Saturday, October 23, 2004


Just a few moments here at the internet point, having made a bunch of phone calls to - ta da - make reservations for the rest of the nights on our trip! I am so proud of myself. I did it all in Italian and got reservations for every night remaining to us (we already had Rome sewed up!).

We spent a quiet day yesterday, exploring some of the tiny and steep streets of Cortona, sitting in the garden of the farm and gazing at the spectacular views below. We watched the family working in the fields above us, feeding the animals, harvesting figs, trimming the vines, cultivating the vineyards, sawing up wood, all of them ' grandparents and parents, working steadily all day, laboring by hand for the most part, and greeting us cheerfully as they passed by. We took a long walk downhill from the farm, into a valley below us, where there were many small farms such as the one we are staying on. We shopped for more ‘picnic supplies’. Each day we eat at least one meal that consists of bread, cheese, salami or mortadella, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and whatever other little specialities of the region that take our fancy. Yesterday we added a bottle of the homemade wine from our little farm, and some Lindt chocolate - and we had a splendid picnic of it. Today we are fogged in, so we decided to take some internet time, do a little shopping, and then take another long walk. It is a relief to have the reservations made for the days ahead. We will leave here on Monday and head into Lazio.

Today is the open market day, so the streets are full of people out shopping. Surprisingly they are all dressed up in what look almost like church clothes, probably because they socialize when the market happens. There are few tourists here - we seem to be at the end of the season. We saw a lady wearing what appeared to be a red snakeskin suit and high heels this morning, going to the market! Wow!

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