Pieces of Italy

The Alcalde
Oct 31 · 2 min read

Bringing home memories from a Flying Longhorns trip to the Lake District

by Chad Tomlinson

Clockwise from left: A bottle of Pago grapefruit juice; a bottle of Aperol; a ticket to see “The Last Supper;” photos of Scott and Chad at “The Last Supper,” the villa gardens on Isola Bela, and at a cooking class; a menu from dinner on Isola dei Pescatori; a burnt-orange rock from Isola Bella; the cork from red wine served at dinner on Isola dei Pescatori.

My husband Scott and I just returned from a magnificent trip to Italy with the Flying Longhorns. Along the way, as we gazed upon the lakes and islands, we collected souvenirs from our time abroad, so we could remember just how special it was.

It was hot on Isola Bella — the beautiful island — and so we stopped in a cafe to buy some bottles of juice. The grapefruit version of Pago is perhaps the most tart thing I’ve ever drank. Maybe stick to the apricot if you’re ever lucky enough to make it to the island.

We also drank a lot of Aperol. Five years ago, Scott and I took a trip to Italy, and we returned regaling everyone who would listen about how great Aperol spritzes were. Needless to say, we both partook in a fair amount this time around. Scott, at one point, did a “spritz flight,” if we can call it that: Aperol, Campari, and St. Germain.

We had to wait a bit to see “The Last Supper,” Leonardo da Vinci’s mural in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, but there’s nothing like it in the world.

Wine! We drank wine, too. We loved sharing a bottle of red with our passengers at dinner on Isola dei Pescatori. The name means fisherman’s island, and true to the name, we’d eat the fresh fish the fishermen would catch that day.

On Isola Madre, we were waiting for a boat on the seawall when we spotted a bunch of burnt-orange pebbles. I just had to bring one back to work.—as told to Chris O’Connell

Photograph by Matt Wright-Steel

All things University of Texas—sports, feature stories, alumni news, and more—from the magazine of the Texas Exes. Find more at alcalde.texasexes.org.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade