Gourmet Station back to home
the main top image deilcious deestinations

Welcome to Delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the character of T. Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time, we would love to hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

About Dave, Edie & Simonetta

Dave and Edie Galusha reside in the hills of Northwestern Connecticut. Their home, known as Casa Fagiano (the house of the pheasant), was built in 1740 and helped bring American history alive to their four children whom they raised in the comfortable center chimney colonial.

Located on the old George Washington Turnpike, their home was a part of the Underground Railroad. In its early history, the house also served as a tavern and local legend has it that General Washington himself my have stopped in for a tankard of ale as he rode from Hartford to Litchfield.

Edie, a retired teacher of the classics, enjoyed a career exciting the minds of her students with the richness of Greek and Roman culture and history. Her enthusiasm convinced her students that Latin is indeed a “living language” and is found everywhere in today’s culture. When she was not teaching or raising her children, Edie found time to write and publish several choral anthems.

Dave spent much of his working career as a management development consultant for the financial industry. In 2000, he retired from a Connecticut bank where he served as Vice President of Marketing and Customer Service.

After retiring, they traveled to Rome to see first hand all the history and culture Edie had been passionately bringing alive to her students. One trip is all it took for them to fall in love with Italy. Dave has developed an interest in photographing the hill towns and countryside of Tuscany and Umbria. Their love for these regions of Italy can be found at Fototoscana, a website where you can enjoy “food for the eyes…dreams for the heart”.

Together, they’ve developed a taste for Tuscan cooking and each return trip they take includes a visit to Casa Bellavista where they learn traditional Tuscan cooking from Simonetta, the hostess of this wonderful B & B.

Today, the kitchen in their home no longer is used to prepare roast beef and popovers, the traditional New England fare. Now the aromas of la cucina italiana fill the air as they prepare to entertain their friends with traditional five or six course Tuscan dinners.
Friendships, family and food are thoroughly enjoyed and celebrated around “la tavola” at Casa Fagiano.

Dave and Edie will collaborate with Simonetta Demarchi to bring the readers of Delicious Destinations recipes and cultural information directly from the heart of Tuscany. Born in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, Simonetta Demarchi moved to Tuscany in 1988 when she accepted a position with a four star hotel as an Accounting Manager. In 1999 she accepted a position as Hotel Manager with a new hotel. In this position, Simonetta had full responsibility for organizing hotel operations, staffing, interior decoration, agency relationships, financial accountability and supervision of kitchen operations and staff.

During her career in hotel management, Simonetta met a young man named Guido Conti. After a short courtship, the couple fell in love and were married. Three years later they began their family with the birth of their daughter Carolina. A year later, their son Filippo was born.

Balancing a career in hotel management with managing a family proved to be a difficult task. Managing a home, two nannies to care for children and the hotel caused Simonetta to reconsider her career options. She missed her children as much as they missed her.

Shortly thereafter, Simonetta and Guido began the task of renovating and restoring their home so it could serve as a bed and breakfast. In 2001, Simonetta opened Casa Bellavista, a charming three-bedroom bed and breakfast located in Creti, just a short distance from Cortona. Casa Bellavista, situated atop a small hill in the Val di Chiana provides its visitors with a panoramic view of the cities of Cortona, Montepulciano, Monte San Savino and Lucignano. Visitors also enjoy a view of Monte Amiata and the Abbey di Farnata and beautiful sunsets.

In addition to comfortable rooms and great breakfasts, visitors to Casa Bellavista can also enjoy hands on cooking lessons of traditional Tuscan foods and marvelous evening meals.

The hotel tradition remains strong in the Demarchi – Conti family. Simonetta oversees the operations and serves as hostess at Casa Bellavista and her husband Guido is the General Manager of Castello di Spaltenna, one of the finest castle – hotels in Chianti country. Steeped in the tradition of providing quality service, they both enjoy their professional roles and now they also enjoy the time they have to celebrate family. The children are happy that mommy is home all day.

Articles by Dave, Edie & Simonetta