Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Italia Day 4


We enjoyed another lazy start to the morning. The weather started out cool and humid then by lunch time the sun was out to stay. I cooked breakfast then we were back to the laundromat to dry towels. I put them in the washer too late the night prior so there was no chance they'd dry on the line with a chilly, moist night.

We were indoctrinated into every day Italian life after receiving a parking ticket. The city implemented paid parking where it didn't exist two years ago. Dean went to the city offices and was sent to 3 people before he figured out we had to pay the ticket at the post office. Well go figure right? ...not so much. Guess all government offices teach their employees the art of the run-around. So off to the post office I went to join 5 locals who were also paying parking tickets. With a little sign language, a few words of Italian from me and a few words of English from the postal dude, we figured each other out.

Now, back to vacation. We headed off to Montepulciano for a bit of lunch and sight seeing. We knew it was worthy of a trip back. The walk to the top is long and steep with amazing views and beautifully decorated alley ways. We caught some sun over a really great pizza and wound our way back down perusing the shops. We, rather I, made it to the bottom without buying a thing except lunch. A-mazing! The views are staggering. Take a look!

That's me in the purple shirt.

Piazza Grande

Olive groves and vineyards

Back in Cortona we cleaned up and headed over to Ambra's house for dinner. They have a gorgeous home. Full of antiques of all styles, huge tall ceilings, and really big rooms. The dinner table was dressed beautifully and the house smelled divine...our mouths started watering the instant we walked in the front door.

Keep in mind this is all homemade food ... Ambra served a starter plate which included bruschetta, pâté on crostini, cheese with fig jam on top (you must try this at home!), rolled salami, and two other meats. Then came this amazing pasta, creamy red sauce with bacon and small rigatoni shaped pasta. I am getting the recipe for this! Dean and I are thinking, great meal dessert must be next. Yeah, not over yet. Then came a roasted pork loin, which was juicy and seasoned so perfectly, simple salad (greens and radicchio only, no ranch) and fried potatoes. Now dessert....homemade apple cake. Yeah, getting the recipe for this too. Ambra liked the idea of having to practice her English to send them to me.

The chianti served with dinner was perfecto! I think Ambra's husband was trying to get me drunk, he filled my glass twice with huge pours. They all laughed at my reaction. We enjoyed a small sip of dessert wine liqueur, with the apple cake, which was different and delicious! As if our tastebuds hadn't already received the royal treatment we devoured a small glass of homemade creamy (not clear) limoncello! Oh my, my, my!!! They could have given me a straw, put me in a corner and I would've been happy for a month! Ambra's mother makes it with tree ripened lemons from Sicily. She has a friend who sends them when they're ready.

The conversation was non stop. We learned a ton and laughed a lot. They showed us their vacation pictures and shared some great stories. In typical Italian fashion they sent us home with enough leftovers for a full meal.

Ambra on my left and her husband and daughter, Sara, on my right. We still don't know Ambra's husband's name. They say it so fast we haven't caught up yet.

Tomorrow we stick close to home for our last day here. We plan to go to the market in Camucia, see the art museums in Cortona and do some exploration of the city streets/hills. Need to work off some of the pounds we earned in Ireland.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Cortona Italy

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