Every Rick Steves Tour, like every restaurant, has someone who takes care of the “front of house.” In our case it was the incomparable “Nina Bernardo.”
Her talent to seamlessly orchestrate the beginning, middle and end of each day and an ability to see to the personal well-being of all of our tour-mates, was unique in our experience. She can claim the intuition to know when we would need her presence, while clearly aware when we were best left to our own devices. This, and the joy she genuinely experienced watching us slice, dice and take up the occasional food fight…okay, food skirmish…… during our cooking class left us with the feeling that we were with a friend, not a mother hen! Any mother hen we may have encountered, ended up better suited to the Il Secondo course.
It is she who taught us the phase we came to know as gospel, “A tavola non si invecchia,” or “At the table with good friends and family you do not become old.”