May 24

Returning to the country after over 10 weeks of suburban confinement has felt like a miracle. The staff at our favorite salumeria (basically an Italian delicatessen) were thrilled to welcome us back and made it feel like a homecoming. We stocked up on meats and cheeses and bought some wine around the corner.

I had forgotten how much country house weekends mean running around like a kid again. We don’t work out, we play, on the lake and in the forests, and then sleep very well. Yesterday was paddle boarding and today we ran away into an ancient Beech forest and did some quality hiking. I’m exhausted but refreshed. I think this was our post lockdown boot camp.

People are out and about, but in lesser numbers and cautious. We did not wear masks while paddleboarding or hiking and a good number of people were enjoying the lake yesterday, but very few were on the actual beaches.

Yesterday we split a small meat-filled calzone from the salumeria and then snacked on some prosciutto, porchetta and stracchino cheese before heading to the lake for some paddleboarding. Dinner was tagliolini with black truffles for me and ravioli with wild boar for Roberto. We also split a small grilled steak and some vegetables.

Goat yogurt and farro puffs for breakfast. Lunch today was porchetta and stracchino sandwiches eaten while perched on a mossy heap of rocks deep in a tangled forest, all alone but for the birds. For aperitivo we’re heading into the nearby city of Viterbo to see how a favorite craft beer and natural wine bar is faring in this new phase of the pandemic. Dinner is yet to be decided, but I am looking forward to it.

Eat well. Stay safe.

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