Month: January 2022

To See a Friend in Florence (12/10/2022)

To See a Friend in Florence (12/10/2022)

I chose not to walk that morning, as I thought we’d have a full day of it in Florence. We still didn’t leave ’til mid-morning. There are two main routes to Florence – one takes you through the countryside for the first two-thirds of it, as you head through some wonderful rural scenery, and emerge on more modern roads somewhere between Gambassi Terme and Montaione. We took the other route, which, although shorter in terms of time (just), is a little bit more dull. If you haven’t driven it before, then it’s a fine route, but annoys anyway, because it takes you so far south so you can join the Florence-Siena Autostradale, before taking you all the way north again. At least it takes you past Colle di Val d’Elsa, which always impresses.

As usual, we parked by this Coop. It’s free parking there, and is just beside the tram station which will take you into the heart of Florence in 12-15 minutes. There’s more about it in the video later on in the blog.

This time was a little bit special for us, though: it would be the first time we had taken any form of public transport since we started working from home due to the pandemic – around mid-March 2020. It turns out we weren’t freaked out about it. It wasn’t packed, but there were a still goodly number of people on it, and everyone was adhering to the mask-wearing protocol. I regret I didn’t take any illustrative photos.

We got off at Alamanni (the station for Santa Maria Novella), and it was another 10 minute stroll to the Duomo. Once there, unless you actually work beside the thing, it’s almost impossible not to be impressed by it. We papped our little hearts out!

We noted for the first time that there were armed soldiers outside the bell tower. We neatly skirted around them, and headed to the back of the Duomo. From there, we wandered around some back streets, stopping in a quirky stationery shop, in which (of all things) we bought some Christmas tree baubles. We were hoping to come back in December, and get a little tree for the apartment, so these would do splendidly. Then onwards towards Piazza della Signoria.

We had a look around (we’ve been there before) the square, and then went inside the Palazzo Vecchio to see what could be seen. The courtyard is pretty impressive, and it’s such a huge building. We didn’t have the time to go on one of the tours, as we had a lunch date!

We did have time to check out the Ponte Vecchio. That and the riverside were both busy and beautiful!

It was almost time to meet my friend. We wandered back towards the square on back streets, bypassing it altogether and heading down a narrow lane to find the osteria: Vini e Vecchi Sapori. It’s tiny on the inside, and seemingly with no space for seating outside. It was also almost completely full, so I wondered if my friend had taken the booking correctly.

I should explain the ‘friend’ part. I had actually never met this guy face-to-face. For years, we had played World of Warcraft in the same guild together, and kind of had similar senses of humour. I had his number and so gave him a call. He assured me he was only minutes away, and, a man of his word, arrived soon after. By ‘eck was he tall! That’s the problem with online friends – they’re like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. But within seconds we had bumped elbows (me reaching up slightly), and all three of us were comfortable. He then entered the restaurant and began rattling in Italian – pretty much fluent, which raised an eyebrow. I didn’t know he could speak Italian. I had assumed that, yes although he worked in Florence, he did much of his work online, and chose to settle in a town in which English was spoken by many. It turns out he’d spent many of his formative years in Rome.

Anyway, the restaurant staff recognised him immediately and gave him an effusive welcome, in cajoling Italian. He confirmed the booking, and said that we could eat inside, but that they also had a part of the north-east corner of the Piazza della Signoria cordoned off for diners. It was such a nice day out that we decided to eat outside and people-watch.

We had lunch for almost two hours. Three full courses and a glass of wine. We just chatted about personal stuff, how we found Italy, what we were doing generally, how the pandemic had treated us, and so on. I skirted around my anxiety issue, as I didn’t want to bum everyone out – we were having a good time. Working-from-home inevitably cropped up, and he was adamant he was staying in Florence, even after his boss asked him to work in the London office. He pointed out to his boss that he himself was working in Spain! I lamented that we might not be able to work in Italy, as most employers didn’t want the hassle of having to register for tax in the various countries in which employees were thinking of settling. Even if that country was also in the EU. Not that we are thinking of settling, as our Italian isn’t up to snuff yet, but it’s good to have options. He pointed out that after his employer registered in a few countries, they realised they had the unexpected benefit of now being able to hire people at will within those countries – thereby expanding their market for a potential labour force exponentially. An interesting point.

The food was excellent, but sadly I didn’t take many photos. There were pastas, fried chicken and zucchini, boar stews and tiramisu.

