We got up early together to travel to Pisa to pick up another visitor: one of my brothers. It was the same flight as our previous visitor, and, as before, it landed 15 minutes early. He arrived safely, and had my long-lost wallet with him, so off we went to Hertz to get me added as a driver – to finally save Niamh from having to do all the driving.

We went to Pisa (again!), but this time just had a quick wander around the square. I only took a few pics this time.

On the way home, we stopped off at the Conad supermarket in Capannoli to grab some groceries, snacks and beers, as our guest isn’t a wine drinker.  Back in Volterra, we had lunch at La Terra di Mezzo before we dropped all our bags at the apartment.  We had a caprese salad, beef ragu with tagliatelle and I had pappardelle with truffle and a ricotta sauce – one of the best plates of pasta in town, in my opinion!  A couple of us had desserts afterwards, along with a freebie shot of limoncello.

We went home to chill, as our guest had been up since about 03:00, and was a little tired.  We just chilled and dozed.  At around 15:30, there was a hubbub outside our window – drummers were approaching the main square, but they were not recognisable as being Volterra’s own.

We went downstairs and out to the square, with the afternoon’s thunder booming off in the distance.  There was definitely an event on, but I couldn’t see it in Volterra City‘s list.  If anyone local is reading this – could you give me a definitive source for these events, please?  Anyway, it seems to have been a competition of sbandieratori (flag jugglers/wavers) from Volterra, Florence and Pistoia.  People were sat in the metal bleacher seats provided, and watched the entrance of each team.

About halfway throught, fat drops of rain began to fall.  Moments later, there was a flash, followed by an immediate booming – one of the loudest sounds I’ve ever heard.  We couldn’t have been more than a hundred meters away from a lightning strike.  People began immediately moving off the bleachers, and the restaurant in the square suddenly found a half-dozen people to take away tablecloths and fold up parasols of their outside seating!  Still, the sbandieratori remained in position, with their flags held high.

Nobody moved until the rain started coming down heavily.  Then all three teams scarpered under the archways of the civic buildings lining the east side of the square.  We stayed for a little while, but there was no sign of them coming back out, so we toddled back to the apartment.  I didn’t hear anything recommence until about 17:00, and it lasted until we were going out for dinner – around 19:30.  A cannon sounded off to announce the end of the competition.

I’m not sure what the results were, but I’ll have a look-out.  I still don’t know what the results of the crossbow competition were from the previous week!

Anyway – we headed out to Il Sacco Fiorentino for dinner, stopping off at the viewpoint for a couple of snaps.  

Niamh had eggplant parmagiano, and I the zuppa alla Volterrana to start.  Our guest’s single course was a burger, and looked amazing – but for some reason, I didn’t take a photo.  Niamh liked her’s – mine was merely ok.  Afterwards, Niamh had seabass and I had a sliced pork steak, served with cheese onions and cavalo nero (kale, more or less).  Niamh’s fish was well-cooked.  Mine was tasty, but the pork a little overdone.  We both had a side of fries, as they are amazing here.

I went home with a full, but worryingly, grumbling stomach.  I had contracted some sort of unpleasant gastric issue, which upset my sleep overnight.  I don’t think it was anything I ate yesterday, but perhaps the previous day.  We re-heated some chicken and broccoli bake – this might have been it, but Niamh had it and she was ok!  So who can say?  Either way, my tummy hasn’t settled properly yet, and I didn’t go out for a walk this morning – I just left the trash downstairs.  I need to remain close to the apartment until I can shake this thing off!

Apologies for ending on an unpleasant note – but that’s life.  Hopefully, I’ll feel better today and have something interesting to post tomorrow!

Ciao!

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