Sophie’s photos, a selection from recent days.
Greetings. We have been thinking of you all! Wishing you all the best under the big moon of late.
Things are going well here. Many adventures: Citta di Castello, Arezzo, San Leo, Citerna, Monterchi, Rimini, Ikea (outside Rimini), and around the valley near Brent’s.
Weather is still dry, sunny and warm during the day, chilly nights. No frost yet. Kirsten continues to do a great job leading the tours. People from India, Canada, US, all over. She’s selling lots of the cheese, too. Of course we’ve been eating lots of cheese, both Brent’s and that from the markets. Pecorninos galore. There are macellerias (butchers) and other little food places all over, and we frequent them.
Ola and William are close to walking. They’re so funny. Ola likes to mimic the noises of crows and chainsaws and dogs barking. She’s pretty good at it. William doesn’t like to wear socks or most clothing. He likes to stand. Barefoot. As long as possible he stands and walks loops around tables and chairs, balanced with their aid. We have several cats and many of the valley’s dogs hanging around, eating what the babies don’t quite get in their mouths. Most meals are outside. Sophie has been scrapbooking and working on her school and fiddle. Her Renaissance unit got a big boost the other day when we went to Arezzo and spent time at Piero’s True Stations of the Cross fresco and then at an amazing exhibit based on Vasari’s Lives of the Artists. The exhibit featured works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Da Vinci, and many others. The babies slept for two hours as we made our way through, aided by audio headsets in English, with Vasari quotes and other helpful, lively narration. There was a wedding in the Piazza Grande there in Arezzo, traditional with men in medieval get up, flag bearers, drumming, and horns. Arezzo is where they filmed “Life is Beautiful” and where Roberto Benigni is from.
The olive groves are fully pruned now. After digging postholes and setting 80 fencepost for new pasture, Thorpe and Valerio have been clearning Brent’s chestnut grove way up the mountain, in a lovely cove. It hasn’t been cleared in 20 years. We work there in the mornings, chainsaw and handsaws. The boars have already done some of the work. Today a lovely woman came through gathering chestnuts. We attended a great chestnut/truffle festival in Citerna over the weekend, which we and especially our stomachs enjoyed. Thorpe also finished some concrete work, repairing loose stone in the walkways. He had a fun time going to the hardware store and trying to negotiate a concrete purchase.
We’re in Anghiari now for an hour or two, some vino rosso & internet at caffe and some fresh yummies from a few of our favorite food merchants.
Now we are headed to a place down the road where people bring their olives for pressing. They’ve been using the same system, same stones and containers there since the 1400’s. Brent takes his olives there.. Looking forward to the tasting.
That’s all for now. Much love and cheer. Arrivaderci!