You know you’ve eaten well, when you get up for a multi-course meal, and only feel comfortably full – and this is how we felt. My friend brought us to a bancomat (ATM), as we needed to grab some cash. He pointed out the opening times of the bank – it only opened for 45 minutes after a lunch break that day. Nice work if you can get it, I guess. We got what we needed and headed back towards the Arno for a stroll. He gave us little tidbits of information in his very English accent. I have to admit I was a little jealous of both his skill with Italian, as well as his height!

We headed over the Ponte Santa Trinita to the less touristy Oltrarno, where he promised us gelato that, while may not be the creamiest, was among the most flavoursome you can find in Florence. We struck a south-eastern route at a 5-road intersection and wandered down a narrow lane until we entered a lovely, almost hidden, piazza – so small it could have been called a piazzetta, where a couple of bars’ outdoor seating was stationed. At another end was our destination: Gelateria delle Passera.

We got ourselves some gelato (unsurprisingly), and it was here that my friend pointed out Zabaione for the first time to me. I’d never heard of it up to then, and now since Christmas has passed, I can’t stop hearing about it! It’s a sort of a thick, alcoholic eggnog – thick enough to be eaten rather than drunk – and also used to dunk biscuits into. Niamh got a scoop of that, and it tasted nice enough. To be honest, while Niamh liked the gelato, I thought it merely ‘good’. The portion sizes were certainly small for the money, but the flavours natural and fine. Not as good as L’Isola del Gusto, but maybe I am biased when it comes to my favourite Volterran gelateria. In fairness, the setting in which it was enjoyed was lovely.

Shortly after, we walked back to the Ponte Santa Trinita, and said goodbye to my friend. It was a merry meeting, and I’ve no doubt we’ll see each other again in Tuscany! He did recommend Palazzo Pitti to us. We chuckled and said we were all too unfamiliar with it. We have wandered in front on it several times, and for some reason or another have never either entered it, nor it’s wonderful Boboli Gardens. But we would rectify that this time! Oh yes!

But oh no – we didn’t.

Once again, we wandered outside, and looked at the remaining light of the day, and the queues outside and decided against it, preferring not to drive home in the dark. We took some snaps, and with a shrug of our shoulders, Niamh and I vowed to each other not to visit it again next time we’re in town!

We decided to cross the Arno at the Ponte Vecchio – photography ensued here too.

We walked back to the train station and got on the tram back to the Coop carpark. It was much busier, as we figured some people were heading home from work (office workers, maybe), or shopping. Everyone was still wearing masks. We took a seat near the front, and an older lady soon sat beside Niamh. She was looking through printed photos, but let the envelope holding spill the contents to the floor of the tram. Naturally, Niamh gave her a hand to gather them back together (Covid bedamned!), and was then caught up in a mostly 1-way conversation in staccato Italian about the older lady’s family, where they were from (Calabria – followed by an explanation of where Calabria was), what they did on holidays etc. It was a lovely encounter, but a shame our Italian wasn’t up to speed enough to reciprocate.

Here’s the video of our day:

The journey home wasn’t eventful, save that Niamh slowed down outside a Chinese/Japanese restaurant in Colle di Val d’Elsa to see if I could snap the opening times. We never ate there in the end, but maybe some other time.

Instead, with bellies still a little full, we had sandwiches from Sosta del Priore.

And that was the day that was! Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think in the comments section – I hope you enjoyed the read.

Dedication – In Memory of my Father
I would like to decicate this piece to my Dad, who recently passed away. The last couple of years of his life were rough, as he was coping with Vascular Dementia. He always loved reading these blogs, and more towards the end the vlogs I recorded in Italy. His eyes lit up whenever he saw the old Italian towns, and always had high praise for the beauty and architecture of the places I visited. He never got a chance to visit Florence, and would have loved to have seen David. But at least he got to Rome.

I will miss showing him how much I love Italy, and I will miss him too.

Il Teatro del Silenzio, Lajatico, Ghizzano (11/10/2021)

Il Teatro del Silenzio, Lajatico, Ghizzano (11/10/2021)

There are a fair few photos in this blog – you have been warned! It’s pretty long too – it was a busy day!

Every year, Tuscan tenor Andrea Bocelli plays a couple of concerts in late July near Lajatico, the municipal centre of the area he was raised. He was actually brought up in small town just north of there: La Sterza, and there you can see several buildings bearing his name: a restaurant, a cantina and, most improbably, a farm machinery outlet.

