Let me preface this by saying that although many people told me that Italian drivers were crazy, I didn’t think much about it. Um… they are CRAZY! There are no lanes and pretty much they just do what they want. So now knowing this, we had to drive out of the main centre of Rome. All this while scooters are literally weaving in and out of lanes scarying the crap out of you! Oh and there are no street signs so Google maps mean nothing. How we did it, I don’t know but we managed it. With a few screams and with high stress, we did it and were on the highway on our way to Cortona which is the province of Arezzo in Tuscany. We wanted a little town in Tuscany to stay at for one night and I picked this one when I realized it was the town Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed in.
This is what we saw as we drove closer. I knew then that it was going to be everything that I had hoped for.
But before we visited the town, we had to find our hotel which was before you wound up the Cortona streets. Well, we thought. We drove around for 30 minutes and still had not found it. Again, no street signs so how the heck are you suppposed to find anything? After asking 4 different people for directions, we finally found it and immediately wanted to go for a dip in the pool. So we look around and everyone is wearing ridiculous swim hats. Sue and I are thinking what losers and hop in the pool. We realized when we got yelled at why they all were wearing silly hats…. pool rules. Well we were not about to do that, so got out and got ready for our town visit.
Wandering around the steep streets of Cortona was wonderful. Not easy though. There is only one flat street in entire town. Everything else is up steep steps or hills.
We walked up to what I feel like was the highest point of the town. Bikrams hiking up steep cobble stoned steps. Again a hot sweaty mess. It was so hot we had to seak shade immediately to cool off. We couldn’t go in the church that was at the top because we didn’t have a sweater to cover our shoulders but the view was worth it.
Making our way back down, we noticed all the great doors every house had. Actually, I think Italy in general, has the most amazing doors. Wood doors. Large doors. Character doors. Amazing doors.
And another thing I love about Italy. All the water fountains that keep you cool. They saved us on many occasion!
Time for a beer and relaxation in the main square. Great people watching!! Watching the town locals. Trying to figure out how they are related.
The dinner we had was the best by far for me on my trip and the cheapest. We had bruschetta to start (shocking I know) and then I had a Leek and delicate cheese lasagna. Oh my god… yummy!!! Sue had this fantastic ravioli.And the wine was wonderful too. We had been so accustomed to paying about $20+ euros for a bottle of wine in Rome that we couldn’t figured out if the $11 euros the menu was showing was for a bottle or a glass. We loved that it was for a bottle and another reason to love Italy!
We couldn’t leave this lovely little town without tasting their gelato and I am so glad we did. Chocolate and Caramel. Yes please!
With our great meal done, we made our way down the windy street and saw this church. We had to go check it out. There was a graveyard behind it and we took a peek. What amazed both of us was all the flowers on the graves. Clearly, these loved ones have not been forgotten. As we were leaving, we ran into this old man bringing flowers to a grave. He started speaking to us in Italian. He was explaining something about the church. Despite not knowing what he was really talking about, it was such a moment. He was so passionate about what he was saying. We walked away moved. We thought about who he was bringing flowers too. We really hoped it was not his beloved wife.
What a place Cortona is. Love.