Photo: One final coffee at Arté Caffé before Gerard and Bernadette drove back to the Netherlands.

For the second time in two years we’ve had to say goodbye to Dutch friends in Italy. After nearly 20 years Gerard and Bernadette sold their beautiful house in Cartoceto to live full time in The Hague.

Over the years we’ve spent many happy times with them over coffee, aperitivi, lunch, dinner and football. We’ll never forget the call we got from Gerard in May 2006. “I found it, it’s with Dutch commentary, but you are welcome to watch it.” We were with Keith and Christine. Jan, a big Liverpool fan and Christine a big West Ham United fan were desperate to find somewhere to watch the FA Cup Final between the Reds and the Hammers. Even though the Giro d’Italia was due to pass right in front of our house within the hour we managed to drive on and off the course to get to their house just in time for the first goal of the match.

Arté Caffé said arrivederci with kisses…

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