A Travellerspoint blog

July 12, 2008

The semi-plan...

...Dan does not like plans...is to get up and out by 10, and head for Monepulciano and Pienza. The final stage of our plan, if we were to have one, which we dont...is a long, wonderful dinner at Mareska in Po Bandino. Let's see how it goes.

We were out of the house on time after coffee and an assortment of Italian breakfast treats (thanks Dan). Montepulcaino was Dan's favorite. He found it more alive than Gubbio and a blend fo Etruscan artifacts, cheese and oil adventures, architecture and scenery on the way that calendars are made of.

After Montepulciano, we went to Pienza. This "Perfect Renaissance Town" was mostly chuiso (closed) Note to coming visitors...start early and time meals! Montepulciano is a hiking town and Pienza is a stolling town. We enjoyed the views, and the the flowers and the flat surfaces. I also found a new treat "affogatto"....Italian coffee with vanilla gelato...yummy. Since we had some time and felt ok, we went to Bagno Vignoli and hiked up to "take the waters". For C, D and me, that meant dipping our feet. Lylaine went back into the cave to change into her suit and also there discovered a cool chamber up through which you could see the structures of some of the ancient baths above and the waterfall that feeds them. I also revisited the "prosciutto di sogni" prosciutto of dreams in a little restaurant under vines in the town. Ahh. Sweet. This town has a Roman bath for its piazza, but not much more. On the way home, we stumbled onto the Pecorino shop from a past visit and the same, shining, gracious young man of our previous visit helped us to tastes of cheese and wine. We bought some and stumbled again onto something from a past trip...
The molto famoso Tuscan shot of the winding lane of cypress up to the villa........the calendar shot! We were tired when we finished our day at Mareska (Dan chose best....pasta e salccia di Norce...sausage or Norce and cream). We left at 9:30 and the dinner crowd had not yet arrived.

This unexpected group of travel companions has been a gift to me and one that I will treasure always. It is my desire to meet again in other places to enjoy each other more and to learn more about each other and to make new memories. How sweet that would be. But if it never happens, these 3 days have been more than enough. To be here with Con, a known and loved and cherished friend and to then add in her extraordinary partner, Lylaine (no exaggeration) and to have come to know and love brother Danny, paint a memory for all of us on our life canvases.

Our Houdani leaves tomorrow. He is our map reader, our semi-plannner, the only one who can turn off the downstairs toilet so it doesn't run and the butt of our jokes. You will be missed, Danny-O!

Posted by Allegra51 07:38 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

July 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dear Ben.

Soon we will be together to celebrate...perhaps some Prosecco on the piazza in Paciano or out on ou terrace.

We had a local day today. We rose late...something to do with lots of laughter, late hours and vino...and after a breakfast of eggs and toast, we set out for the gas pump wine and a sit by the lake session.


The gas pump stop was a hit with everyone. The man let Connie and Dan pump!


After that, we found (after much around abouting) the road that goes by the lake. Our bench overlooking the lake was in the shade and the lake breeze refreshed us enough to go home for a rest! We made a dinner of salami, cheese, tomatoes, bread and oil on the terrace and afterwards, we went up to Panicale for another sit...getting the gist of this day? Then limoncello on the terrace. It was then, that Daniel became Houdani. He was wondering aloud how it was that he woke up that morning naked, with his pants, boxers and belt intact on the bedroom floor! Presto chango....Danny becomes Houdani!

Posted by Allegra51 07:28 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

July 10, 2008

GIMME a G.... GIMME a U.....

That is right, Josh. I was in Gubbio today. Again, I'm feeling so lucky. To be standing fact to fact with the single-most important etruscan artifact known to modern man was almost overwhelming. To be there with friends to share it was almost too much. This was a significant day of connection and reconnection. Viewing the tablets connected me to the ancients in a very real way. Sharing the experience with my dear friend, Connie from the past deepened that connection and having this experience with new friends makes those connections all that more special. Can you tell I may have had some wine before this entry?

ps-Yes, Josh. It is THAT good. I hope you get here!

Posted by Allegra51 07:19 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

July 9, 2008

Loro arrivano @ 2:30 in Chuisi!!!

Dan, Lylaine and Constance got here at around 2:30 and I am living a dream. Nothing more to say but the place, the people, the conversation, the wine...it doesn't get better than that.


Posted by Allegra51 07:16 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

July 8, 2008 evening


After blogging for 3 plus hours, I am having second thoughts about waxing philosophical about every plant, sight, and Neopolitan bread crumb. Entries may be less frequent and less wordy.......yeah.....right. It is just after 4 and my riposo and I am still awaiting word that my friends have arrived. They were flying standby and I am hoping that they got out yesterday.

Nothing else much to report. We had a short walk behind the city walls at Castiglione overlooking the lake. The views were just beautiful.

Learning note...Suzy told me that the catle ther was designed with a double wall so that the cannon balls woud fall between and not compromise the castle wall. It was so well designed that Micahelangelo and others came to study it.
It was never overtaken. The Germans prolonged their takeover there by stationing mannequin guards with fake guns to look like they were still in control of the castle during WWII.

I wish I could post the pics with the words. I will go back and post them where they would have appeared when I get back. PS Constance, Lylaine and Danny no arrivo...

Posted by Allegra51 07:07 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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