Monday, May 27, 2013

Italy withdrawal

I knew it would happen but not so quickly-that utter feeling of depression, the feeling at the pit of your stomach that tells you that you're not in Italy anymore.  This feeling oddly doesn't happen when you get off the plane.  You're too excited to see your friends, to walk into your beautiful, cozy home, to see your pets (did I mention how badly I missed Toby)?  Oddly enough there is much pleasure to be achieved by doing 3 weeks worth of laundry...... in hot water..............

I knew I would crash after a week or so but not on my 3rd day home. I've been torturing myself by checking the weather in Cortona (it's 20 degrees and partly cloudy). So here I sit at my computer paying bills and taking care of all the necessary errands that need to be done, washing my windows as they're filthy from all the pollution of downtown life! Trying to figure out how on earth to pay a parking ticket that I got in Siena when the website is extremely complicated and in ITALIAN!!!!

I miss the feeling of adventure, waking up in the morning and letting the wind blow me in any direction. Opening up my windows whether in Le Marche or in Cortona and smelling burning wood in the air, church bells ringing and various birds singing. Just a few days ago I was in my little Fiat driving through a dream landscape that was too beautiful to capture in pictures, so I didn't even try. Some things really do need to be seen only with the naked eye so I keep those pictures safely locked away!

Time to take a deep breath, go on a long hike with Toby so that I can attempt to work off the calories obtained by eating pasta everyday and enjoy this sun that has been hiding from me for a good 2 weeks. As the days go by I'll slowly begin to go back to normal and start to appreciate this beautiful city that I live in, especially now that summer is on the way.

Who knows, maybe I can start blogging about life in Montreal. Sometimes I feel like I'm always searching for something when it's already right under my nose and I'm too blind to see it! We'll see, until then "Eh, va bene"!

Friday, May 24, 2013

The end

Ciao Bella Italia

Last time I was here I had the crazy nerve to drive up to Rocca D'orcia which was the scariest thing I've ever done. Today as I was taking pictures of it from San Quirico I mentally told myself "no way, never again"- well guess what! I couldn't resist.

 Well I have nothing really profound to say in my final blog entry. Just that I'm a really lucky girl to have had the gift of these 3 weeks. Before leaving I had the feeling that there was a purpose to this trip, something was compelling me to come here for 3 weeks. I'm not really sure what that purpose was- I mean I didn't fall in love, have a hot fling, pull a Frances Mayes and buy a house or find any profound answers to the mysteries of life.

All I did was live in the moment and got out to see a small but beautiful corner of the world. 


Val d'orcia

Okay, next time I need to stay in this part of Tuscany. I had been here before but always just driving through- never really taking the time to really discover different towns. I've taken way too many pictures today but I want to remember everything. When I'm feeling blue and need my "Italy fix" I'll at least have my pictures to admire. So here I sit in a beautiful little courtyard in San Quirico D'orcia- what a lovely little place.

This morning some interesting moments! Since I left really early this morning it was pouring buckets the whole way here. They were forecasting rain in the morning so I wasn't too worried, when I arrived at Bagni di Vignoni, I basically sat in my car waiting for the rain to stop (and I desperately needed to pee) so that empty Pringles can was looking pretty good. Not to worry, the rain stopped and the beautiful sun finally came out (and I made it to a bathroom)!

Bagni di Vignoli is basically an ancient roman thermal spring, this beautiful little town is built around it. If you really want to see a cute movie that was filmed here it's called "shadows in the sun". Not a very well known movie with Joshua Jackson and Harvey Keitel.  If you ever see the DVD just buy it for the eye candy alone.  Anyway I sat on the same rock that Harvey Keitel sat on in the movie (his naked butt I might add). Not that I'm really into Harvey Keitel!

Anyway, this afternoon just planning on getting lost....

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Almost over

Can't believe how quickly it flew by. Going home will feel weird, in some way it went by quickly but also feels like I've spent a lifetime here. Doesn't really make sense unless you're in my shoes. So as my usual routine I sit in the piazza trying to remember every detail.

The kids playing soccer in piazza Signorelli, Italian men behind me screaming at each other, eventually some  locals decide to go home so you hear ciao, ciao, ciao, buona sera. Teatro Signorelli is quiet but will be busy later as "The Great Gatsby" is showing tonight.  I envy the locals as they bring their dogs everywhere- restaurants, boutiques and in bars. Toby would just terrorize everyone- I have a feeling though some time in Italy would straighten him out.  I'll also miss the smell of wood burning and the sound of church bells ringing throughout the day. 

In about a month this place will be invaded by tourists and the locals will go into hiding.  For now Cortona still belongs to them. 

Tomorrow is my last adventure with my little Fiat.  God is gracing me with a beautiful, sunny day. I'll wake up early and drive to Val D'Orcia, this part of Tuscany is in my opinion the most beautiful.  I will take as many pictures as possible and then end the day at Paulo's (trattoria Dardano) and indulge in my last plate of ecstasy. 

Ugh, this feeling sucks! When there's no longer a countdown of 10 days left, 5 days left's now 1 day left and I'm not going to want that day to end... 

The bidet

I know it seems silly to devote a blog entry on the thing next to the toilet in the bathroom but I'm kind of obligated to. I'm finding myself more and more curious about it. 

Why is it so essential in every bathroom?  How come we Canadians don't all have one in our bathrooms? Why do all Italians feel the need to have a separate "seating area" to wash themselves? Isn't that what toilet paper is for?

My curiosity peaked when I was in a public bathroom and there was a small shower head next to the toilet.  There's only one thing left to do- try it....

So I did just that! Basically all it is is a bum bath. I'm still really confused about the need for this contraption in every bathroom. If you're taking daily showers what's the purpose?
I guess some things are meant to be left a mystery...

Montepulciano part 2

Wow! Kind of regretting that I didn't try harder to find a hotel here. As much as I love Cortona, Montepulciano is the richer, classier big brother. The restaurants are more expensive and you can feel a sense of superiority amongst the locals.

Such a beautiful old city. The highlight for me was visiting a wine cellar. Not just any wine cellar, I was deep beneath the streets of Montepulciano. It was creepy, cold and damp and I loved it. I felt like I was stepping back in time as I was walking down those old stone steps. The cellars below are majestic with 60 foot high vaulted ceilings, some areas of the cellar date back to Etruscan times. The wine barrels were gigantic. At least 30 feet high barrels that made me feel small and insignificant. I felt like if I closed my eyes I could imagine what life was like back then. 

I would imagine it was hard and the people back then were so much more tougher than we are.  They must have worked hard and suffered but enjoyed the small pleasures in life, would be nice if we could do that more these days (enjoying the small pleasures in life that is).....