Villa Tierra is a splendid home inside the charming Tuscan hilltown of San Giovanni d’Asso. Situated near a medieval castle, the Villa Tierra was built in the 16th century on one basic level, with terraced rooms to separate the living areas from the sleeping quarters. The property has been totally renovated to modernize the interior to a very high standard, and with six bedrooms and 5 bathrooms there’s plenty of room for up to 13 guests.
Rack of Lamb
Lamb is the predominant meat served in Provence and is a popular dish throughout France. Lamb is preferred young, and is most often served rare. Here the lamb is prepared with saffron and shallots for additional flavor.
Cut off the root end of the shallots, but leave the skin on. Cook
slowly over low heat for 1 hour in oil seasoned with Herbs
Once cooked, put the meat on a carving rack for several minutes before slicing. To prepare the sauce, deglaze the roasting pan with stock, reduce and strain. Blend or process the liquid until a good consistency. Add the remaining saffron just before serving. Cut the rack of lamb into two chops per portion. Place the shallots in the center of the serving tray, and arrange the chops crossing over the shallots. Sauce should be drizzled over entire tray with remainder served in a sauce pitcher. A variety of steamed vegetables, bread and a good bottle of wine completes this tasty meal. Serves 4 people.
As we're getting ready to step into 2005, I'd like to thank all of you for the wonderful traveling year we've enjoyed. We feel so honored by your overwhelmingly positive feedback on your villa experiences. We've been adding some wonderful new properties from our summer inspection trips, which I invite you to check out at www.rentavilla.com. We’re also working hard on our newly renovated website and name change (RentaVilla.com) which should be ready early in the New Year.
Have a wonderful holiday season, and keep traveling!
Emmanuel de Ricard, President
"We spent a most delightful week at Villa Vino! The owner was very nice, brought us wine and let us feast on his delicious tomatoes. There was ample room and the swimming pool overlooked the beautiful panorama!"
- ET, Greenville, South Carolina
"It was an incredible pleasure to rent from your company! The owner was a very generous host and a very helpful guide. I truly appreciate all of your help in arranging our trip and would gladly rent another villa again next year!"
- MB, New York, New York
"We enjoyed ourselves tremendously. The Villa, the countryside all were exceptional. We had a great time and hated to leave!"
- EG, Coral Springs, Florida
Paris, City of Light (Part II)
I'm convinced that Paris will always be among the world's favorite destinations. There is a wealth of history, art, and architecture to enjoy, and many more museums and sites than you'll have time for. Even the children will enjoy the myriad of activities. Last month I began to list the districts with the main attractions of each. Let me continue.
Much to come (Paris, Part III) next month.
Kathy Hayes, Editor
Which Camera to Take on Vacation?
Today, we can choose between digital and film cameras to save our memories of a vacation. Kathy and I have used both and find each has advantages as well as disadvantages.
Conclusion: If you own more than one camera, I recommend taking the camera you are most familiar with. There is nothing as disappointing as learning that I missed shots because of camera handling. If you purchase a new camera for this vacation, it's good to spend at least 50 to 100 pictures in various circumstances as practice to learn the features. Get the film developed or downloaded so you can inspect the pictures for quality as if you were a judge in a photo contest. And finally, if you can only take one camera, take the one that cost you more or is newer. The results will reflect your wisdom.
Lee Hayes, Staff Photographer
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