Italy at Last

20 Jun

“Italy is one big farm. That’s why everything is so fresh,” observed Len as we descended from the clouds 1000 feet above FCO. And he’s so right. For many, the mention of Italy conjures up the big three: Venezia, Firenze and Roma, or other famous cities, but truly, there are miles and miles of farms and vineyards dotting the landscape. We drove through many of them in the three hour drive from Rome to Cortona.

Speaking of driving, after all the GPS planning (never worked) , driving with one’s spouse is not for the faint of heart. The driving (in my opinion as I’m the driver) is ok, it’s just the front seat driver that I thought about dropping off at one of those farms! But make it we did, and found our Casa Celeste in Cortona to be clean and comfortable.

The streets in Cortona are all narrow and hilly and support pedestrians, dog walkers and all manner of moving vehicles, which, of course, have the right of way. One quickly learns to navigate! We found a gem of a place for dinner, Il Cacio Brillo, which loosely translates to drunken cheese. We shared a delicious cheese and salumi platter, all freshly cut, with a 2006 Brunello in a 1200 year old room…heavenly.

Much has been written about Cortona since Frances Mays’ Under the Tuscan Sun, and I must admit, it’s what brought us here as well. That said, this is our launch pad for exploring larger and smaller towns in Tuscany and Umbria, skipping restaurants where English is spoken, and just taking the road less travelled whenever we feel like it. Photos to begin tomorrow.



2 Responses to “Italy at Last”

  1. Sandy Holswade June 20, 2011 at 5:09 PM #

    I have checked every day for your updates – I was so happy to get this one. Can’t wait to see the pic’s.

    Having just returned from Europe, I completely can relate to the GPS story. Forget it and forget Mapquest and all the rest. You are pretty much on your own. In our case, Larry was the driver, grandson Mark the navigator, and Sandy the screamer. The screamer nearly got dumped several times!! Larry did a great job, it’s all those other very fast drivers that frightened me.

    I’m envious of the food and wine. Italy is definitely the best in that category!

    What a wonderful way to share your journey!




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