May 3, 2008
Buongiorno from under the molto caldo tuscan sun! Luigi and I decided to get some relief from the tuscan sun and work on another update…since Massino’s laptop is in the cool cantina
Yesterday was a busy day…Luigi says that the previous night he could feel Leonardo Da Vinci’s soul wanting to make another famous painting of Nancy and Anne…. (we are in full view andwithin 1 km from where Mona Lisa was born!). After a cappucino and a very realxed “getting ready”, we finally left (at 11!). We toured in the Sheeen-ik to Sienna which was very busy, parking was a challenge so eventually we had Erik standing guard in the one free spot we found…until Luigi could back up the Sheen-ik to park before Erik got run over by an angry tourist! Sienna was another centuries old medioeval town, with slightly different architecture than the Chianti region. We wandered through the centre of the town, stopping once or twice for gelato (Erik likes gelato almost as much as I do!).
From Sienna, we continued on to Pienza, the Pecorino cheese capital of the world, according to Luigi. Anne’s comment was ” we came here for cheese?!” After sampling a number of pecorino cheeses, Luigi bought enough for the next six months….I am not sure it will get past the cheese sniffing dogs at customs though! There were some interesting side streets in Pienza…with arched walkway with the view of the tuscan countryside through the arch…that was a beautiful sight…I am afraid the photos will not do it justice.
The trip back to Greve was long and a little nail biting when Luigi announced that he hoped we got home before we ran out of gas…this was while we were in what seemed like the middle of nowhere…and very dark outside….oh….but we did have some wine and cheese in the car….so we would have been fine for a few days|
We did arrive “home” safely and had cooked some fresh zucchini which we had bought in Greve the day before….Luigi also bought some porchetta in Pienza for our supper. Dessert was, of course, Vin Santo and cantuccini.
Today was the weekly outdoor market day in Greve so we went in search of tuscan tablecloths and leather goods. We also went to the leather factory in Greve. There were some beautiful purses and leather jackets with prices to match. The factory makes leather purses for upscale companies all over the world. In stores those items would likely fetch twice as much!
At the outdoor market, Luigi and Erik bought some porcetta sandwiches, mozzarella crostini and deep fried zucchini flowers for lunch which we ate picnic style, sitting on the side of the road overlooking Chianti and the Tuscany valley.
Since the town closes for the afternoon “siesta”, even the GAS station, we came back to Poggio Asciutto (www.poggioasciutto.it/english/farmhouse.htm) to enjoy the afternoon sun.
I should mention that before heading back here, we had to visit our favourite little Mom and Pop fruit and vegetable corner store “a common occurence in Italy”…for some eggplants for our supper tonight. The owners have become very fond of Luigi and all of us and everytime we shop there they will add free items to our shopping bag. Today, Luigi gave them a small Canada souvenir that we brought over just for these possible situations as a “thank you” …they then gave us a bottle of wine….!
Check out our website http://www.memoriesofItaly.com for more on Greve and the Chianti region in Tuscany.
We are off to Cinqueterre tomorrow and have no idea about internet connections. We’ll make an effort to keep you all informed, but not sure when.