It was the day before I was supposed to set out for Serrungarina and all the rentals were taken. I kept finding manual cars, which I don’t know how to drive. I found an automatic car, but it was taken by the time I got to the online checkout.
I was in Venice, Italy and didn’t even wish I had planned anything earlier. When it’s just me, I enjoy traveling on the fly, but “on the fly” was proving tough as everyone was vacationing in Italy in July 2022. Everyone was itching to travel again, myself included, but this trip was different for me. This trip I wanted to have alone time and not stay in a hostel. I wanted to travel slower, and I wanted to go to a place that was tucked away from all the tourism.
Through Instagram, I followed my friend and fellow rugby teammate as she enjoyed her time at a bed and breakfast in the Italian countryside, and I decided this is what I’d like to do. I wanted to pick artichokes. And so, with my heart set on the artichokes, I finally found an off-brand rental car agency located away from the airport with an automatic car and booked it.
I rode that car in the fast lane down the highway and after over four hours, I slowed, creeping to a crawl as I got to a windy road. There were sunflowers everywhere. I kept stopping the car to stare. I pulled up to the house and was met by Manuela, the lovely host. Once parked and settled into my room, I also met Amadeus and Brutus! This is Ami and Bru Bru for short, two lively dogs that have the pleasure of enjoying the Italian countryside all day.
Once there I enjoyed a massage that was previously booked in the back veranda area. It was both relaxing and healing. It was exactly what I needed. The bedroom was enchanted with how the light came into the window, and Manuela made pizza topped with vegetables from the garden for dinner. I had been a vegan for fifteen years, but due to some life changes, I decided I would be eating lots of cheese in Italy! I’m so happy I made this choice. Don’t come for me! I did my time! This was my sixth time going to Italy and I finally got to eat mozzarella… and Parmesan!
And the next day I had the opportunity to try ricotta while we made three different types of pasta from scratch. The woman teaching the pasta making class was a professional, but insisted she was not, as her actual profession was embroidery in the town over. The bed and breakfast overlooked that town, which was round and looked like a cake!
During my time at Casa Rustica I got to know Manuela as we ate together, traveled to Fano, and went to the beach as I met other amazing people in her life. I went for runs on the dirt road, sat with the sunflowers, swam in the pool looking out at the sunset hitting the cake-town, and wandered under the stars in the veranda at night. My time there and the graciousness of Manuela was something special. Casa Rustica offered me peace and careful reflection when I needed it most.
If you find yourself in a place in your life where you want to travel and want an authentic Italian experience that you cannot get anywhere else, and you are willing to sit with yourself in a quiet space to enjoy food and listen to what life has to say, then I hope you make it out to Serrungarina to Manuela’s bed and breakfast.
If you’d like to book a stay please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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