That day, we decided to take a look at where his performances take place: Il Teatro del Silenzio (the theatre of silence). So called, I assume, not because Signore Bocelli has a sense of sarcasm, but that it is completely outdoors, away from the town, in nature. I guess wind doesn’t count on the decibel scale. The surroundings were supposed to be lovely, and so we were looking forward to the trip, and maybe getting some lunch in Lajatico itself.

But first – the morning walk. Looks like we got lucky with the clarity of the sky, if not the actual temperature that day.

I walked to the panoramic view at Piazza Martiri della Libertà, down viale dei Ponti, re-entered at Porta a Selci and carried on home from there.

Once done, washed and breakfasted we took the all-too-familiar road towards Pisa. The first part of this road always enthralls us, with views of sweeping valleys dotted here and there with agriturismi and tiny hamlets, surrounded by olive groves, cypress and vineyards. As soon as you have entered Molina d’Era, however, the road bores a little as it flattens, although you will still see glimpses of Tuscany-in-a-bottle scenes such as farmland, small homesteads on hills and distant borghi atop ridges. 98% of the time at the end of this section of road we turn right towards La Sterza, whether we’re going to Pisa, Pontadera, La Rosa etc. for shopping or actually heading back to Ireland. This time we were turning left! Excitement!

A couple of kilometers later, we turned right at San Giovanni di Val d’Era towards Lajatico. If you went straight on instead, you could take an alternative route to Volterra, on a road plagued by subsidence, but offering views easily rivalling the Crete Senesi, or even the Val d’Orcia itself. Maybe more on that another time, though. For now – onwards towards Lajatico!

The theatre itself lies on the outskirts of the town – to the southeast – so, we followed Missus Google’s advice and wound up at the near-empty carpark. We got out, and were glad of our jackets. The base temperature wasn’t so bad, but the wind howled about us like banshees, doing the day a little injustice.

There were only a couple of other small groups of people here (three nuns and an older couple), and one or two workmen who where tending the immediate area. It took a minute, but once we had gotten used to the gales of the exposed region, we took in the landscape. And it astonished.

As you can see above, we spotted Volterra in the far distance, crowning the butte.

We headed down farther, to take a look at some of the sculptures on display, as well as the theatre itself, taking snaps and filming all the while!

And finally, two of my favourite ever photos:

Captions not needed!

I would recommend a visit to the Teatro for sure, but maybe during the off-season, like we did – and you can forget it in late July, unless you’re actually attending the concerts. The road to the place is narrow, and I can only imagine how insanely busy it can be. I know from a local that, although they are grateful for the business that is brought, Lajatico becomes a little unbearable during the gigs. It’s a small place, and I can imagine hordes of people would spoil it.

We had been to Lajatico before (before I had started this blog – although I’m sure I still have photos), and found it lovely, but it was during a cooler day, and the town was shrouded in mist. Today was bright and sunny, and the light made the colours of the town pop with extraordinary clarity. This time, we found Lajatico utterly captivating. We had no idea that there was so much art placed in and around town, on the walls, hidden inside buildings with doors which, at a distance, seemed randomly left open. They had placed coloured lanterns over the street lights, and I imagine the town looks amazing at night.

We arrived at the main church in the town, dedicated to San Leonardo Abate and had a look inside and in the nearby park.

Once done there, we headed back up the town to see if we could find somewhere to eat a place of pasta, snapping furiously on the way.

At first we checked out a recommended restaurant – different to the one in which we’d already eaten – but it was closed that day for lunch (Il Marmaldo). In fact, it looked like it only opened at weekends for lunch, and during the evening for most other days. A pity. But, at least we had Ristoro Da Nello – where we had eaten before and had good food and tons of geniune small-town charm. Right? Well… no. Sadly, they were on holidays for a few weeks while we were there, and so were closed too. Another pity. So, I had a flick around Google Maps and remembered that we had never visited Ghizzano, and it certainly looked big enough to have a restaurant, so we headed back to the carpark and drove there.

