Monday, October 17, 2005

My Italy Diary: Tuscany, Part 4

After dinner last night we took a walk and met up with Liz and Ron Koontz, fellow Americans from California. We shared some wine and conversation, and made plans to have dinner together tonight. Carmelina followed us back to the room and came in for a treat, the leftover procuitto from our meal, and promptly went to bed. We stopped at the tavern for cappucino before heading out this morning and discovered that they are not open for dinner tonight. We are disappointed as the meals here have been the best we’ve had in Italy and we depart tomorrow.

Our first stop today was San Gimignano, a small medieval town which once upon a time had 72 towers. Today only 14 remain and only one, Torre Grosse, is open to the public. We climbed to the top to get the panoramic view, which was not disappointing. There was a lot of fog so the opportunity for photography was somewhat limited. The most charming aspect of the city is its ancient stone walls and numerous small alleyways. We grabbed a pizza sandwich, the most delicious flavor, and walked around shopping for local treasure and wine.

Next we drove to Volterra, where we visited a palace of a local family (who still live in part of it) which they have opened to the public. Again, we spent most of the time just wandering around. Volterra is known for its alabaster so we picked up a couple of small pieces. The best part of the day was the scenery. I would tell Mr. Man to pull over when there was a particularly beautiful vista, as he was driving an unable to really appreciate it. We arrived back to Romitorio de Serelle, then checked in with Liz and Ron and met up for dinner around 7:30pm. We dined in a little restaurant in
Castellina in Chianti. The meal (antipasta, Ravioli, and roast chicken) and company was good. Today was my 44th birthday and I couldn’t have dreamed of a better way to spend it.

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