Generally, when you are slightly lost in the remote Italian countryside, using your phone’s GPS, and the battery is about to run out, the last thing you want to hear from the driver is “we are almost out of gas.”
But, that is how our weekend homestay in the Italian countryside started.
Finding the Village of Scascoli
We had five jet lagged and drunken nights in Barcelona, and had already experienced the Italian hospitality shown by Emilia Romagna Tourism and Yummy Italy three days straight. We had a huge lunch at La Piazetta del Gusto outside of Modena, which was followed by a ninety minute drive to our homestay.
Eric was tired and full, and kind of not in the mood to drive. I sensed it as soon as we pulled off of the highway, or autostrada. We were using the phone as a GPS to wind through the hills south of Bologna – up the mountains and down the mountains, and all over some treacherous cliff side turns. I watched as the battery life quickly started to drain. I did everything I could to keep it going, but knew at some point, we would be in some trouble. There would be no way to find this homestay in the Italian countryside without the phone.
While perched on top of one of the many hills, when I should have been enjoying the early fall colors of the valley below, Eric frustratingly announced we were perilously low on fuel, having not passed a petrol station for quite some time. I was still not willing to admit to him the battery life problem.
What seemed like an eternity later we drove through the next town and asked for directions to a petrol station from a group of people who spoke no English. We found the station, and then I remembered I had a little phone re-charger that I received from Gogo in flight wireless. I snuck into the trunk, prayed that it was charged, and popped it into the iPhone before alerting Eric to the problem. Thank you Gogo.
Safely with gas, and battery power, and GPS, we continued on our way, still a little lost. I half expected Eric to give up at one point and just turn us back to the city in frustration.
I am so glad he didn’t.
Enjoying the Tiny Village of Scascoli
We got incredibly lost as we inched closer to our weekend apartment. Luckily, our host, Silvia was patient with us, as I called her to say we were lost several times, having no idea where exactly we were.
When we finally arrived, she greeted us on arrival and made us feel welcome. Silvia even stocked the fridge for us for breakfast so we would not have to find the local market. Eric was thrilled to know there was a stove top Moka Express coffee maker, and unlimited coffee!
Settling into Our Homestay in the Italian Countryside
Prior to our arrival, Silvia told us that her little village, Scascoli, was hosting their annual fall festival, and she invited us to visit. So, Sunday afternoon, we ventured down the hill to a village that seemed to have no more than 25 or so buildings, to see exactly what an Italian fall festival involved.
It was not something we have experienced before in Italy. Groups of friends and families sitting around eating fabulous polenta with wild boar, while drinking bottles of 4 Euro wine. People wandered the one winding road of Scascoli looking at handicrafts, buying locally cooked cakes and cookies, and listening to music. It was lovely, and was not something we could have found on our own, without Silvia’s advice.
Other than the Scascoli village festival, we became hermits in our little homestay. Although we walked a bit on the country roads, and ventured out for lunch and dinner each day at a fantastic local restaurant recommended by Silvia, I slept a ton in the comfy white bed and watched a lot of TV. I spent the day in yoga pants and a sweatshirt. We made a fire each night. I hunkered down. I loved it. I enjoyed everything this cozy little homestay in the Italian countryside had to offer.
Planning a Trip to Emilia Romagna?
Looking for more travel tips on Emilia Romagna, and how to eat the best food in Italy? My book The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna: How to taste the history and tradition of Italy, is available on Amazon now. If you are a NOOK reader, it is also available for download on Barnes and Noble.
Check out my video that shows our cozy, little apartment, and the local village festival:
We were hosted by Homestay for this lovely stay in the Italian countryside, and if you book your own cozy homestay through this link, I receive a smidgeon of a little something. As always, though, my opinions are my own.
Amber is a recovering attorney, yoga teacher, writer, social media consultant, and eater, traveling With Husband In Tow