Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Arrivederci Italiano

Our last day in Italy has been nothing short of amazing. I can only speak on behalf of Melissa, Tammy, Joanne and myself as Renee and Sue left early this morning for Rome and won't be back until very late tonight. I am sure their time in Rome will be amazing as well.
We had no schedules to meet and only a few shopping items we wanted to look for so we started to just stroll around the city. We came across a very unusual looking church and just happened to notice a unique flower growing on a vine on the side of the church. We asked a man passing by if he knew what it was, although he did not speak English he did get across it was called "the passion of Christ". Wow, how cool is that! Here it is growing on a church, he indicated through gestures that it had something to do with nailing Christ to the cross. 
The town of Cortona is the home of Frances Mayes, the author of Under The Tuscan Sun and the location of the movie, so we went to the visitor center to see where the house, called Bramasole, is located. She showed us on the map so we started walking. We walked on the most beautiful road to get there, when we arrived at the house there were a lot of workers around cutting trees and working on the yard. We asked one of the workers if this was the right house and a man stepped out from behind a truck and said "yes, this is my house." Tammy said, "you must be Ed" and he responded, "yes I am." I then recognized him as a person Shirley, our cooking instructor, had talked to in the piazza the day before. When I brought that to his attention he remembered us, he told us they have lived in the house for 25 years but travel back and forth between North Carolina and here. He told us of the Italian cooking book he and his wife wrote together, The Tuscan Cookbook. After chatting for a bit and taking a picture with him he told of another route to take to get back to the village and of a little cafe to stop for a cappuccino. We took his advice and followed the route found the cafe and had a cappuccino then walked another beautiful road. Back in the village we went into some shops and finished buying the last items on our list. 
Each day in Cortona we have walked the same street passing a cafe with a waiter who stands in the doorway when he is not busy. Each time he comments to us about seeing us again so today went there for lunch. 
After lunch we went back to our rooms to rest and do some reading then about 5pm we headed out again just to check things out. We had our last Italian gelato bought a bottle of wine and some cheese  to finish out our time in Italy. 
Unusual church
Passion of Christ flower and fruit
Road to Bramasole 
The girls with Ed Mayes, husband of author Frances Mayes

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