Italy revisited 2016 travel blog

Our last day in San Terenziano, I could have left yesterday. We thought that we might take one day and just relax here. Not very comfortable though. The most comfortable chairs are the plastic ones like you see at Home Depot. No chairs that fit us properly and the couch is very uncomfortable and really low.

We went to Deruta, with a few suggestions from various sources, we walked the street which had most of the factories. Wandered into all the stores and checked pricing. We went into the Franco Mari store, my mother’s favorite, the prices were through the roof. We found two places that we liked. The first called Sberna, the other called Grazie, both highly recommended. We went into Grazie, the owner was an older gentleman, Umbaldo, probably our age, he asked where we were from. He had traveled extensively in the US and actually sold his ceramics to a Pasadena store that my mother loved, In the past I had purchased some things there too and I still have them The store was called Girasole, which means sunflower in Italian. He told us to go up the factory so see how the ceramics are made. We did, there were two artists in the room, each painting a piece. Each piece is made to order. The detail work was incredible. We loved his pieces and purchased a large jar and an olive oil container from him. His dishes were a little to expensive for us. We went across the street to Sberna, and spent an hour looking at the different patterns, We liked them all, but finally decided on two and so bought 4 of each, dinner and salad plates. We asked that they change a couple of things and she said no problem.

We talked to both of them about their business, they said that because of the Chinese and the inexpensive workers, they have lost much business. The woman at Sberna, said that young people didn’t appreciate the work that goes into each piece.. They like inexpensive and quick, and don’t want to wait. She said because of the slowness of business, that we should received our order in a month. Mr. Grazie said the same. We loved our choices, and can’t wait to receive them.

After Deruta, we went to Todi, and and road the funicular to the top. We found the square, Umbaldo, Mr Grazie, had suggested a restaurant there. We did find it, but it was closed. We went back to a little enoteca, had an Aperal spritz, a panini, some gelato, then walked to the top of the city, George wanted a picture and stepped into someone’s yard, The old man who lived there invited us into the yard, and George got some amazing photos. We left Todi and came back to the apartment.

Yesterday, we went to Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio. Civita is only accessible by a bridge across a deep anyone. The only way the residents get things in is by motor scooter or Apei, I’m not sure of the spelling, it is a three wheeled, one person operating truck. The size of an ATV. They sound like a bumble bee, and I think that is what Apie means in Italian. Future reference. We walked the bridge, uphill, once again. It is a quaint little village, there were a couple of places open, we just wandered, we met an American couple that lived there, they actually invited us in, however we thanked them and went on our way.

After Civita, we drove to Orvieto. It has a gothic cathedral, which has four pointed tall spires, the front has the story of Christ, carved marble and in great deal. Inside you could see the stained glass windows vividly. There were some that were not restored, but most were. There were, as in all the churches, sculptures and frescoes on the walls that were beautiful. We learned that the people of Orvieto, decided that it was too gothic, during the 1800”s, they felt it was not modern and was more representative of the Renaissance, so they moved all of the sculptures out of the church. We found the museum where they are now kept and saw the detail the artists put into the works. Carved from solid pieces of marble, there were garments that looked as if they were blowing in a breeze, eyes that followed even fingernails and veins. The works beautiful.

We went looking for food, and went down an alley and found a place where Italians were eating, Da Carlo. We ordered just pasta, wine of course, mine was tagliattelli with wild boar bolognese. My mouth is watering just remembering. George looked in Rick Steves book and he described the restaurant perfectly, Carlo, was holding court, being rather boisterous at the table next to us, and his mama was there helping out. Just like in the guide book. We took a little walk after, and then found our way to the escalator’s down. There were were two moving side walks, four escalators and an elevator. We had to take the steps down for most, I was so grateful the uphill was simple. Back to our little apartment.

When we arrived were walking outside and a kitty came up to us. Little thing, very sweet. I went to the fridge and pulled out some cold cuts which we had for antipasto the night before, way to much food. I took out some salami and prosciutto and sliced them up, she inhaled them. Absolutely starving. We gave her some water, she came inside and she likes the couch, so she jumped up. We put her out and went to the restaurant for a pizza and some wine, when we got back there she was. I gave her a little more, I didn’t want her to get sick and we put her outside. This morning, I opened the door, and she came flying down the steps from next-door . We gave her a little more to eat, and then returned to Montefalco to visit when it was open. Few stores were open because it began to rain. We then went to Spello, Umbaldo had told us of a chapel in the church, which he called a wonder of the world. He was right. The frescoes had been restored and the original floor had been covered with glass, so one could see all of the mosaics, and structure. The entire church was a walk back in time. To be honest, Italy is a wonderful walk back in time.

We decided to return to Bavagna and Oscar’s for lunch, it was near and our trusty Google maps took us back. We had a lovely lunch. I have now talked George into not eating Italian style, and sharing, so we could have each course and share. So much food. and of course get gelato. As we left Oscar’s it began to rain, it rained the entire drive back, not hard but steady...We got back and George said , bet the kitty will be here soon, she must know the sound of the car. He was right, before we reached the door, she came bounding up the hill. We of course fed her, twice, she finally left a bit on the dish. I am so happy that she if satisfied, and hope the next visitors here will be good to her. Then the wind got wild, thunder and rain. It lasted 20 minutes of so, now seems to have calmed. We will venture up the hill for something to eat soon. It's after six, the kitty is purring and sleeping on the couch, at least someone likes it. We can still hear thunder in the distance. George poured some wine, I'm having my cocktail. All is right with the world. I do hope the next place has comfortable seating. We haven't been comfortable since Norcia.

Sunny Italy? Not so much for us. Tomorrow Pienza for two nights then Florence.

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