Sunday, February 17, 2013

Letters from Italy Part 4 (written in 2008)

Hello from Siena
Thursday May 1, 2008

Hello Again,

I am in Siena today.  It is an interesting town and just toured the Duomo (Cathedral) which was very beautiful.  We are meeting shortly for dinner so I haven't much time.  There is no internet at the villa so I am at a cafe here.


The Duomo, Siena

The Library in the Duomo, Siena

On the way to Siena today we stopped at Monteriggioni, which is hamlet two streets wide entirely enclosed in medieval walls.  Very quaint.  The best part of these excursions is the bus ride.  The view is just amazing...miles of hills and vineyards and flowers and little stone buildings and churches.  It is a feast to just look out the window.


It rained today for tennis but we have two bubbles so we played inside.  It gets hot in the bubbles, though, and isn't optimal.  The pros are very nice but don't speak much English.  I would say the clinics are "average."  Americans keep it moving much faster.  But it is the lure of tennis that got me here so for that I am grateful.  Plus, it is so nice to get that exercise in the morning, especially since we eat LONG big meals at night with wine.  Meals are about 2 to 2.5 hours, I would say.

Roberto and Kevin in the Bubble

Nancy, Barb, Janice in the Bubble

You would have been proud of me last night.  We had a second cooking lesson and I donned an apron and actually cooked this time.  Only two of us showed up in the kitchen (out of 12).  Kind of funny although our guide did not appreciate that.  So I got kudos for showing up.  I made tiramisu and helped make artichokes and drunken chicken.  It was one of the best meals we have had. 

Janice and Elenora Making Tiramasu

Janice, Maria Luisa, and Joyce

Yesterday we went to a leather factory where they make Ralph Lauren,
Gucci, Fendi, and St. John bags to name a few.  It was really fun to see how they develop the prototypes and patterns.  The supply room of racks of beautiful leather was neat and smelled fabulous.  At the end there was a shop and of course, I couldn't resist buying a bag.  I liked that tour even more than the wineries. 

The village in which we are staying is called Strada in Chianti.  It is very small, not even a laundry place.  

But as I mentioned previously, the villa is gorgeous and the views out back are breathtaking.  

I have a great comfortable bed and big bathroom that overlook the inner courtyard.  I can look out my windows and visit with some of the Chicago ladies across the courtyard.  They are lots of fun.
Glory across the courtyard from my room

Joyce in her room on the wall to my right

My Bed

I am having very vivid dreams here...maybe its the combo of wine and the antibiotics that I am still taking!  :)  I usually don't remember my dreams like I have been.

Well, I must be off to dinner in the Piazza with the group.


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