...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!