Thanksgiving I Tatti style

The 28th of November was a glorious sunny day here in Florence and what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving?

Why are we celebrating Thanksgiving I hear you ask? Well this is a valid question. You see Villa I Tatti is part of Harvard University and they celebrate the appropriate holidays of both America and Italy. I have always said ‘when in Rome…..’ It is not too far of a stretch to celebrate an American holiday, after all  we enjoyed 7 years of Thanksgivings while living in the States and we also have our token American/Australian citizen, Alex, so really we are just opening a few more doors to the boys’ international lifestyle (a lifestyle they are going to have to fund themselves after this trip I fear!). 

So without further a due, I have put together a few photos of the day to show you the wonderful community we are involved in here and also to see how well Nic and the other fellows are treated while having their year at I Tatti. I will note this is my first time in the belly of the villa and I have to say I like the style, what do you think? Keeping in mind these professors get lunch served in pretty much the same way 5 days a week!

The proceeding start with a leisurely stroll through the gardens to the main villa,


And when you reach the top one must stop to admire the fabulous view


After feeling a little underdressed for such a spectacular view and surrounds we head off with the kids in tow (that’s right, we pulled them out of school for the day as we thought……why not!) we adjourned to the dining hall situated in the heart of the villa. I will have to mention that the art collections hanging on the walls are extremely impressive and old so we were asked not to photograph the pieces so I started my photo journal with the festive squash arrangement as I was walking into the drawing room to start the celebrations with a martini bianco!


At this point we did the quick ‘kids behave, don’t touch anything, say anything inappropriate to any adult you speak to and for the love of god eat with your mouth closed’ lecture, by which gives you somewhat comfort that they will go off and represent the family well…..


Anna our gracious host organised the kids down the end of one table while the adults looked on nervously as she then proceeded to sit at the head of their table and mingle with them. Alex was sitting right next to her so she was in for an ear bashing that was a guarantee! As you walk into the dining room, the wonderful staff at I Tatti greet you warmly and take extremely good care of your eating/drinking needs…(I’m seriously surprised we even see Nic home for dinner!)


Lunch started with a delicious pumpkin soup


I thought this would of been a touch down moment for the boys because it is their favourite soup, however, I would like to add that it was stated ‘It wasn’t as good as yours mum’…..moving right along with big cheesy grin!

After the soup there were quite a few speeches from Lino the Director of I Tatti, enlightening us on the traditions of Thanksgiving in both English and Italian.


Once he was finished there was a flash of white, a few gasps and two servers came into the dining room with the biggest turkeys I have ever seen! They were so fast I stumbled with the camera and only managed one photo….


I was sitting close to the door so I snuck out with another lady and had a peek inside the kitchen to see the hard work being done. I was most impressed with the chefs’ carving skills and I have to tell you that turkey was as moist and juicy as they come.


Once the meat was carved, the plates were over filled with turkey, stuffing, brussel sprouts, potatoes, pumpkin mash and last but not least cranberry sauce (don’t ask how!).


The lunch was fantastic, relaxed and you couldn’t help but be very, very thankful for being in a room with such lovely people from all ends of the earth.

The lunch was finished with apple crumble and biscotti, however, I scoffed the apple crumble before taking a photo (what was I thinking!!?) however, dipping the biscotti in Vin Santo is a little slower so I managed to remember in time.


Thank you Villa I Tatti for a wonderful day of thanks, food, friendship and a very memorable day.








24 thoughts on “Thanksgiving I Tatti style

  1. Looks delicious (well except for the brussel sprouts)! I’ve never heard of serving roasted potatoes for Thanksgiving, but I would prefer that over the traditional mashed potatoes. I’ve adapted our Thanksgiving meal to add corn pudding and sweet potato casserole (this year I made egg nog sweet potatoes… yum!). And this year I tried a warm sundried tomato cheese dip instead of our traditional cold green olive dip (which only I eat) and it was a hit. Thankfully our friends brought homemade rolls, pumpkin pie, and apple pie. The only thing better than a Thankgiving meal is the day after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich (I put cold stuffing and cranberry jelly on mine). Yum!!

  2. OMG! I remember you telling me your birthday was at the beginning of December. I can’t believe it’s the big 4-0 – how do you feel about it? I agree with the others – you certainly don’t look it and you have a vitality in person that will always keep you youthful. Hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful year to celebrate.

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