Monday, July 10, 2006
Had the worst airplane / train experience of my life getting here. Every flight was delayed by an hour -- one late flight messed up my connection to the next, and that late flight got me to Rome 7 minutes late for the last train out to Montepulciano. Poor Bea was waiting for me at 1am at the train station, when it pulled in and I was not on it. Our communication was incredibly difficult. I am amazed that we are still speaking to each other.
Now that the travel trauma is over, though, we are settling in to a lovely round of days: getting up early, having a quick bite. Then Bea goes to her Italian course and I clean up or loaf a little, before going down to meet her on her break for a cappuccino. Then I wander some more, taking pictures, getting bread, etc. She gets home and we lunch, chat, then nap. Then we get up and wander around to taste local wines, and maybe even buy some. They approach wine tasting differently than in Ontario: you get a little less, but it's free. They encourage you to sample it all – they want you loosened up quickly to make the sale, but it's also more fun for them that way too I'm sure. I think I'm becoming very partial to the Chianti.
We stumbled upon an Etruscan cellar, where wine has been kept for almost 3000 years. The buildings here seem to all have deep roots into the mountain, and are moulded around the hills. Everything extends 3 or 4 stories above ground, and also a few below. Even in small house-sized places, you can find four homes, one to a floor, and no entrances are on the same street.