My Last Day in Italy

It was our only full day in Tuscany, and our last full day in Italy.  Tomorrow, we’ll take the train straight to Innsbruck, Austria.  I already begin to wonder if I have seen enough of Italy.  However, John, the guy, one of the organizers of this B&B informed us that our train route tomorrow will go through the Dolomites north of Verona, so I guess I will see more of Italy.

Before this trip I knew I wanted to make Italy a part of this trip.  My family heritage is 50% Italian, and I had always considered that a part of who I am.  Mostly, to explain my lack of patience sometimes I would say: “I have about the level of patience you’d expect from an Italian-American New Yorker”.  However, I’d never known about the culture, beyond the basics.  Now, I kind of understand, or feel like I understand it more.  From now on, those maps of Italy put onto pizza boxes in America will mean more to me.

Today we went to the town of Siena, after an amazing breakfast cooked by the staff here at Poggerino.  Siena, like Florence, “grew up”, in the Middle Ages.  For a few centuries (1000 to 1400-ish), these cities were constantly in conflict with each other over supremacy and influence in the region.  Florence, more or less, eventually won this battle, and Siena was “vanquished” to smaller status (still true today).  This was around the time the Middle Ages gave way to the Renaissance.   It is probably no coincidence that Florence became the city in Italy most associated with the Renaissance, attracting thinkers/inventors from all over Europe.

In a way every place we visited has an associated time period.  Rome- the Roman Empire, Siena- The Middle Ages, Florence- The Renaissance, The Tuscan Vineyards- now, as it is currently one of the wealthiest and best known parts of Italy.  So, given the small allocation of time, I think I did well and learned a lot about Italian culture and history, about my history in a way.

Finally, I was wayyy excited to have purchased salami, cheese, bread, soda, and an orange from a local shop in Radda, and eaten at home.  It was only 8,64 Euro, so we saved between 25 and 50 (Euro), and we ate at 6 PM (after all, we are American), and did not have to drive unlit roads in rough terrain at night like last night.

Staying at home allowed us to witness a casual fire around 8 PM.  This week’s weather has been warm and dry.  I’ve already gone though all of the short-sleeved shirts I brought.  Today though was windier, making it seem like textbook wildfire weather.  This fire was actually on Poggerino property.  It appeared as though the wind ignited a fire among a pile of dry leaves and wood pieces.  We were worried, and even tried to contact the proprietors of this establishment.  But, noting came of it, and the fire died around 10 PM, when the wind calmed down.  Maybe I am a stupid city slicker.  Or, maybe we got lucky and I need to learn to be more self-sufficient.

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