Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! I am happy to report that we finally have the Internets here at Casa Algeo. (Still working on the cable TV, however.) This has measurably improved my quality of life (and drastically reduced my alcohol consumption, since the only place with free WiFi around here is an Irish pub).

Last weekend, we took an embassy-sponsored trip to Spoleto, a beautiful little Umbrian hill town about two hours north of Rome. Spoleto is most famous for its annual summer music festival, but it’s also known for its superior olive oil. We were able to take a tour of an olive oil factory, which was pretty cool.

First, the olives are cleaned, and all the leaves and stems are removed (for the most part).

Then the olives are crushed. This releases a mixture of water and oil (the latter being contained in the pit). This mixture is then spun in a giant centrifuge, which separates the oil from the water, and – voila! – or, ecco!- you’ve got olive oil!

After we toured the olive oil factory, we went to a farm out in the countryside where we enjoyed a wonderful three-hour lunch. All in all it was a lovely day!

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