#2 Italy, May 22, 2001
Its 16th Century church is central to the town, as is the ‘Bar Sport’ where villagers congregate at all times of the day for a coffee. I was thrilled to see Roberto’s and Claire’s Christmas card displayed on the back of the bar. It was a picture (that I took) of Marco and Lorenzo playing in the Minnesota snow!
After lunch at the Piazza della Signorina, we noticed a large crowd gathered in front of the Duomo. The parade and church bell-chiming that followed were for the installation of a new Archbishop—-no doubt the reason that the Duomo was closed, earlier.
Leaving Florence, we were caught in a traffic jam, probably from a soccer game since many people were flying team flags out the windows of their cars.
The next day we returned to Poppi Castle and were treated to a tour of all three floors of the castle. This is new, as earlier I had not been able to see the inside. How nice! The classmates bought me six mugs for a hostess gift! We again ate dinner at Il Casentino at Poppi Castle.
A trip out of Tuscany to visit Ravenna was on the docket. Since it is quite far from Partina we had to leave quite early so I woke the gang up by playing Pavarotti singing some of the famous arias, turned up pretty loud! The driving was quite challenging so we stopped for a cappuccino in Mercato Saracen. Given the tradition of only paying when you are leaving rather than when you are served coffee, I forgot to pay. Nobody said anything! A few minutes later I decided to return to the coffee shop and use the restroom before we went on. The waiter then reminded me that I had not paid! Oofda!
Ravenna was wonderful! These mosaics are from the 6th century when Ravenna was the Seat of the Catholic Church. They are just as bright and beautiful as ever! It was a fatiguing day, but well worth while!