I was thinking… Could I live in Italy? Short answer, yes. Long answer, yes.
Breakfast is bread (I love bread: hello desert island!) and meat and cheese and great coffee with steamed milk. Tough business. Then you throw in great wine (every area it seems makes the best), great seafood, so much green—even the mountains put on a show for you when you are heading down the highway.
There is the language issue to contend with but I think I can probably master a few important phrases, like, “sir, where can I purchase 10 litres of Chianti Classico?” Or, “how much for that block of cheese?” Or, “how about that local football team?”
We arrived at Carrara where I hoped to secure a new countertop and check it as oversized baggage at the airport. What we did end up with is a clock and a fridge magnet and a great deal of respect for the people who work in this very challenging business.
The sight of a quarry is amazing, giant slabs of white marble, the stuff that Michelangelo used to make cheese cutters and his chum David with. Now the quarry has a computer that can sculpt anything for you, just in case you wanted Dave, Mary, or any of those folks for your garden.
Our guide said the marble would never run out, pointing out that it has been mined for 2000 years and there’s still plenty. But my guess is someone somewhere is developing a laser that, from space, could slice up a marble staircase like a loaf of bread. If that happens the “last forever” line would be a tough rock to swallow.
We are now off to…wait for it…a private vineyard and olive oil farm for…wait for it…wine tasting (which in Italy means wine drinking) and olive oil tasting. Oh and we will be treated to a farmhouse lunch to go along with the vino.
My worry is we will feel obliged to add to our wine collection, which at this moment is at six bottles. We can only bring one bottle each aboard our ship so we must consume four bottles (or more) between now and Friday. Happily Mellissa’s family is arriving soon so they can take care of some of the consumption. They are all very good at wine and other drinks. I’d even go so far to say they are experts. That is good because my mom also has four bottles…
Well I just arrived back on the bus after food and drinks. It wasn’t as severe as 12 bottles of wine for 12 people like the last time. But it was good. I am not a huge fan of olives but when I’m in Italy and I eat them fresh and they are great. I mentioned to our fellow tourists that the Safeway olive area makes me stomach turn when I walk near it. But fresh olives are another story.
We’ve been thinking that our pre-cruise tour felt like a vacation and we could be ready to go home now. But as Karen Carpenter said, we’ve only just begun.
Tomorrow early morning is a Vatican tour (looking forward to going back there, and my mom is looking forward to her first visit), an “eating Italy” tour in the evening, the to the cruise ship Friday. Did I also mention that after the tour we are going to Amsterdam, one of my favourite places on earth? Sometimes I feel rich, especially in life experience.
Oh I almost forgot the quote of the day. I ventured outside from our wine tasting/drinking to use the washroom and found our tour guide in his oversized yellow sunglasses, all 73 years of him, sitting in the sun with a bruschetta in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other, a fresh smoke burning in the ashtray. He looked up at me and said, “We all have our crosses to bear.”
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MEDITTERANEAN BLOG Hi all. There is a quote on my homepage that says, "I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list." My words to live by. I want to see it all. On this trip we will see Turkey, Greece, Croatia, and Albania. All places I have not been. So time to take a few off my list!