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It was market day today and the weather looked really promising, when we looked out the dining room window toward the mountains surrounding Cortona, which are part of the Apennine mountain range. After a light breakfast, we were out of the villa about 10:30. Foiano isn’t far, only about 8 km, so about a 10 minute drive.
One of the first things you see as you begin a tour through the market, is Foiano’s outside walls.
The other thing you notice is that this market is typical of all Italian markets: the women shop and the men stand in the piazza talking with their hands and arms, making deals, laughing and generally enjoying the camaraderie of market day.
The market was scattered throughout the town, so we spent about 3 hours meandering our way through the streets to all of the market stalls. Again, there was one photo op after another. I even managed to get a shot of all 4 of us by setting my camera up on a garbage bin, which was beside the ‘dog toilet’, a bin for dog poop bags. That’s what we need at home to stop those dense, inconsiderate dog owners who pick up their dog poop but leave it by the sidewalk for you to look after, while you’re cutting the grass.
I keep seeing these great windows, doors, walls and back streets/alleys.
Here kitty kitty….
Except for a few drops of rain while we were under the awning at the meat counter, it was a bright, warm day. I think I was the only in the town wearing shorts and sandals today, so guess who stood out as the tourist! Bonnie told me that one older woman standing beside me at the meat counter looked me up and down incredulously.
We bought fruits and vegetables at one stand, where Charlie waited for a particular woman to wait on us – after 4 trips here and this one for 9 weeks, they’ve certainly been out and about and getting to know people. The next stop was at the meat stand, where we had to take a number to be waited on, which took a while. No matter, it was fun watching the 2 vendors cut meat and cheese, kibbutz with the people and give out samples of pretty much everything that anyone bought.
It was no different with us: samples of cheese, pork and mortadella, a large Italian sausage. The cheese (possibly pecorino?) was delicious…..formaggio con funghi….cheese with mushrooms.
Walking back down the hill to the car, the countryside vista along with the towering clouds provided a stunning view.
By now it was time for lunch. When we got up this morning, I told Bonnie that I was planning to have pizza for lunch, thinking that we’d eat while we were out, since we’d be at the market. She had passed that on to Cheryl and they had the perfect place picked out: Menchetti, a great bakery and restaurant, in Marciano Della Chiana. They had taken us here on our previous trip.
We had several pizzas to choose from. Bonnie and I settled on 1 slice with a slightly spicy sausage, mozzarella and blue cheese. Our 2nd slice had porcini mushrooms and a 4 cheese blend, which included gorgonzola and blue cheese. That was probably the best pizza I’ve ever had. Did we have wine with lunch, you’re wondering? Abso-damn-lutely….a very good house wine @ 10 Euros for a bottle, which is about $16 Can. We could do with some of that sort of pricing at our Ontario restaurants!
We arrived back home again about 2:30 and spent most of the remaining afternoon sitting in the yard reading and relaxing under the Tuscan sun. C&C and Bonnie napped for a while, while I got into a book that Charlie had just finished: ‘The Hills of Tuscany – A New Life in an Old Land’, a true story about a young American couple who threw caution to the wind and moved to a new life in Tuscany. I’m enjoying it when familiar names of towns, restaurants, etc. come up and can think “We’ve been there!”
C&C prepared our dinner, which consisted of soup Cheryl had made a couple of days ago – it was delicious then, but even better today – and the items we had bought at the market piled on fresh croissants we had bought at the bakery/restaurant. Did we have wine with dinner, you’re wondering? Abso-damn-lutely….a very good Montalcino wine @ more than 10 Euros per bottle. This dinner deserved a picture. The view out the window was wonderful, with Cortona in the distance on the southern slope of Monte San Egidio, which separates the Chiana valley from the Tiber valley.
We had our usual stimulating conversation over dinner, covering a whole host of topics again. We’re really enjoying that. After clearing the dishes away, we FaceTimed with Warren and Bernie, our friends back in Oshawa, and gave them the 5¢ electronic tour of the villa and surroundings. After that, Charlie worked on some sketching, which he’s enjoying very much, Cheryl posted photos on Facebook and Bonnie made a couple of phone calls home.
We finished the day off by watching the 4th episode of ‘Northen Rescue’ and then called it a day….another special, interesting, enjoyable day.
We’re really looking forward to tomorrow: driving to Panzano, in Chianti, for lunch with the famous ‘Butcher of Tuscany’.