Italian gestures , a substitute for words, are good to know,

Having had a bout with spoiled milk, I had to rush to the bathroom due to a case of food poisoning when out with friends for lunch. A cold sweat, vomiting with dry heaves, made me feel like the kitchen sink that had backed up for some reason that same morning.

The next day, feeling great, while reading on our upstairs patio, our plumber arrived. He yelled up to me and asked how I was since he heard I had experienced some problems. I yelled back, “fantastic”. He gestured to me questioning what was wrong. I then explained how someone left what appeared to be a fresh container of milk etc. etc, and I put it into the refrigerator thinking it had never been opened etc, etc, and continued to explain for 5 minutes how the milk spoiled etc, etc, and how the bacteria formed, etc, etc, and how that sent me to the bathroom, etc, etc.

I ascertained he was bored hearing about my bowel and vomiting experience, when I understood that Italian gesture with the quick movements with the back of his fingers under his chin, meaning, “I don’t give a dam,”

che mi frega

I ended my monologue when that gesture was followed by another when he put his fingers together with his thumbs on both hands to question me from below the patio which I understood to say,


“ma che dici…….? What the hell are you talking about? I came to fix the kitchen sink.

Orange County Ladies Picking Olives at Villa Lucia during our last harvest


Fun time during a week of cooking and picking olives during our annual Olive Oil and Artisan Cooking Weeks, Come join us for our 2016 harvest during the first two weeks of November, You get to taste our boutique extra virgin liquid gold seconds after being pressed and take some home.


olive pickers

Laila learning italian while cooking frittata

IMG_0434I am back to my computer and life at Villa Lucia after spending a fantastic 6 months living in Florence with my 15 year old granddaughter , Laila. Since my life centers in the kitchen it was fun to help teach her some Italian verbs while cooking with grandma and grandpa. Not easy learning a new language . So proud of her. Now she is back in New York . We miss her and her great frittatas.

See part of the video on facebook. Villa Lucia


Villa Lucia B and B Stories Continue

Two of our female guests were to meet a Sig.  Gerrari at the RR Station in Bologna for a business meeting. Before they departed  by train to Bologna we discussed  at Villa Lucia how  Italians greet one another  by kissing both cheeks, and how ladies often make the first gesture.  When they arrived back at Villa Lucia they told me and our guests that when arriving  in Bologna they noticed a young sexy man staring at them who  appeared to be waiting for them to take them to their meeting.

italian gesture

With big smiles and happy faces,  Judy and Faith took turns giving the man a warm embrace  along with the social italian kissing  gesture they learned . Kissee Kissee, kissing him on both cheeks. Without a  word spoken they were surprised to see the young man smiling from ear to ear  board the train as it was pulling away from the station waving thank you to both ladies. They were so embarrassed that they took a taxi to their destination and left the real Sig, Gerrari  who was waiting in his car for the lovely ladies and who they never got to meet.

Wrong bedroom

What is the chance of a wife and mistress finding themselves at the same B&B with the man involved? At Villa Lucia in Montevettolini we have seen it all. When the couple were to retire the night before leaving  the mistress asked her companion to give her a good- by kiss while  his wife would  shower the next morning. She would leave the door to her room ajar. A college student that was helping me out told me at breakfast on the couples departing day that due to the wind pounding some doors left ajar, she closed the doors during the night.  I did not think of it being a problem until the couple left.



A honeymooner came down in his shorts while other guests were enjoying breakfast and asked “Lucy what kind of a place is this? I wondered about the love note under my door but then a man came to my bed and kissed me good-by in front of my wife”.  There was nothing I could do to explain other than to say, sorry that he must have made a mistake.

Villa Lucia Bedroom Stories continue

Years ago it was difficult to get American channels on our Italian tv. Success arrived with cable that gave us CNN,  one channel,  which could be used for videos as well. Considering few of our American guests would watch tv in Italy,  it worked out well.  The decision to change our system was after a lovely young couple on their honeymoon decided to show their love making video in their room, unaware that it could be seen in all 10 rooms.

'I love it when you spoon me.'  'I love it when you fork me.'


The next morning  one of the guests that  joined the couple for breakfast  suggested that they not show their private movies.  The young couple, left their hot coffees untouched and signed out before others would come down for breakfast. That led us to  modernize our system.

Villa Lucia Bedroom Stories Continue

Fixing breakfast early one morning I was joined by a guest asking for assistance. Shirley explained that she would not ask in Rome and waited  to speak to me at Villa Lucia.  Having forgotten her diaphragm  requested that I go with her to a pharmacy. Not familiar with diaphragms I ascertained  that they came in sizes. Unfortunately  our local pharmacy  did not have her size.  Disappointed I returned home but  while serving the other guests received a call from the pharmacist that he found  her size in Bologna.
wrong spot (1)

I regretted that I could not go to Bologna, a two hour drive,  when he answered there was no need to do so since he ordered a van to bring the medium size diaphragm to the farm. Sure enough within 2 hours as the other guests lingered at the breakfast table, the van arrived and the driver requested Shirley. Initially it was a private matter but the curiosity of the guests led  Shirley to share her problem which brought laughter to the others as they wished Shirley and  her embarrassed husband a wonderful evening.

