The Good Guys in White Hats
And Black Jackets
Story and photos by Tom Weber
the feel of the well-balanced silver cutlery still weighs in my hands,
the splendor of wild forest berries from delightful ruby-red wines continue
to dance around my palate, and a Cheshire cat-like smile remains etched
on my face, I have to remind myself that, like Dorothy in the Wizard
of Oz, I am "no longer in Kansas."
di Comano (TdC) to be exact, sitting at a table reserved daily just
for me at the Grand Hotel Terme (GHT) restaurant.
Sadly, after 16 days of being pampered
and fed like a king up in the Trentino Alto Adige region of northern
Italy, my medically prescribed spa-wellness trip, like all good things
in life, has come to an end, and so, too, the Under Doctor's Orders
Doctor D, my personal physician back in
my adopted hometown of Vicenza
the City of Palladio in the Veneto region, prescribed
two weeks of water therapy, under the supervision of TdC medical
staff, to treat a dermatological disorder that's been bugging me for
a while. Thankfully, my skin is already showing positive signs of improvement
from the magical waters that run down from the Dolomites
into the tiny village of Comano.
Little did I know before heading off on
this Rx adventure, that one of the side benefits of "the cure"
would be a mouth-watering regime of gourmet dining from around the Trentino.
In between my two-a-day soaks, I've enjoyed
numerous photo shoots around the area and the haute cuisine that awaited
me afterward, expertly prepared by Christian Ventorini, GHT's executive
chef, and his white-hatted sous and pastry chefs, and plated elegantly
before me by the superlative wait staff in black tie and jacket.
Just before the "Last Supper,"
I met up with lo chef, and he took me on a personal, red spatula
tour of the kitchen and explained his rivisitato (revisit) style
It's a creative interpretation of the traditional
Trentino kitchen that uses fresh ingredients found in and around le
Guidicarie. Ventorini's to-die-for rivisitato recipes are
prepped morning, noon and night for guests of the GHT, along with the
occasional wedding and other special-event dinners.
Living a dream, I managed to consume, actually
savor, 21 four-course lunches and dinners during my stay, not to mention
the daily breakfast ritual of a macchiatone an extra-strength
cappuccino with a double shot of espresso accompanied
by freshly baked chocolate and fruit-filled brioche (pastries),
along with the occasional pre lunch or dinner Ugo (Hugo) aperitivo
and the mandatory post-meal caffè macchiato, all prepared
with TLC by Claudia, GHT's effervescent barista, and delivered to me
out on the patio. Amazingly, I didn't gain an ounce.
The staff administration and front
desk, in-house spa and wellness, medical, maid service, restaurant and
kitchen not to mention the great facilities and services, and
the surrounding idyllic, park-like setting, made my retreat at GHT everything
I imagined it would be and so much more. My 16 days in paradise was
worth every euro that I spent as the hotel went above and beyond the
four-star S rating that sits alongside its name.
And, before you even ask, the answer is
NO. As much as I'd love to share, I cannot give out Dr. D's telephone
number or email address. I'll need him again in six months to prescribe
a return trip to Terme di Comano for another session of the water therapy
inside my personal Shangri-La that is the GHT. No doubt, I'll
uncover more great sights and locales with my lenses, AND savor more
tantalizing dishes prepared, plated and presented by those good guys
in white hats and black jackets.
If you missed viewing any of the previous
installments of the Under Doctor's Orders photo-shoot series
when they first went to press on Traveling Boy, you can see them
right from here. Just click on the following titles: Terme
di Comano, Lago
di Molveno, Deggia,
di Tenno and Fratelli
For complete information on a spa-wellness
vacation at the Grand Hotel Terme in Terme di Comano, just log on to
English language website.
And, for complete information on picture-postcard
perfect Trentino, visit the
Office of Tourism's official website.
BUON APPETITO, BUONA SALUTE e BUON