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Published: September 20th 2007
Salve! Yesterday we spent the morning and early afternoon driving through some of the hill top towns close to Montepulciano. Even though you think that each town will be the same, you are always surprised about what is in each town. The building designs differ slightly, the flavour of each town, the shops and how narrow the streets are! Certainly driving to the top of some of these towns can prove to be a challange. We wanted to make sure the rental car we had would hold our luggage which it does, but on some of these very narrow streets in towns, we are wishing we had a smaller car. Certainly traveling on a moped through Italy makes alot of sense for getting around and parking. We stopped for lunch at a small Tratoria and had another great meal. Lois tried asking for the receipe for her meal, but ... no one is too quick to give them up! She had a pasta dish with very long and wide noodles in a traditional Tuscan ragu sauce, Wayne had the raviolli, Stan vegetable zuppa and I had the spaghetti pomadori (tomatoes and basil). After lunch we drove home passing some wine fields
Driving the narrow streets
This was taken from inside the car!!!
where they were starting to harvest the grapes for that fantastic wine!! There are also numerous olive trees everywhere. They will not harvest them until the end of October or the first of November. Last night was also dinner night at our villa. Suzzane who works here, made a Tuscan dinner for all the guests of here. I know I am talking alot about the food, but --- it is soooo fantastic! We started with a dish that was like a quiche wrapped with very thinly sliced pieces of zucchini and topped with a tomato sauce. Next was a pasta dish - homemade noodles that were thicker than the regular spaghetti noodles in a ragu sauce. Than was chicken cachatorie (sp?) with roasted potatoes and chickpeas done in olive oil, wine and rosemary, served warm. But that wasn't all, next followed the dolce - a tuscan cake that was not sweet --- but very tasty. Throughout the dinner we had all the wine we could drink and with dessert they served grappa and lemoncello. Grappa is pretty well pure alcohol, burn the hair right off your chest!!!! I tried the lemoncello --- not bad, but I think I will stick
with the wine. We have met many Canadians staying at the villa with us, for some it is there 2nd and 3rd time staying here. Sounds like everyone plans to keep coming back.
Today we went to Cortona, if you have seen the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, you will be familiar with Cortona as it was filmed here. It is very high up on the hill and we did not climb to the very top. It only has one maybe two streets that are level the rest are up and down. The view even from halfway up was breathtaking. Tomorrow, Friday, we are travelling to Florence, than on Saturday we leave for Venice. It will be hard to leave this Tuscan paradise, I'm already tring to figure out how I can get back here sooner than later!!! I have attached two entries from Stan, talk to you soon, M.
TUSCANY: A QUIET AND PEACEFUL PLACE TO BE: One time while visiting Saskatchewan, (SA) Canada, a friend I was travelling with observed that he had never experienced the quiet which was so evident in rural SA. He went on to express the opinion that one could not find
quiet in Ontario, (ON). Each time I wake during the night I reflect back on that observation >> the quiet here in Tuscany is overwhelming; and it continues long after the sun comes up; it endures throughout the day. It is the quiet which sets the stage for a wonderful location to spend a day, to spend a week, or if one so chooses, to spend a life time. To-day we toured the area around San Antonio villa; we experienced several small medieval towns >> all perched on top of a hill, no doubt so for security purposes. (Security was an item then; security remains an item to-day, but not in Italy so it appears!) We lunched in a quaint restaurant >> the first time during our 10 days that we have dined inside. We returned early to our apartment in anticipation of a dinner/party to be held this evening. There will be twenty odd people attending >>> and at least 14 are Canadians. Nico, the Manager/Owner explained that this is a record for Canadians at his villa. Having a great holiday!! Florence and Venice are both ahead of us!!! Talk to you soon: Gramps; Stan, Dad 2007 09 19.
An “Off Ed” Story From Italy ~~ The McCormack Clan:For those of you who know Wayne, you know that his literary leanings of late have been toward Sam Harris with preference for his works Letter To a Christian Nation along with Richard Dawkins latest best seller The God Delusion. We must report, a la CBC, in the best interest of Balanced Journalism, that Wayne just may have been influenced by the religiosity of Italy, with emphasis not on Julius Cesar nor the sophisticated lifestyle of the citizens of Pompeii, but rather by the stories of the disciples as depicted by the fine painters and sculptors whose works have been displayed everywhere in Rome!!! AS the pix in the margin so clearly indicates, we see Wayne humbling himself on the alter of Christ. Could this be the New Wayne? Could this be the Wayne who will return to Canada?? If it happened to George (B), it could happen to Wayne!!! My prediction: He will return to the Centre ~~ with stories to tell!! Now in Tuscany ~~ 2007 09 19 16:07.
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