, arrived we quickly devoured it with the accompanying bread sticks and olive oil. Next, a platter of naturally-cured meats came just as delicious and filling. By that time, the four of us realized we were receiving one platter with four servings instead of one platter with one serving.
Knowing that it was too late to cancel our pasta and entree orders, we attempted to ask for UNO salad. Sure enough, two huge platters arrived with our parmesan rigatoni and sausage linguini and one small salad. Needless to say, we ended up laughing at our mistake, stuffed with exquisite Italian food, and empty of Euros.
On the way to the train station, we ran into gregarious Giorgio. There he was on the corner waving his hands and shouting. The only thing we understood was “Grazie and Prego.” The rest of his words may have translated to “Thank you! I sure appreciate the kick-back from my restaurant friend. You hungry tourists are always welcome. Please, come again!”