Our first full day
Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
10Trip End Oct 07, 2007
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Although there were a series of complete experiences that will linger in my mind, I am going to limit myself to just a couple.
After our first factory visit today, we took a side trip to the country villa of Paolo and Lorella, a couple who has represented tile to us for many years. Their home has been a many-year project, and it shows. Over a decade ago, they purchased the villa from one of a pair of brothers who were feuding over what to do with the family's ancestral land. The parcel, about 50 acres, occupies one side of a small hill--itself set into a large range of hills and valleys. The vista was spectacular. The landscape is dotted with a dozen or so farmhouses, the oldest one from the 14th century. Paolo mentioned that their house, "was only 140 or 150 years old"--which would have put it on the national historic registry in the U.S
After our second factory tour, in which we saw the workings of a full-scale porcelain tile plant, we went to dinner with Lorella and Paolo in a small restaurant owned by their friends. The food was tremendous. After the appetizer course, Jill turned to Lorella and asked if there would be dessert. There would be, she said, after we finished our first plate, second plate, and a small salad. In all, the meal last over four hours, punctuated by great conversation. At one point we all went around sharing what we would choose to have written on our tombstones. I'll let you guess whose is going to say, "Thanks mom."