Julia Meigs often accompanies her husband James to medical conventions, and a couple of years ago they traveled as far as Mantua, Italy. In the introduction to a collection of letters she wrote home during her family's subsequent sabbatical year in Verona, she describes her first taste of dining the Italian way: “We had enjoyed three different wines matching the three exquisite preceding courses at a seated dinner for 70 people. And now the fourth course was arriving, the roasted boar, a ...

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