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Dinner on the roof

by Sunni Chapman

I love spoiling people with food and as I think about why I realize it comes from my childhood. My mom was a single working parent but somehow found the time to spoil us with amazing food at dinner time. Even before moving to Italy I made sure that everyone in my home, family or friends, knew that they were expected to sit at the dining room table when dinnertime arrived. Sit-down dinners are the standard and even if an older child or guest was running late we would wait for them before beginning our meal.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “DO YOU ALWAYS EAT TOGETHER AT THE TABLE?” and laughed at the disbelieving looks I got from guests, both young and old over the years when I replied “Yes!” And when they would say they ONLY do sit-down dinners at important holidays we joked with them saying…GOOD FOR YOU!!!

Our dinner table, like with so many Italian families, is an important part of our livesbecause no matter what we know that at the end of the day we will come to be together to share not only food but the events in our lives with each other. At times the dinner table will be noisy, crowded, fun, sad, emotional and can even be annoying with people laughing or arguing, but at the end of the day, what we loved was just being together and sharing everything including food.


When we had dinner parties my husband would joke saying that we never have less than 20-25 people and that next time could I just NOT be MEGA-TELE-LAURA and for once limit the party to a few guests for a quiet and private meal. My thoughts would then sort through every Italian scene in my memory and I would then reply…what is this nonsense idea of privacy at an Italian dinner table. He should have known there is nothing quiet or private in an Italian home and this is especially true of the dinner table.

Anyway, since I eat every night with my family, I am always searching for new places to eat with family or friends that will provide new emotions and new experiences. So, when I noticed a wooden structure on top of a Venetian rooftop I asked my guide what it was and she explained that it’s where a lot of Venetian people have summer dinners while enjoying the view. What a fantastic idea!

All too often we are so busy in life or when traveling that we keep our heads down and don’t even notice the bright blue sky or beauty surrounding us. Sometimes we just need someone with experience to guide the way to new and exciting adventures.When I found out about the rooftop dinner option I thought to myself…what a great way to enjoy a usual ritual in an unusual setting.

When I discover new things in Italy, I become giddy knowing how very fortunate I am to work with people who help me find the amazing experiences that I share with others who would not have been able to find on their own!

This job of mine is no trivial thing and I know that I am blessed to be where I am. I get to do what I love both in life and in business and I strive every day to share my love and wonder of Italy with as many people as possible. I especially love sharing new discoveries.

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