A Night to Remember…

by | May 25, 2016 | Health & News

This past adventure to Italy was truly one for the memory books.  There were so many unforgettable experiences and one in particular that I wanted to share with you.   This one evening really warmed my heart!

After a long day of travel from Orvieto (Umbria, Italy) to Rome via train, then flight from Rome to Puglia, we found ourselves utterly lost among the narrow Italian streets unable to understand any of the Italian signs. We had spent over an hour feverishly trying to find our B & B and finally called the owner’s daughter, Rosanna, to help us find it.  She and her sweet, boyfriend, Claudio, met us at a church parking lot that we had found and escorted us by car – finally arriving at our beautiful accommodations at B& B Trulli d’Autore at around 10:30 pm.

 Trulli d'Autore

We were all exhausted, incredibly irritable and HUNGRY!!  Between Rosanna’s mixed English and my mangled Italian, we managed to get our points across.  No restaurants were open (within a short distance) and no take-out was available.  I asked if we could have some of the yogurts in the fridge or cereal on the breakfast counter.  At first, she looked at me very strangely, but after a few seconds, she understood our dire needs.  She then spoke the words that filled my heart. “Why don’t you join me and my family for dinner?”  “Really (in Italian, of course)?” I asked.  She said she would speak with her mother, Maria, and for us to come over to their house and all would be taken care of.

Trulli d'Autore valley

OMG!!  My fellow travelling buddies and I were absolutely thrilled.  Their home was cozy and welcoming.  We all gathered around the dinner table and basked in the warmth and nurturing offered to us by this incredible family.

the Barnaba family, home dinner trulli

Rosanna’s mother, Maria, cooked a delicious meal with homemade focaccia, spiced/sweet sausages, homegrown marinated artichokes, grilled organic veggies and of course, red wine!  We were all in heaven!

As the TV blared the Italian version of “American Idol” we bonded over tasty warm bread and spoke in broken Italian about our lives and our trip. That night, we all slept incredibly well – with sleepy eyes and satisfied stomachs.

trulli organic farm

The next day, Rosanna’s father, Pietro, proudly gave us a personal tour of his organic farm with acres of olive trees, organic fruits and vegetables and his tractor/trucks.  Pierrino, (little Pietro), which is what his mother, Rosa, lovingly called him, spent over an hour detailing us about his incredible garden.  Check out the fava beans!

trulli valley farm


That magical evening and the following days reminded me of why traveling is so beneficial for the heart and soul.  Our world is filled with fear and negativity.  Having such a heart-warming experience with amazing people across the Atlantic brings back hope and positivity.

My deepest thanks go to Pierrino, Rosanna, Maria, and Claudio, for making our Italian experience in Puglia truly unforgettable!


Dr Diana Hoppe OBGYN in encinitas, CA. signature- hormones, menopause, weight loss, pap smear, total women's health care


P.S. My next blog will show the trulli that I stayed in and give you some history about Puglia.   And yes it was a little bit like “The Hobbit”…