Peak laziness was achieved yesterday after my walk! We hung around the house and then, with a bit of a hunger on us, walked the long way around to get lunch. We went from our house to the Porta San Francesco, and followed the walls clockwise, past the Roman amphitheatre back to the Porta Fiorentina, which is actually the closest gate to us! Nothing wrong with getting a second walk in, I suppose.
On the way, we took a look inside Chiesa di San Lino, as we’d never been in it before. Whenever I enter an Italian church, the first thing I do is look up!
It took us a while to reach the restaurant, Osteria La Pace, who have wonderful home-made pastas. Their menu isn’t huge, but that which you can concentrate on is often wonderful. I had Caserecce di Cinta e Funghi (a pasta variety with pork and mushrooms), and Niamh the Pici al Cianghiale (thick noodles with wild boar). The pasta that came out on my plate looked nothing like caserecce, but more like thick pappardelle (the pic on the left below), which is ok as it’s one of my fave pastas. While mine was tasty, the food jealousy was very real after tasting Niamh’s (the middle photo). It’s one of the best plates of pasta in Volterra. We both finished the meal with an amazing tiramisù. On the way back to the apartment, we booked a table for our evening meal – always be thinking ahead!
In the afternoon we rested a while (it was pushing 30 to 31 degrees out), I wrote a few more hundred words of my novel and toasted myself for a short while out on the terrace.
We then went out to have a look at a small flea market and stopped off at La Mangiatoia for a couple of Moretti each.
After another laze-about, we got ready for our meal and wound our way down Via Gramsci towards the restaurant. On our way, I paused a moment to snap a lady demonstrating the art of alabaster carving.
Sometimes it’s the food that keeps you coming back to your favourite places, and sometimes it’s the welcome. In the case of La Taverna della Terra di Mezzo it’s both! Roberto and Aurora always welcome us back enthusiastically, and serve us some wonderful dishes. A free snifter of grappa (a strong spirit distilled from the left-overs of wine making) to finish the meal off helps a little there! It has a strong, almost woody, flavour, but hits you a bit like vodka.
I had the Zuppa alla Volterrana and Niamh some Bruschette to start. Niamh then had Penne Arrabbiata (literally, angry penne!), which was quite hot with chili. I had a steak on the bone with oven-baked spuds. Then we had tiramisù again, but instead of it being made with coffee, it was made with limoncello and was almost as lovely as the one we’d had earlier.
We rolled ourselves out of our chairs and strolled towards the Roman amphitheatre, as there was a performance of Faust there that night. We got one of the cheap ‘seats’ (looking on with no charge from the walls above!). It was all in Italian, and we understood little of it – the sound wasn’t bad, but it didn’t carry fully up to where we were. At one stage, Mephisopheles appears, and it was done so well – completely unseen, then appeared with clever lighting. Unfortunately, I missed a photo of that. I have photos below, but they’re poor – I must invest in a decent camera one of these days!
We only stayed for 15-20 minutes before heading back to the apartment.
This morning, I felt a smidge hung-over, and there were denser clouds in the sky. The air felt thick in my lungs, and I knew a strenuous workout was to be avoided, so I just walked about town and papped anything purty I saw.
I didn’t sleep so well last night, and so I’m still a bit wrecked – back to bed for a while! A presto!