Ghizzano is a small town nestled atop a hill (quelle surprise!), aways north and a little west of Volterra. What makes it different to the other hilltowns of Volterra? Well it is down to the inhabitants, of course, but also three artists: Alicja Kwade, David Tremlett and Patrick Tuttofuoco. You can read more about them here. But essentially, parts of the town are outdoor art installations – the most notable of which are the buildings of Via di Mezzo – all it seemingly just took is paint. You won’t find many streets in Tuscany looking anything like Via di Mezzo.

At the time of writing this, Google Street View last visited this street in 2011, before the installation was implemented. You can check it out here.

After having a brief tour of Via di Mezzo, we went in search of a restaurant. Not finding one, we instead headed into a cute little bar, attached to a really old-school looking alimentari (food store) called Bar Alimentari Campani. The foodstore, although very clean, looked designed out of the 1950’s, with simple wooden square shelves linging the walls from floor to ceiling. At the deli end, we cheekily asked the young lady there if there was a restaurant in the neighbourhood. She shook her head and pointed us in the direction of Peccioli and Legoli, both about 15 minute drives away. We didn’t feel like another trip in the car to quest for a restaurant, so we looked hungrily instead at the wonderful produce behind the glass counter. We shrugged and thought, sure a change is as good as a rest and went for sandwiches. I had a baguette with cooked prosciutto and fresh pecorino (the latter is the kind of pecorino that has a very short shelf-life and is much softer than the harder, more aged, pecorino you may find in Ireland. Niamh more had the same with added tomato.

We thanked the lady and went back out to the bar section to pay for the sandwiches, a couple of accompanying drinks and a small bag of BBQ crisps (potato chips). Amusingly, that took us about 15 minutes in a non-existant queue. Anyway, we managed to escape, and went in search of a bench on which we could sit and watch the world go by. We found one, near a church and an artist’s studio. By God it was quiet in Ghizzano, but lovely.

We broke out our food and started eating. Well, it was a minor revelation. I enjoyed that simple sandwich like I had enjoyed few others. The ham was wonderful and the textures of the cheese and crunchy crust contrasted wonderfully. It really was good for a change, rather than putting yourself under pressure to find a place that does good hot food.

As we ate on the bench, the crusts cracking and crumbling to the stone flags below, a larger vehicle pulled up near us and a father and son climbed out and headed into a building beside us. The father left the car completely unlocked. I’m not sure anyone in Ireland, even in the smallest of towns, would leave their car unlocked beside a couple of strangers. He saluted us and they both disappeared.

Anyway, once done with lunch, we disposed of our trash in a bin beside a big blue ball (see photo above)!

Our carpark, as it happened, was beside a modern cooperative mill where people take their olives for pressing into oil. There was a small (currently closed) colourful bar area where people could wait while their green gold was being pressed. Wandering about outside, very randomly, was a peacock. Just one of the more unusual sights of the day.

We got in the car, and it was my turn to drive. I punched in the instruction for going back home to Volterra – much of it on roads we’d never travelled before, which is usually what I enjoy. Except that the first part of the road back wasn’t enjoyable – not at all. It quickly crumbled from asphalt to one of those bumpy gravelled roads, made worse by the previous week’s rain. At one stage, we both winced as we heard the brief crunching of the underside of our rental being scraped by a ridge in the middle of the road. It was another kilometer at least before we managed to find a proper way again, but it was plain sailing from there.

Have a look at our video of our day out below.

Our day wasn’t done. To treat ourselves after our lunchtime forebearance, we decided to head out to La Vecchia Lira for dinner. This would be no sandwich, so we had a bit of a golden-hour walk before we headed into the restaurant itself.

We headed into the restaurant, and the waitress there (whose English was really good) recognised us, and both her and the owner gave us a cheery welcome. We settled in, and ordered our food and drink.

And that was our day. I hope you enjoyed the read. Please leave me a comment and/or a question below. I would love to hear from you!

The Vicopisano Market (10/10/2021)

The Vicopisano Market (10/10/2021)

I didn’t go for a walk that morning, as I knew we were heading off early to travel. I did take a pic from the terrace, and one on our way to the car, though.

We’d been following people from Vicopisano on Instagram for a while (Authentic Tuscany – check them out). It seemed like a nice town, but what really clinched the deal was the collectors’ and antiques market they hold the second Sunday of every month. We’d passed it by on the way to Montecatini Terme in August too (and yes, it still galls me that I lost the video footage of that trip), and there were a couple of historical features that certainly looked worth checking out.

