My dear blogger friends: we’re home. I’m going to “bore” you the next days with a report of our trip to Italy. We had a fantastic time and did so many things (not going to mention them all) that it seems that we have been away for much more than 11 days.
The weather wasn’t that great the first days, in Florence it was around 25C (77 degrees) and that was fine. But Sunday night it started to rain. The next two days in Umbria were “cold” and wet, around 18C (64 degrees) but the Wednesday we left for San Gimignano the sun started to shine and it never stopped shining and it became hotter and hotter with a temperature of 37C (98 degrees) on our last day.
We have met and talked to so many people from so many countries during our trip, that was fun. We’ve met people from Italy (of course), Holland, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and America.
One thing we noticed is that Italy has become very popular for a vacation compared to 8 years ago when we first visited it. It was almost too crowded and prices have gone up a lot too. Not for the food but mostly if you wanted to visit a church or museum. We didn’t do that because all the churches we’ve seen this trip, we have already seen from the inside the last time we were in Tuscany.
Are you ready? My posts will contain a lot of pictures.
We had a good flight with no delay and arrived at our hotel at 1.30 in the afternoon. After we unpacked we took a walk through the city. We visited the cathedral and the graves of the famous medici. Holland had to play their first soccer game in the European championship and we watched that at an Irish pub together with other Dutch people. After the game we ate at a trattoria, close to our hotel. I had a Caesar salad to start with, followed by pasta with zucchini, tomatoes and artichokes. The weather was good, not too hot but at the end of the afternoon we had a little bit of rain.
Sunday we took a walk through the city, we walked to the replica of David by Michelangelo, to Ponte Vecchio and then to the Boboli gardens. From the gardens you had a great view over the city.
We had lunch at a pizzeria in town, I had a pizza Quattro stagione. After a little siesta it was time to go to the stadium for the Bruce Springsteen concert.
We had to take a bus there and the bus was so crowded. We were in the front, I could touch the front window with my nose if I wanted too. And the bus driver was sometimes driving like a maniac. But we got there safe. When the concert started it was dry but during it started to rain very hard. There was one tribune with a roof and luckily our seats were under the roof.
The concert was fantastic. Bruce played for 3 hours and 20 minutes. The opening song was Badlands and he kept going and going, shouting “you’re fucking diehards” to us when we wanted more and more. He ended it with the Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Who’ll stop the rain”.
The part that touched me the most and brought tears to my eyes was the Clarence Clemons tribute during Thenth Avenue Freeze Out. When he sang “And the big man joined the band” all the lights on stage went out, except for a spotlight on the place where Clarence used to stand and they showed photo’s of Clarence with Bruce and the band. Everybody was silent. It was such a beautiful tribute.
After the concert we were soaking wet within a minute but we didn’t care. We had a fantastic evening.
Pietralunga – Umbria
Monday morning we picked up our rental car at the airport and began our trip to Pietralunge. We avoided the highways and took small roads through the mountains. Most of the time we were on the road alone and didn’t see people or other cars. Something you can’t imagine here in Holland. The first part of the trip the weather was fine but in the afternoon the rain started and hard. Sometimes we could hardly see the road because of the rain. We arrived at 3.30 in the afternoon at our azienda, on the top of a mountain. Because it was still raining we stayed there the rest of the afternoon and had dinner at the azienda. Antipasti, followed by pasta with tomatoes, a piece of pork meat with salad and a grilled tomato and a piece of cherry pie for dessert.
Tuesday morning it was dry and we decided to drive to Gubbio. We have visited this town 3 years ago too but it’s a nice town. R. went up to a mountain with a cable. This time I stayed on the ground because I’m a bit afraid of heights and I didn’t enjoy it that much the last time when I did go up.
When we left it started to rain again and we decided to go back to the azienda. At 5 pm we had a pasta workshop. This was so much fun. Mama didn’t speak English and when you did something wrong she would shout at you in Italian. The pasta we made they used for our dinner later that evening. Most of the pics of that dinner didn’t come out well but we had carrot soup, “our” pasta with mushrooms, turkey with salad and semifreddo for dessert.