Villa Lucia Bedroom Stories

My husband and I have always enjoyed electric beds. One week recently when our house was rented and we cared not to disturb our guests so secretly retired to our room during the day to read as we usually do with the upper and lower part of our electric beds in the V position. .That night just as we ventured into the kitchen for a snack after our renters went out to dinner, there were deafening bursts of thunder that followed streaks of lightning engulfed the house as if in the center of an explosive. Suddenly all the lights went out. We realized darkness everywhere, confirming that the deafening noise was caused by our village transformer being struck by lightning,

Adjustable beds, not very well adjusted beds.

'Push remote to return to flat position.'

My husband waited wisely for the guests in our parking area with car lights on as I searched for candles to light the interior. The electricity was still out when they returned past midnight. They were happy to see us home being that they thought we were out of town. When we retired to our rooms after bidding to all a good night, we realized that our beds had remained in the V position. All rooms were occupied. Needless to say, it was a sleepless night, relieved only when at 7 am we heard in the distance the city employees working on the transformer.


Villa Lucia’s Bathroom Stories continue — farm jacuzzis


Saving electricity- ecological power

better jacuzzi

Villa lucia’s traveling farm jacuzzi in Tuscany

Jorge may love his  bidet but I love, when time allows, to enjoy an occasional tub soak which he doesn’t understand.  “You need a  Jacuzzi tub” Julie, an Italian  massage therapist visiting us said when hearing about my back pain.”  I’ll set up a portable unit that I have that works wonders in a regular tub”.  It was one of those weeks working around the clock without knowledge of  time of day unless reminded by the church  bells. She  informed me that she would place in my tub her contraction  with some nice bath salts and  bubble bath -relaxers before she departed for the evening. As usual, after cooking and serving I  joined my fascinating guests at the table  for a drink and stimulating conversation that as usual might continue into the early morning hours. Joe, a Californian new arrival, jet-lagged and tired, decided to call it a night around 2 AM.  As he started up the stairs to his room, he yelled  out to all of us at the table. “ Something funny is going on. I must be dreaming, jet lagged or drunk.” As we all  rushed to the stairwell, we were greeted by 6 feet high clouds  of vanilla scented  perfumed bubbles descending the stairs, having exited from the open bathroom door to my room.  Julie was right, it works wonders, especially if you leave the motor running for 2 hours in a tub of water and  many ounces of  perfumed  bubble baths

jucuzzu suds

As Desi would say, ” Luceee I am home, where are you ?”


After lots of prosecco, how are guests relax

An Italian-American, Candido Enzo Jacuzzi in 1949 invented the jacuzzi. When one of his sons  was  born with rheumatoid arthritis his doctor recommended   hydrotherapy for pain relief. Being that hydrotherapeutic therapy  was  only available in communal tubs at the time led Mr Jacuzzi to invent  a jacuzzi whirlpool to be used in his  private home designed to lessen the pain of his 15 month old son. The family continued with other related inventions leading to some 50 patents.

In spite of the fact that this Italian- invention spread around the world, when I came to  the farm in Tuscany in the early 80’s it was little known as an outdoor spa for relaxation, Making many phone calls and driving many miles  in my search led to various companies supplying hydromassage units for indoors. Nobody seem to understand how one could be used outdoors  or after skiing in the snow. Times have changed. Gradually farms began to adopt modified jacuzzis, so one could enjoy them outdoors. Not  what I was seeking at the time but actually  very effective.  Must inform our readers that we  no longer have these units.

Villa Lucia Bathroom stories continue — using depends


In spite of all the progress still there are times when bathrooms are difficult to find. When a group of girlfriends as  houseguests complained one evening, I surprised them at breakfast by replacing the usual cloth napkin with their own “depends” to be used.  This initiated a chorus of  laughter but they all reassured me they would not use them and certainly not need them at their age. They were all in their mid -60’s, believing that they would not be so desperate to find facilities as one might be at the age of 70 or older.  After breakfast we  started off for our sightseeing day beginning with the Tuscany medieval town  of  San Gimignano.

depends  AdultThongDiaper

In the car I jokingly told them that I was wearing my “depend” and they laughed along with me.  About  an  hour after viewing  the city of towers, the morning coffee had its effect. On the Chianti trail without any facilities in view I was asked to stop at a service station which unfortunately had a unforgiving sign explaining, the rest rooms were” out of order”.  I reprimanded the disappointed  ladies for not wearing their “depends” reminding  them that I felt fortunate to be wearing mine. That was all that was needed as their brains suddenly in unison signaled to their bodies the immediate need for bathroom facilities. I will discontinue the story her so as not to embarrass anyone that was present that day. Sufficient to say, the next morning I had 5 ladies asking me for their own “depends” before venturing out to the hilltop village of San Miniato for a truffle hunt with the truffle dogs.

mens depends depends