#4 Italy, June 22, 2017

Dear Everybody,

A nice rest/relaxation day following our trip home from Urbino was the thing on Friday. Burt did some serious cooking—-first a pigeon to get ready for a sauce for pasta for another day. The pigeon turned out to not be cleaned—-the guts were still in it! Luckily I

am farm girl, and saw my mother clean chickens many times. I saved the liver, heart, and kidney for Burt’s sauce, and he took over from there. Then we bought two oratas (sea bream) fish to grill for our dinner that night. In the meantime, Burt fixed a puntanelle salad (chicory, anchovies and other stuff) to go with the fish and made a nice sauce, too. That and a nice bottle of Bianchello wine mellowed us out that evening.

The neighbor cat came over to finish off the fish skins left on the grill. She reminded me so much of a painting that I had seen in the Ducal Palace that I took her picture to compare. Apparently not much has changed regarding cats from the 14th century!

Saturday night was a big ‘fest’ night in Partina. Some of the local women, including Roberta, cooked lots of good food and served it to a couple hundred of the Partina residents, including us! Tables were all lined up on the street on which Roberta and Paolo live. It started at 8:00; however, the first course was served at 9:00 and there were many courses. There was also entertainment—-but really, the whole thing
was ‘entertainment.’ What a chance to get in on that local event. As things Italian go, they were making a night of it, and we were asleep on our feet by 11:00 when they were just getting ready to serve the 
main course. We had had antipasto, and two pasta courses plus wine and Prosecco by then. So we old folks ducked out before the duck was served! Sorry about that—-we just can’t keep up with these Italians!

A couple of lazy days with Burt cooking pigeon sauce for pasta and fried squash blossoms and sage leaves. We’re organizing our remaining meals at home, now, to make things ‘come out even.’

And just to sit in the back yard under the umbrella, or look out the front to our beautiful view is pleasant.

When we ate at Arezzo a couple of weeks ago, we noticed from the label from the half- bottle of wine we drank said the wine was made in the town of Laterina, a small town very near Arezzo. We followed up on this and discovered it was a beautiful little town and so we decided to visit it.

In the meantime, Burt had bought an “Arezzo” cookbook, as he is wont to do. This cookbook listed 37 villages in the Arezzo area and gave recipes for their native dishes. One of these villages was Laterina. It was pretty far off the beaten track, so luckily my iPhone GPS guided us there.

On the way we came to a very old bridge——built in 1277 and they say it is featured in the Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci. It was called the Buriano bridge over the Arno River (the same river that runs through Florence) so we stopped to take a look. How lovely!

Continuing on, we came to another of the 37 villages from the cookbook, called Castiglion Fibocchi. It was so pretty that we had to stop there, too! The view from the highway was gorgeous. After spending a little time walking that town, we continued on our way to Laterina, walking up, up, up to the town.

Laterina was really beautiful and fun to walk around. Three men sat in front of a church with a sword thrust in a stone! There were beautiful streets and gorgeous views from the town walls.

Soon it was lunch time. We chose a cute little Osteria that had a sign saying the proprietors were Laura and Claire. We must have had one DSC01474.jpgof them, but I don’t know which. There was a little grocery store connected to the tiny restaurant.

I had pici (like thick spaghetti) with duck sauce; Burt had pici with a beef sauce. She brought wonderful salami and sheep cheese antipasto——we bought some of the cheese to take with us, it was so good.  Our GPS got us home again, what a wonderful outing we had!

The next day we did chores most of the day except for when Burt did some serious cooking. The pigeon sauce was now ready to have on pasta, which he saved for the evening meal. He made a panzanella salad with bread, cucumbers, basil, garlic and onion plus the olive oil and vinegar. This sits around awhile, letting the flavors ‘get acquainted.’

I did a bunch of laundry and Burt did some ironing outside in the perfect sunshiny day. He LIKES to iron! Roberta has several hand-embroided sheets and pillow cases that were in her grandmother’s hope chest. Of course they take ironing——something that puts most of us off from using them. Roberta encouraged me to use them, but it took taking them to the laundry afterwards, so made a bit of a hassle. So it has been years since I have used them, or anybody else, for that matter. Along came Burt——who likes antique linens and is perfectly willing to iron them!

We had a lovely buffet lunch, with prosciutto and melon, tomato bruschetti, salami, the panzanella salad, and some Orvieto white wine that we bought there last year.

I did just a bit of cleaning as we are getting ready to leave tomorrow to go to Verona We will be attending a couple of operas there in a Roman amphitheater. Shortly after we will be going to Rome and then home.

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2 Responses to #4 Italy, June 22, 2017

  1. skbehrens says:

    You are one lucky woman! Not only do you get to travel everywhere but you found Bert! He seems like the perfect guy, esp since he likes to cook and iron. I am loving every well-written word of your travelog. Thanks for keeping me on your list.

  2. carolkiecker says:

    Indeed! Who would have thought it at my age? (82)

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