A week of Italian anecdotes

Starting with the all-lucky Friday the 13th of March, I present you with an entire week of Italian anecdotes. Come along for this wild ride!

Friday, March 13th
Marco, the really cool other Italian WWOOFer moved on to his various other adventures today. Surprisingly, Lizzie and I seem to be doing alright without his linguistic assistance. Although, of course, we do miss him! Today we had more olive tree trimming and also lots of cooking in the kitchen.

Saturday, March 14th
Anna, Lizzie, and I marched off to a beautiful organic farm whose proprietors Antonio and Chiara are good friends of our host family’s. They have a truly incredible setup with a bed and breakfast, small local shop, and even boardrooms for the various volunteers that come to help on their farm. They were so kind and welcoming to us. They shared a bottle delicious peach juice with us, told us stories, and listened patiently while we brutishly butchered their beautiful language.
At their lovely little shop on-site, Anna (seen below), bought us all chocolate bars 😀 thank you, Anna!

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Swear words are a part of life in Italy. I myself have been called several, mostly when I got us all lost following a GPS map to Chiara and Antonio’s farm on their iPad. Don’t go judging me; Italy is difficult to navigate! First, the scenery is gorgeous so you are always looking away from the map. And secondly, the streets are all named differently from what the map reads. Oh, and thirdly, you give the directions in Italian! Sinistra, destra, sinistra, destra… Mah, stressful that!

Sunday, March 15th
We got to relax today, this holy day. So we took Winny, their dog, for a walk through Illasi. Winny was exuberant, the entire 1.5 hours. We also managed to do a bit of exercise in Vittorio and Anna’s garden. It was beautifully sunny, but a bit cold. So, quasi (an Italian word) perfect.

If there were sofas, mugs, and coffee around me instead of beautiful vineyards, I would be a perfect hipster. Hashtag: coldweathercallsfordesperatemeasures

If there were sofas, mugs, and coffee around me instead of beautiful vineyards, I would be a perfect hipster. Hashtag: coldweathercallsfordesperatemeasures

Illasi, the town in which we reside, is rather small with a maximum 5,000 inhabitants. But it’s really charming! Also, its nickname is the city of vines, which makes perfect sense. The ratio of vineyards to people would be close to 5,000:1. Imagine.

Piety, take it seriously

Piety, seriously

One of many beautiful villas scattering the gorgeous panoramas

One of many beautiful villas scattering the gorgeous panoramas

Delicious pizza tonight! Italian pizza just tastes natural, fresh, and real. That’s because it is.

Monday, March 16th
Due to the rain here in Illasi, the olive grove was not an option. Vittorio said that we would be taking a bath out there if we trimmed today. I guess the leaves retain a lot of the moisture! So, we are cleaning the house instead. And painting birds on window curtains! IMG_0072After dinner and dishes, Vittorio taught Lizzie and I how to…? Yep, you guess it! Make pasta. This pasta is called “bigoli” which is dialect for “buccoli”, which would mean holey in English. Holey macaroni!

To make the holes in the pasta, the torquing tool forced the pasta through this little guy

To make the holes in the pasta, the torquing tool forced the pasta through this little guy


The finished product was as delicious as you could imagine

The finished product was as delicious as you could imagine

Tuesday, March 17th
More rain. Speaking of, happy St. Patrick’s day! We didn’t do anything today. Actually, we painted more birds and I washed windows and Lizzie ironed clothes. Not bad! And then we ate our delicious dinner at 9:30pm. This is typical for Italy, a late, late, but delicious dinner. It makes for a gassy morning, that’s for certain.

Wednesday, March 18th
More olive trees and olive trees, oh! And olive trees. I figure from here we will be done in a year or so.

IMG_0094 IMG_0098Hard work never goes unrewarded (actually it usually does), though. Anna made this delicious cake from a contraption that cooks on a stovetop hub! Terrific.


Thursday, March 19th
Today was mostly a day of cappuccini. And of course one of olive tree trimming in both the morning and the afternoon! After a while, one’s neck starts to stiffen and one’s back gives way. That’s not so pleasant, but the trimming itself totally is! We have also added a fermenting agent to the sweet spring wine made from the grapes that we pressed a week ago. It smells… yummy, but it’s definitely not ready. I can just tell these things.

Anna teaching me the technique

Anna teaching me the technique


Friday, March 20th
Lizzie and I, with zero experience, made kiwi jam this morning!! We peeled over 100 kiwis, measured the sugar and pectin, and voila! JAM.



Tucking the kids in for bedtime

We also had a quasi solar eclipse, which was really cool. It made the animals go mad crazy, yo.




After the kiwi jam making and solar eclipses from this morning, Anna invited Lizzie and me to accompany her to an adjacent town called Soave. I loved it. Why? Because it has a castle. One of only three castles in all of Italy that has undergone almost no refurbishing since its initial construction. It is beautiful. As Anna had work here, Lizzie and I were left to explore this suave town! Two coffees each, three scoops of gelato, crepes, and wonderful adventuring about sums this delightful afternoon up.

Yeah I spilled my gelato on myself.

Yeah, spilled my gelato on myself.

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Buona sera, Soave!

Buona sera, Soave!

Saturday March 21st
I can’t very well remember what we did today. I’ll consult Lizzie’s quasi daily diary… Ah, yes! How could I forget, we planted peas. Ten humungous rows of ’em. Back breaking labor that. But it was fulfilling in the end. 30 grams of pea seeds makes 30 kilograms of peas?? Incredible. I hope they like peas, please.

Doin' farmin'

Doin’ farmin’


Lizzie and I also laminated today. Annnnd, I bought myself a real made-in-Italy espresso maker. YES YES YES. Thank you Anna for helping me accomplish my sole objective in Italy. Oh also, did I mention what we had after dinner? Aside from three different types of wine, we also had real Italian tiramisú:


Well, it was a brilliant week with more stories than I could even fit into this post. But hopefully you now have a good taste of what we have been up to these last three delicious weeks. Oh, and don’t forget, in vino veritas. That’s Italian, isn’t it?

Okay, well ciao for now!!


About Jarett Bigej

"It is impossible to eat an ice cream cone in a masculine way."
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One Response to A week of Italian anecdotes

  1. Brianne Bigej says:

    yahoo! thanks for the update brother! 🙂



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