Every day is a gift…
Trip Start May 27, 2011
31Trip End Jun 23, 2011
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Upon my return to the apartment, Sara fixed my birthday breakfast of eggs, ham, and toasted bakery bread- wonderful, particularly on our terrace with the low lying clouds casting a veil over the picturesque town and valley below. Opened a card from friends thoughtful enough to send it along with us on our journey
We decided to go to Pienza today instead of on our way to Umbria since it’s only about 26k from here. Pienza was designed as a utopian town by the man who later became Pope Pius II and is the first example of Renaissance town planning. We were impressed that it provided a walkway along the panoramic view of the outstanding Tuscan landscape. Only this apartment and a few of the restaurants with back windows afford tourists Montalcino’s most spectacular view. There is a park on the other side of town that has a nice view but it’s mainly of a green hillside. You can only get a glimpse of the corner of this patchwork landscape with the classic vertical Cyprus trees dotted throughout it.
Pienza was the setting for the filming of Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. It is also famous for its pecorino, sheep’s milk cheese. We bought some flavored with walnut to eat now and a ruccola (with arugula) to take home with us. The town’s streets and alleys were filled with flowers and shops and lots of German tourists. We visited with fellow sailors from Connecticut and with a middle-aged couple from Melbourne, Australia who was on a biking vacation! (We had seen them on the hills around Montalcino yesterday and commented on their bravery. We’ve seen whole families on bikes. They start them out really early in Italy..3 and 4 years old.)
The signs dumped us off the back side of the hill to get back home. But, that too was a gift. For we soon came upon fields of poppies
Road went right to the SS2 and we were on our way to Montalcino without delay. It’s amazing how fast you can get from one hill-town to the next. When you see them perched atop a hill in the distance you’re sure it will take hours and then suddenly you’re there!
Roger dropped me off on the way to the garage and I headed to the art shop. Bought the painting for Roger for his birthday and had them ship it. The artist is from Milan and it’s a fun painting….even features a caricature of a semi-nude woman.
Had leftovers for lunch on the balcony before the rain chased us in. Roger’s napping before our gelato and wine run.
Most of the flowers in window boxes or trailing off balconies are various types of geraniums or petunias
Made a quick trip to the Coop in advance of our gelato break only to learn that it was closed until 1600- waited about 15 minutes along with the locals. Starters tonight were honey-cheese toast with fresh pears followed by olives along with a Rosso del Montalcino wine. Again, we were entertained by the acrobatics of the swifts that seem to swoop closer to us each succeeding evening.
Tomorrow we change location to a “farm apartment” near Trevi in Umbria. We plan to make a couple of stops (Montepulciano and Castiglione del Lago) along the way, hopefully arriving at our destination by 1500, barring getting lost which is always a possibility. Access to WiFi at our farm apartment is indefinite, so we may be “dark” for a couple of days…but have no fear!