The Village, All Aglow

One of my favorite annual traditions is Candlelight Shopping in the Village, even if I don’t buy anything. I love seeing the quaint shops all dressed up for the holidays, shining with holiday lights and glowing with candles in Mason jars on their steps.

Megan and I started our evening at Luna Trattoria. Knowing that there are no reservations and that the restaurant fills up quickly, we decided it would be our first stop. The pasta maker waved at us cheerfully as we passed his window, and in no time, we were seated at a table overlooking the Village, with this charming little guy watching over us:

As always, the food was excellent. Megan had grilled prawns with pasta, and I had carbonara:

a simple dish which is quite difficult to make successfully. It made us reminisce about the first time we had it, 35 years ago, in our friend Davide’s country house on Lago Maggiore. The house had been in his family for generations, and still had a dirt floor in the kitchen. I seem to remember there was cold running water, but not hot. Still, when I think of visiting there, I think of the amazing food Dad and Davide cooked (they used to joke that one day they would give up science and open a restaurant called Il Duo Davidi, or The Two Davids) and the many, many bottles of wine we drank together.

Back in the present, we thought a bottle of Prosecco would be a festive accompaniment to dinner, and so it was. We started our dinner with perfect bruschetta:

Again, something so simple that can be difficult to make well. I had to wonder where they got such good tomatoes in the dead of winter. Megan mentioned that this year, they are doing a winter garden in the greenhouse at the family estate, so I need to go over there and check it out.

Replete with dinner, we fought our way through the huddled masses waiting to be seated in the restaurant and out into the crisp evening air. We enjoyed meandering through the candlelit streets, meeting friends here and there as the stars sparkled overhead. I didn’t buy anything this year, but I did enjoy the festive look and feel of the Village in its candlelit holiday glory:

and resisted this adorable (and expensive*) plate:

As we headed home, I thought about the lovely evening we had shared and the holidays ahead. There was a lot to be happy about. And I always have fun with my sister.

*If you love me $143 worth, you can buy it here.

A YEAR AGO: We were skipping Christmas then, too, but enjoying the Festival of Lights.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Our friend Lichen was living in a giant wine cask.

TEN YEARS AGO: Being a cat doorman is not all that glamorous.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: Hm. It seems this Grinchy thing is not exactly new news.

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