so are you bored yet? i'm half way through the trip. just a few more days to go.
today we had 2 villages we wanted to visit. and we wanted to make it home in time for dinner at the house. remember we were trying to save money. so another town that was recommended to us by the locals and our travel guide was the village of volterra. one thing that drew us here was the excavated roman theatre. that was our first stop. we got to walk along the path and see the remains of what would have been the stage and the seating area for the audience. we tried to imagine what kinds of plays were presented. just beyond that you could see the bath houses. lots of after party fun must have happened there.
we saw the main piazza, palazzo del priori, the oldest town hall in tuscany. we didn't go to the duomo or the bapistery or the museum but we fell in love with the feel of this town. narrow streets intersecting with each other. shops and homes. a beautiful park that had an entruscan acropolis where archeologists were conducting a dig. history was being uncovered right before our eyes.
volterra is known for its alabaster. and we saw it in all shapes and colors. we ended up getting 2 little souvenirs to remind us of this place. a small alabaster heart and a wine stopper. there looked to have been a festival recently because there were banners, flags and ribbon hung throughout the town. we also stopped into a toy shop to get a doll for sofia and look for italian pokemon cards. no luck on the cards here. (we eventually found them in florence and the boys thought they were so cool. )
it was lunch time. we did do the tourist thing and walk around with our map and our guide book. but we weren't the only ones. we used the book a few times to get recommendations for restaurants or cafes but they were either closed or not there anymore. so we went on instinct. our lunch place served, pizzas, salad and pasta of course. we sat inside and ordered the sausage pizza with mushrooms and olives and the gnocchi with pomodoro sauce. ok, let me relive this moment. if there is one thing i strive for when cooking it is making a good pizza. i know exactly what i like; paper thin crust, light tomato sauce, not too thick, not sweet, more acidic, just the right amount of cheese. i have tried to make it at home and just can't get it right. well, this pizza blew me away. perfection on a plate. the gnocchis were ok, but the pizza was OUTSTANDING. you could fold it in half, it was light, cracker like crust, simple ingredients, tangy, from the olives and the perfect amount of cheese, but not oily. mmmmm. ok, thank you for that.
we then took the road about 15 miles inland to the town of massa marittima. i wanted to see it because the book said that it has 'one of the finest squares in tuscany', piazza garibaldi. we went inside the duomo, sat on the steps of the church, and walked down the main street. we passed a fabric shop with a beautiful tablecloth in the window. we asked the lady how much it was and tried to get measurements but she did not speak english. i tried my spanish, bobby tried some italian but we were not communicating. finally another woman entered the store and she spoke english and was able to translate for us. we left the shop with a gorgeous piece of fabric that i will have made into a tablecloth.
finally, we had a cappuccino at the enotecca, wine shop. seriously, each day just kept getting better and better.
we went back to the house and walked around the village for a while to take in the view. dinner this night was the pork chops with pesto and my version of pasta e fagioili. i need to practice that. and then we battled it out at skip bo. allen's neighbors, simone and valentina stopped by to check in on us. we spent the night talking about politics, sports, movies and life in general. it was such a fun night. and of course i had to get a picture of our new friends. thank you for making us feel at home.
tomorrow we pack up our things and head to firenze for our anniversary. . .
in other news
sharing some things that are making me happy today
- getting a note from my former boss at dreamworks. i have been trying to contact him for years and he found me. one reason to love facebook.
- b bringing me a pumpkin spice latte this morning. we are on a starbucks diet hoping to pay off our vacation debt. thanks for the surprise honey. it was totally worth the wait.
- CHA. i've said it before and i will say it again. i love the kids' school. we had back to school night for jordan last night and tomorrow it's andrew's turn. this school is the perfect place for our boys. love the teachers, love the other parents, love the kids, love, love, love.
- feeling like i have some kind of a schedule to my day and week. really working on getting things organized so that the house runs smoothly and i am not always in panic mode. getting things crossed off my list, except for the laundry. it can't always be perfect.
- thinking about sofia's upcoming birthday. my baby is going to be 4?! seriously, it went too fast. coming up with ways to celebrate. somehow i think princesses will be involved.