We set Mrs. Google to the carpark that looked most promising, and got underway. The trip is about 54km and took a little over an hour. I didn’t take any photos, because I was filiming! You can scroll further down the page to check out the video of the journey and the market itself.

We arrived around 11-11:30 and found that it was only a short stroll to the market itself. And what a market! I’d heard that Arezzo had the biggest regular antiques fair in Tuscany, which is probably true – in that it is strictly antiques. But Vicopisano’s market is absolutely enormous, and so lively. I’m struggling to think of anything that wasn’t for sale! There were books/comics, toys, old wireless radios, furniture, crockery (including very fancy dinner sets), cutlery, wonderful stalls with gramaphones (being demonstrated), clothes, weapons, musical instruments, old bikes, alabaster and terracotta-ware, mirrors, glasses, genuine war memorabilia. The market wrapped around Piazza Cavalca – a large square just west of the oldest parts of the town, and snaked its way along multiple adjoining streets. We really couldn’t get over the size of it. It was so huge, that while we didn’t buy anything (we came close), we still spend a good 60-70 minutes simply strolling through it while stopping only briefly to check out a few stalls of interest.

One of the best things about Italian markets (I think I’ve noted this before), is how lively they can be – the excited chatter of Tuscan accents buzzed about us and really added to the overall atmosphere. I really couldn’t recommend this enough! There was one stall in particular that grabbed me. A man was demonstrating a gramaphone, and despite the age of the technology, the massive horn was blaring out the old tune ‘Roses of Picardy’. You can check it out in the video towards the end of this blog.

It was time for lunch, though, and perhaps we were a bit optimistic in thinking we could walk-in just about anywhere – especially during the pandemic. I saw the reviews for Ristomacelleria Testi seemed to be quite good on Google, so I chanced my arm. They looked like they were opening, and I approached who I assumed was the manager/owner, who was on the phone. I waited until he finished, and said to me ‘Dimmi!’. So I asked him in Italian if there was a table for two available now. Unfortunately, there wasn’t. In hindsight, that was probably just as well, as we were going to go out to eat at Terra di Mezzo in Volterra later that evening, so something smaller would have been better. We walked past that restaurant again after we’d explored the old town, and the smell coming from it was amazing (definitely for meat lovers!) – so one day we’ll return with a booking!

Instead, we went to Le Belle Torri, and ate inside. Our waitress was so enthusiastic and friendly, so in the end our choice was right for that reason too. We had a pizza each – they were pretty nice, and just what we needed.

We had a ramble through the old town of Vicopisano afterwards, hoping to maybe catch an attraction or two, like the Palazzo Pretorio and the recently re-opened Rocca buttress for walking over – part of the fortifications created by Brunelleschi (yes, the same lad who fashioned the dome of the cathedral in Florence).

So we walked through the town, and were delighted by its old charm. It seemed to be built on terraces, and towers dotted the views throughout. At one point I thought that it might even rival San Gimignano for its towers, but that was just my over-active imagination. But just look at the pretty:

We walked to the Rocca and found it closed to public tours. On our way back we passed by a large group of Italians outside the gate, and assumed that they had organised a special private tour. It was Sunday, and we probably should have realised that many places stood a good chance of being shut, just slightly the wrong side of the tourist season. Onwards we went to Palazzo Pretorio (pausing to let a massive 4×4 perform a complicated 17-point turn), and saw that it too had closed just after lunch on Sundays. D’oh! I had a little explore of its courtyard, and then we had a look at a sequence of switch-backing steps leading all the way down to the river. A little disappointed (as much in our lack of preparation as well as ill luck), and wandered through the more residential area of the old town.

By the time we’d gotten back to the newer part of town, I was pleasantly surprised at how the two seemed to successfully mingle. The blend is very subtly balanced. The old with the new – the border isn’t hugely evident. We entered a bar to grab a coffee/hot chocolate, but for some reason we lost confidence on the protocol on grabbing a table. Some tables seemed to be for dining – or maybe all of them, but we weren’t sure. We chickened out, sadly, and went for one final stroll past the restaurant in which we had failed to secure a lunchtime seat – the smell of grilled meat was wonderful – even after having eaten. We walked past Le Belle Torri, and saw a gate beyond which were other gravelled-and-green-area seats and a couple of other establishments. It was a lovely little mini-park. What a fine little town this is! We wandered up and down it for a few minutes before heading back to the car.

