bar pretty high, everyone is so nice and supportive of this exchange.


Angelo and Cristina picked me up at the train station in Belluno on Tuesday night and whisked me away into the mountains.  It was the final night of 'Bonfame' it is the final celebration of the Christmas holiday.  An elderly woman on a broom visits the houses of children and leaves them socks filled with fruit and nuts (that is all true). It is really a celebration of the wise men making their pilgrimage to see the new born King (Angelo is a wealth of information). I am staying in the little village that Pope John Paul I was born in, so signs of him are everywhere. He was only Pope for about 30 days before he died, then came Pope John Paul II. Everyone is very exited to share the history and background of the region.

Someone has called me each day to check in and make sure everything is going well, that I'm eating enough and that I'm sleeping well. I don't get that attention and home, I might stay.  I'm looking forward to seeing the school tonight and being in the classroom's next week.

Simple Zurich to Milan, Milan to Vicenza, Vicenza to Treviso, Treviso to Belluno, Belluno to Falcade. Unless you sleep through your stop in Vicenza and wake up in Padova, in my defense it was a large beer and the trains are kept warm like big moving sleeping bags. Compound this with the fact that I speak no Italian and in some of the smaller towns, it is hard to find anyone that speaks English. The trains run like clockwork here, so even with a glich I figured I could get back on track so to speak. So I was now on a platform in Padova going to Montebelluna, Montebelluna to Belluno. Taking the wrong stop and changing to a small regional train got me into Belluno 1.5 hours earlier; things always seem to work out. Do not panic, take a breath and look for the kindness of strangers that might be my mantra for this experience. Two wonderful people, Angelo, picked me up at the station, Cristina, Angelo is the man that really helped on getting this exchange between the two schools rolling, and Cristina is the head of the trade school in Falcade. I was whisked down a valley and into the heart of the Dolomite Mountains, it was dark, so I am going by what was told to me. 

Update:  February 17, 2016
from Cascade Culinary Institute in Bend

Melissa's school in Falcade.  Both the Scuola Alberghiera (hospitality and culinary)

and the ski college are located here.

 Our First Culinary Exchange 

Update:  January 22, 2016

Melissa's month in Italy

from:  Angelo Paganin

Highlights of Italy by

David Trask, Chef Instructor

​Cascade Culinary Institute

The restaurant is located in Canale d'Agordo (above), a popular ski area in the Dolomites and birth place of Pope John Paul I)

Chef Canal and Sebastiano prepared gnocchi for a group of local citizens. 

Is "better then fantastic" a thing? I have been in the area of Belluno for the last few days and it is amazing. Piccalo Baita and Chef Fabrizio have been great.  There really isn't a good way to describe how beautiful the agritourismo and the surrounding landscape is. Today is my third and final day at Piccalo, then I move to the school. It has only been a few days, but they have set the 

This is where it starts, this is the reason that I came to Europe, a culinary cultural exchange with a culinary school in Italy and it starts today. I left Zurich by train at 7:30 for a 10 hour trek to Belluno, that was the plan. This was my first train trip in Europe with multiple stops and switching of trains with short transfer times, transfer times were not my real problem.

Update:  January 11, 2016
from:  David Trask, Chef Instructor
In Italy

Bend Belluno Cultural Culinary Exchange Comes to Bend

We passed through little villages that doted the mountainside; it is the final night of the Christmas holiday, called Befane – a night where an old woman visits houses on a broom and leaves the children socks with fruit and nuts - so the hillsides had huge bonfires in celebration. Tomorrow starts the carnival celebration; have to love a place that goes from one to the next with no days off. I am also in the town where Luxor Glasses are manufactured, largest supplier of glasses in the world. I was taken to a small Pizzeria that was really good, wood fired pizza’s served in a traditional mountain side residence, might have been the long day, but best beer and pizza I ever had. I was dropped at Le Codole Hotel and taken to a fantastic quaint room, which will be my home for the next few days.

​This week Melissa is training with chef Oscar Tibolla at hotel restaurant Le Codole.  Angelo reports "I found her

in the kitchen with chef Oscar Tibolla preparing the lunch: she is really well motivated."  

Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange

BEN ARRIVATA                   DI                       EVENTI                       SCAMBI                   METTE IN EVIDENZA              CONTATTO