In Italy, Magari Tours

The weather held for our last day in Italy, with a light mist first thing through the valley. My room at the hotel had great views over the valley, and it was a lovely sight first thing in the morning.

En route Wendy gave us some background on what its like to live in Italy, including what happens with unemployment, what happened during the pandemic, how villages and small communities work and several other interesting points which passed the time.

Again, this was a slightly different day to how the real tour happens, as we headed east again to a small village near Lake Iseo where we were yesterday. What we did today is usually paired with Lake Iseo as a one-day excursion. The Cascina Carrette is an agriturismo run by the Lamberti family – with a wine estate, cows, pigs, bees, horses and a whole lot more. We had an expert tour of the wine cellar from Stefano, where they produce their version of Champagne (which they can’t call Champagne), the other wises they offer as well as the area where they make their Salami.

Guided Tour by Stefano

Guided Tour by Stefano

After our tour, we were invited into the main building for lunch. As it was a bank holiday, they were expecting a lot of people – and counting up the tables there must have been at least 30 tables in different rooms, so probably over 300 people for lunch. This is the sort of touch you come to expect from a Magari Tour because it was all Italians there for the equivalent of their Sunday lunch, bringing every generation of the family.

Cows in the barn

Cows In The Barn

The lunch was like nothing I had ever experienced. There were the usual meats to start, which were lovely as they were from the estate. Then there was a pasta course, similar to a Bolognese ragu and then another pasta course – this time the famous Casoncelli. At this point, we couldn’t believe the amount of food, and it kept coming. There was the main course, beef and polenta (which is common in this region of Italy), and then a dessert with different cakes. The standard tour also has a lunch stop on the way to the airport.

Group at Cascina Carrette

Group at Cascina Carrette

We then of course made our way back to the airport (in plenty of time given the traffic issues from the day before). With less traffic on the road, we made good time and stopped at the excellent service station outside of Milan, which is far nicer than any service station I have ever seen before. Thankfully, our flight was operating despite a French air traffic control strike which was on and cancelled both the flight before and after!

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