I have to say, we didn’t do Vicopisano full photographic justice, as we missed the ‘classic’ shot of the tower with sloping battlement – but it’s best captured a little way out of town. Maybe next time.

Should you wish to make Vicopisano your base, rather than Volterra, then please out these excellent people – Authentic Tuscany!

Here is the video of our journey to, and exploration of, Vicopisano:

A little while after we had returned to Ireland, and I had published the above video, Vicopisano was awarded the Bandiera Arancione (orange flag) from the Italian Touring Club – basically a recommendation to visit one of the finer towns in Italy. I’m pretty sure it was coincidence! *wink* To be honest, I was amazed it wasn’t already on their list.

But the day wasn’t over. When we got home, we found we had a fondness of our own little town, and had a little walk before heading back to the apartment.

Later that evening, we went to one of our favourite places for food: La Taverna della Terra di Mezzo. We were welcomed warmly, as always, and then had a three-course dinner.

Afterwards Robbi, the owner, handed us a bottle of dessert wine – an almond variety. We haven’t tried it yet, but I look forward to the day we can crack it open.

Before I go… a quick art update! You may remember a few blogs ago that we bought a little original painting from a lovely old gent in Montecatini Alto, just outside the funicular station. I promised I’d post a pic of it next time I got over (and remembered!), and so here it is!

Well that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please leave a like and a comment or question. Thanks!

Our Return in October (09/10/2021)

Our Return in October (09/10/2021)

Time moved along, as it always does. I began to struggle a little more with work-based anxiety, and when I look back on it now (a little anxious/sad after having just come back after a Christmas visit), I see the fault really lay with me. My workload was not crippling, although it challenged me given my condition. I took on new things, and I am glad that I have been so well-managed throughout this stage of my life.

It must be remembered that when you are anxious, the quickest route to recovery lies through you. It look me ’til late November/early December to realise that (again!)… but… I’m projecting too far ahead.

In any event, Volterra proved, as always, a haven from my most of my symptoms. Oh, I always felt it lurking over my shoulder, but exercising my toolset always takes less effort when I’m back in Italy. I cannot rely on this, however. I should be the same no matter where I am or what I’m doing, more or less… Ireland or Italy, filiming/writing or watching the box, at home or exploring – it’s all the same in mindfulness.

Sorry about that! Back to the travel stuff!

We just went alone this time. The first thing we noticed: the airport was busier again this time, than when it was in early August.

I think I had sandwich for brunch at the airport. Hard to remember – it was a functional meal anyway, as it always is in most airports! We boarded without fuss – this time opting for zero checked-in luggage, to enable us to move through Pisa airport quickly. I had taken a note of what I had and didn’t have in my inventory in Volterra – so I didn’t have much to bring with me, outside of some slightly warmer clothes and, of course, my tech.

I got some snaps from the ‘plane – well, mostly alps…

Once off, we had a little bit of a wait, as immigration officers took our temperatures (electronically), and so with only 2 officials available, they could only release us slowly for identification, in order to adhere (somewhat) to social distancing guidelines. Once through, we skidaddled outside and headed to Sixt for our car. This time, we managed to fulfil a years’-long ambition of driving a Fiat 500!

It was a manual for a change, but the tech within it wasn’t bad, and we found it super-easy to bluetooth our phones so we could use CarPlay – fair play, Fiat. We sent the email to the Volterran Municipal Police that our resident’s parking permit would be associated with a new car registration for a week. Niamh did the honours once again (she always drives from the airport – I don’t think I’ve ever driven to/from the airport, as a matter of fact!).

Because we arrived a little while after lunch, no places were open for food. We did what any self-respecting visitor to Volterra should do: we had a walk (after having left our luggage in the apartment)!

We stopped off for refreshments at L’Antica Velathri Cafe and L’Isola del Gusto, before continuing on our way.

Later on that evening, after we’d been back to the apartment, we went downstairs to Porgi l’Altra Pancia. If you’ve read my blogs before (or are Italian), you will know that the name of the restaurant means ‘grow another belly’. Both the name and their food make me smile.

The food there was as delicious as always. To cap it off, they are also such lovely and welcoming people. After growing another belly, we took in the town at night.

If I recall correctly, it was the beginning of a dry, fine week for us – which was lucky as I think the weather was quite wet the previous week. I guess someone was smiling down on us!

And that’s it again for now. Please leave a like and a comment if you wish – questions and suggestions are also always welcome!