Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuscany - Day 1

What a great nights sleep we had last night!!! No noise from a city, it was so quiet and we could leave the windows open and let the fresh air in…..wonderful!!! We had to leave this morning at 9:00. The owners of this farm, Paulo and Pat, have lots of olive trees. They had harvested a truck full and our first stop was to take them to the processing plant. We got to see the whole process from olive to oil…….it was so interesting!!! And then tonight at dinner, we got to taste Paulo’s olive oil that was made today!! Amazing!

We then went to the city of Volterr. This city was high on top of a hill and the views were incredible. Really, it looks just like the pictures of Tuscany that you have seen….only better!! Paulo gave us a map of the city and told us the spots to see and then we were on our own till 1:30. They had a beautiful old church there. I just love walking through these. We got to visit a man’s studio that makes alabaster carvings. He made a vase while we watched and then I got to keep the vase. It was so cool to see him carve this vase so quickly. His name was Franco and he was so proud to show us his work.

There was a old Roman ruins of an auditorium. We also had the opportunity to visit a shop that made beautiful gold jewelry. There were women in the back room crafting the pieces by hand! Very delicate and intricate.

Then we just roamed around the city. I just love walking through all the alleyways and small walk ways and exploring.

At 1:30 we met at a wine café for lunch. I actually tasted wild boar that had been cured a little like jerky. It was really good!!!

After lunch, we came back to the farm. The drive is VERY winding and they drive really fast. I am so glad that I don’t get car sick!!!

After a short rest, we had our first cooking class. Chicken with olives and dried tomatoes, potato ring and drunken pears. I wish I could post pictures for you to see because the potato ring was so pretty. It was three layers of different flavored mashed potatoes made in a jello mold. It was soooooo good!!! We had a blast in the kitchen working on the food and then even better got to eat it afterward. Dinner in Italy is 8:00. Very late. It is hard to go to bed after eating so late, but when in Italy, do as Italians…right?!!! I am going to be huge when I get home!!! Fat and happy!

What a great day we had!!! Tomorrow we will going to a monastary near Pisa and hopefully to see the leaning tower if time permits.

I keep trying to load pictures, but it just is too slow up here!!! I am so sad that I can't share the sights with you, but when I get back.....I will!!!



Roslyn said...

Can't wait to see the pictures that go along with your days in Tuscany! Sounds so wonderful!! Enjoy it and don't worry about the pounds...as long as you can fit in your clothes to fly home. =)

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

Yes... waiting for pictures!
I thought it was "When in Rome..."

The more I read of your adventure, I am beginning to wish I'd been born Italian!

I am planning my November grocery budget around some of these dishes you describe--- potato ring!???
YUMMMMM! (licking lips)