17 October 2005

The Prince and the Castle

There are a few things that the Italians cannot live without in their homes and one of those things is olive oil and wine. The Pozzolatico Castle store, that is owned by the renowned Count (I call him a Prince), is open on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Rumor says that the prince owns all the land in Pozzolatico and more! He has his own carpenter, farmers, olive trees, grape vines and store. He produces his own wine and olive oil.

Today, I went to the Castle to buy some of the famed olive oil and red wine. I walked from my humble abode up the road to the castle. The tall tale sign that visitors are welcome to the castle is when the large Iron Gate is open. As I walked through the gate on the road lined with rosemary, olive trees, random flowers and nicely pruned bushes, I felt like the lost girl searching for her prince. I asked myself, “Where is my prince? Could he be here?” What a dream it is for an older single, divorced woman to meet her true prince, who lives truly in a castle surrounded with tall stoned walls and surrounded by miles and miles of land.

As I enter into the garden and down the nicely landscaped road, I see a few cars parked near a large antique wooden garage door. “This must be where the famed wine and olive oil is!” Grungy looking aged men are hanging around the parking lot smoking cigarettes and holding large various designed glass jars to hold the precious wine or olive oil.

Once inside there are a variety of garden fresh vegetables to choose from and a desk with a calculator and papers rummaged on top. There is another red antique wooden door that is the entry way to the winery. The smell inside is that of the night after a drinking binge in a sorority house.

I asked to taste the olive oil, because I heard that many times they will try to sell you “last years supply” before giving you the new. I tasted the old and I thought, “Ummm good!” and then tasted the new, and thought, “It was picked too early and the taste is somewhat bitter.” I’ll take the old, please!

The wine was not a problem, I had already brought with me a few empty bottles and wholah I have now the red wine and olive oil. The salesman was not the prince. I thought to myself, dang. I wanted to see the famed prince! He was a grungy old man, missing two front teeth trying to keep all the customers happy. The prince was no where to be found. “Oh well, maybe next time…??”

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