...are so close to perfection that description seems an insult, but I will try. It started after Constance and Lylaine and I said our goodbyes (that is NOT part of the perfect day, in fact, they were sorely missed as the day progressed and I would have loved to share it with them. I am comforted knowing that tonight they are watching the sun set over the Bay of Naples together). Suzy called to see if I would be interested in going to a 4 star spa in Tuscany. Hmmmm. Let me see. Let me check my date book.
We met in Moiano and set out for Fonte Verde (Google it). The drive is beautiful. Sorry to be a broken record about the views, but................We finally arrived at the top of a hill overlooking a wide, rolling valley. This is the setting for Fonte Verde. This terme (thermal bath) is huge and has several options for bathing. There is a waterfall, there are high spigots, there are small "rapids" that come over the sides of the pool (travertine) and there is an indoor area. I did it all. As you enter the lage pool, it seems that you melt into the water. It is very hot and rich in minerals that act as an anti-inflammatory. and the release of stess was almost immediate. As if the travertine pool is not enough, when you turn and look up and around, the hotel and grounds and view made it a "pinchable" moment. How did we get so lucky to he here??? I told Suzy we deserved it, of course we did not deserve the upper pool with the really great view, horizon pool and chair-side service, but I will take D list 4 star experiences any time! We took the waters, rested a bit and then got back in again. S had a caffe poolside and then we dressed and left.
The evening air was light and cool and we decided to go in a different direction in search of a restaurant for dinner. While we didnt find one, the road took us past sights and towns that we had visited in years past with Josh (I aint been to Gubbio) and Julie. Nice to recall those days. We turned around, not knowing where we would end up and ended up in a peach of a town in an enexpectedly different and in every way, lovely restaurant.
The restaurant is in an old oil pressing facility and Toscaninni once slept there (guessing it was not an oil press then). The inside was white and one wall was banquette seating of white leather. The tables were set with natural linen cloths and the silverware was sleek and modern and heavy. The ceiling, instead of the usual beams, featured barrel vaulting. The music was relaxing and at just the right level for enhancing the ambiance. Our newly relaxed attitudes and comfortable anticipation was jolted momentarily by our cute, young waite. He approached graciously and said...and said...and said...we have NO idea what he said! Not on word!!! His words went by so fast that we even if there had been a buona sera in there, it flew past us unnoticed. Our stunned looks must have indicated that we did not understand and he began again. It could have been what he said before, or something different, or Farsi for all we could tell. He paused for a breath and Suzy desperately whimpered "menu" he tenatively replied "aqua" and we all heaved a sigh of relief. From there on out, each arrival at the table (other than the bread...Tuscan bread....not so good) delighted us more and more. We shared exquisite grilled veggies (I know you think that exquisite is an overstatement for veggies, but you didnt taste them) Suzy got the canneloni with spinach and ricotta (Ho My Gah, Meez Boffo) and I got the polpo (ocotpus) salad. An oval dish arrived (very cool white china). It contained octopus, bright yellow potatoes, fresh parsley and olive oil........warm..........YUM. We were both wishing we had taken pics of the food, but only thought about that when the food was gone. Because we did not want the evening to end, and because we knew as good as everything else was, we should splurge on a dessert, we did. They arrived in tall glasses that were somewhat martini-shaped. In mine, 3 perfectly formed round clouds of lemon mousse. In Suzys, affogoto (sound familiar, Bloggers in Pienza?). But this one, instead of having gelato, had homemade chantilly creame, coffee, chopped almonds and amoretti cookies....pardon me while I revisit the delight.
After, Suzy had coffee and we left the restaurant to see the full moon over a stone tower and a nearly dark sky (9:40). We stolled up an arched walkway to what looked like a wall where you could see out over the valleys night-lit hilltowns, but it was a residential square. With some reluctance, we got back into the car, knowing as we got closer to home, our evening got closer to being a memory. No melancholy though. Just smiles as we dove thorough the valley and the transition from here and now to remember when.
Once again, I must thank S for taking me to places and sharing with me things that bring me joy for years to come. Kathy and Jim and Ben and Bob should be getting their thank you notes ready because I will share the spa and restaurant found with them too. I may begin using other names for her. You may see her referred to as Magistra or the Contessa (names from her teaching days). I am trying to break up the monotony of "Suzy said..."
PS- Danny, Lylaine, Constance...there are memories inair.
PPS-Ben and Bobby arrivo a 4:30 a domani!!!