Recent Italian Trip


 
Just returned from yet another lovely trip to Calabria in Southern Italy.   This was our 12th annual trip, many of the group have been on all occasions as trips like this are popular; we  share an interest/passion for needlepoint; enjoy the unique opportunity to stitch in attractive surroundings and as far as possible have an all-in price.   All of them, besides being enthusiastic stitchers are great photographers.   I have been the recipient of many, many beautiful memories of the trip and it will be difficult job to select those that I include in this blog.

Calabria is still a relatively unknown area of Italy, Pirapora the Agro tourism family run place we go is on the West coast looking out across the beautiful turquoise sea to Stromboli and the island of Sicily.    This year both the weather and the visibility were perfect, the sunsets over Stromboli – were picture perfect; 

Each year during the winter months when there are no guests lovely improvements are made to both the accommodation and the community areas; this time the terrace where we sit and stitch had been tiled and the tables nestled under sun shades.

With many returners it is somewhat of a challenge to think of stitching that will appeal to the whole group.   This year we decided to introduce a small piece which became known as The Adventure.   Everyone chose a coloured 18 mesh canvas 10 inches square; the threads that went with their colour choice were all identical eg there was a stranded cotton a Watercolour a Splendid etc all in their colour scheme.   Their kits were a secret until the first morning when they opened them and began to think of design ideas to create and enjoy.   

Thankfully it was a tremendous success as you can see from both the group photo taken on the last day and details of the individual pieces.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There were Christmas themes, meticulous stitches panels, and inspiration from a large leaf that floated down.  Each person was able to develop their piece with frequent, positive feedback from the group along with an extensive selection of stitch books and samples.  We all had fun.

 

I find that stitching is a hungry making activity and a joy of Pirapora is the food, all the vegetables, fruit and the jams, cheeses are grown or made on the farm and we get to enjoy them at each of the delicious meals.   

Breakfast is always homemade yoghurt, honey and jams, freshly baked bread, eggs just collected and great coffee.   Lunch is usually a salad, tomatoes off the vine, salamis or pasta, melon and figs.   Dinner always starts with a delicious pasta followed by fabulous vegetables meat and fish.   Once a week there is a pizza night; very popular with the children of fellow guests who are encouraged to help with the preparation and some of the locals who, on that one night, come in to share the fun.    The pizza bases are thin, crisp and delicious and the variety of toppings is equally so – I think there are at least 12 different, both savoury and sweet    I didn’t mention the wine, also home brewed, the white is particularly drinkable, beer on pizza night if you prefer and after dinner Limoncello popular with my stitchers, they are sure it helps them sleep rather that counting canvas threads.

At present we are well advanced in planning two similar trips in 2020.   The first in May, dates to be finalised and later on, in September 8 – 17 when we already have people signed on.   Do let me know if you would like further details.



 

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