The Italian adventure has come to an end for the Rea family.  The final week of the trip was in Gorga about 60 kilometers southeast of Rome.  One of the highlights was attending the large festival honoring the patron saint of Gorga, San Domenico, who lived during the 10th and 11th centuries.  A large feast was eaten with family at 1:00a.m. after the festival!

Enjoying food after San Domenico festival 

Chef’s maternal grandparents emigrated from Gorga in 1906 and he still has distant cousins living in Gorga.  The Rea’s spent time with family and enjoyed the beauty of the area. In spite of all the great food some of the family did have to indulge in McDonald’s! (not Chef of course!)   You will see from the picture that the Italian McDonald’s are automated and state-of-the-art!

Italian McDonalds


On their last night in Italy, the Rea’s reminisced about their favorite meal while on this extended trip. Each of them shared food experiences that were really memorable… the tiramisu and the wild boar at the Argitourismo, the rigatoni and pizza at Zia Rosa’s, cousin Maddalena’s pastries in Casarea, the fettuccine with truffles that Matteo’s grandfather gathered, (see prior blog posts) the prosciutto hanging in cousin Franco’s cellar, or Cousin Anna’s stuffed zucchini in Gorga… all reinforcing the fact that food brings people together. There’s practically no such thing as a “to go” cup in Italy and eating is almost always an event! The highlight of the trip was eating together, sharing family history, and creating memories.

Prosciutto in cellar

Prosciutto from cellar and wheel of cheese

Fresh cannelloni in Italy

And finally when they returned home, they had a big “homecoming” meal with Chef’s mom and relatives who had been staying with her while Chef and family were away, again reinforcing the love and joy of family. . . . .particularly gathered around the dining table!


The children will have great stories to share with friends for years to come and of course chef returns to work inspired by generations of family who have a love of food and serving others!

Chef enjoying dinner at home with family

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