This is a place you may never find. I no longer remember exactly where it was. It was my first night in Italy – my first journey outside of America and the first many Italian train rides. Somewhere near Camaiore, near the Ligurian Sea in Tuscany, there was a place called Nebraska. It was set on a hillside, above a town and to itself.
The main room was low-ceilinged, warmly lit and filled with smoke and the smell of cured meat; blood sausages and ham hung from hooks in the ceiling. The walls were covered with bottles of wine – every foot of wall space was built out with wine racks. The rough wooden tables were long and each seated 12-15 people and the meat and cheese and bread were brought out wrapped in heavy brown paper and shared, along with the wine that flowed like the sea below us steadily all night long.At some point I was handed a guitar and asked to sing a song, which I did and then another, and then we sang a song or two together before we returned once more to the wine.