Once in a lifetime vacations are the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable celebratory meal. Whether you’re celebrating a marriage, a birthday, a retirement or the simple joy of gathering your loved ones together, an excellent culinary experience is sure to create a lasting memory. The dinner table is a place of community. The shared event of indulging in both new and familiar dishes creates a sense of unity. Villa travel to Italy offers just such an opportunity to experience special moments together around a jovial table. Unlike a celebration at even the finest of restaurants, your in-villa dining experience will be a culinary journey, with the chance to engage with your food, understand and learn the history behind the dishes and try new things with your friends and family.

One of Homebase Abroad’s in-house chefs, Rossa Rossellini is responsible for curating and crafting the dishes that will shape your dining memories at Podere due Scale and Villa d’Orcia. Whether it’s your first trip to Italy or your fifth, Chef Rossa will ignite your tastebuds and indulge all of your senses with her authentic Italian cooking.

Engaging in the cooking process–from gathering fresh ingredients to selecting the menu—provides guests with the opportunity to make memories.

Guests have the opportunity to be as involved as they’d like to be in the preparation and planning of their meal. Chef Rossa takes pride in sourcing all of her ingredients as locally as possible—whether that be vegetables straight from the farmer’s garden or a nearby outdoor market. She cooks exclusively with Chianina beef, a local breed known for high quality meat.

Chef Rossa’s menus are dictated by produce that is in-season. She selects only the best and freshest ingredients as the base for her cooking. Oftentimes she sources ingredients straight from the gardens of Homebase Abroad’s villas. Younger children and adults alike are invited to help gather fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables from the villa gardens, adding a sense of ownership to the dining experience.

The menu directly contributes to a sense of table ‘camaraderie.’

“When guests are tasting something new, they are learning something together,” says Rossa. “I really believe that food is an important cultural aspect for a country. To really feel the country where you are. Even if you are only here for a week the food can help you understand the culture.”

Chef Rossa serves familiar dishes like a traditional Bolognese alongside more ‘advanced’ Italian dishes such as Saltimbocca (veal wrapped in prosciutto and sage and marinated in wine). Allowing the guests to plan their week’s meals off her the menu proves a bonding experience in itself. “I usually write the courses in Italian and then translate it to English,” says Rossa. “I write it in Italian first because it’s important the guests begin to learn the names… it’s kind of a game for them…an experience in itself,” explained Rossa.

Multiple courses give guests the chance to reflect, savor and commune together.

Food in Italy is meant to be savoured. The time and thought that goes into preparing a true Italian meal is reflected in the quality of the courses. Each dish is presented thoughtfully and expected to be savored individually. Nothing is rushed. The natural pause between courses provides guests the time to reflect, savor and share in each other’s company.

“My aim is to offer a gastronomic and cultural journey through flavors,” says Rossa. Interaction with all aspects of the meal preparation is part of what guides guests on that journey. Each course of the meal, from the antipasti (the first course in Italy: traditionally including cured meats, olives, peperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses) to the dolce (meaning dessert: which may be a tiramisu, panna cotta, panettone or even gelato) you will learn the the unique Italian way of dining.

Simply put, delicious food leaves lasting memories.

Dining with friends and family can be more than just simply filling the belly–it’s the heart of Italian villa travel.

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