Alumni enjoy Italian cuisine and night at the Opera

September 28, 2011
By Minnie Bridgers

jim's birthdayRoman birthday celebration

Jim Norman ’53 celebrated his 80th birthday in Rome with fellow NC State alumni who are traveling through Italy on a WolfTreks tour.

The group enjoyed Italian cuisine at the Taverna Flavia, where a guitar player sang Italian and American songs. Jim, a retired chemical engineer, is on the tour with his wife of 53 years, Barbara. Italy is the couple’s second time traveling with WolfTreks. They also visited Russia with other NC State alumni some time ago.

Jim said his favorite part of the Italy tour so far has been the Amalfi Coast. “It’s beautiful and nothing like I have seen before,” he said.

operaNight at the Italian Opera

Wolftrek travelers Mary Todd ’67, ’68 MS, Pat Palmer ’72 PhD, and Betty Stagg attended a concert of Italian opera arias at the All Saints Anglican Church in Rome.

They then enjoyed a night stroll back to the Empire Palace Hotel, near the Piazza di Spagna. Before turning in for the evening, they stopped for wine at Ristorante La Pentolaccia, a sidewalk restaurant and bar. They stayed so late that they were asked to leave because it was closing time.

Palmer said she will always remember the night that “she closed down a bar in Rome.”

cooking demoCooking Italian style

After spending a couple of days in Rome, where they took guided tours of the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Square and the Sistine Chapel, the group traveled through Umbria, known as the “green heart of Italy.”

Their first stop was Orvieto, perched on high on a plateau, where they attended a pasta-making demonstration at Ristorante Zeppelin, a Culinary Art Institute.

“I thought it was interesting how the chef cut the pasta into so many different sizes and shapes,” Betty Stagg said.

The cooking lesson was followed by a five-course meal that included antipasta, bruschetta of creamed ricotta with truffles, fettucine with tomato sauce, asparagus lasagna, guinea hen with cannellini and a ricotta cheese mousse with chocolate sauce.


Tour of Umbria’s medieval hill villages

While in Umbria, the group also toured Todi, Assisi and Perugia before traveling to the Tuscany region.

Check back for photos from their adventures in Rome and Umbria on our Flickr site. Visit our website to learn more about upcoming WolfTreks tours.


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