First of all, I love it here. We spent a week in this part of Tuscany in the fall of 2003, so it feels familiar yet with so much more to explore. This morning we went straight to Montepulciano. It is a gorgeous day, warm but not too hot. And there is all this light puffy white cottony stuff floating in the air. I finally asked someone about it and it is from the flowers of the Poplar trees. There are also some beautiful trees with white flowers that look like a Robinia or locust tree, but they might be something altogether different. I will have to look into this. The scenery really is different in the spring than it was in fall.
Today we had a simple but tasty lunch at Trattoria di Voltaia... started off with panzanella, a bread, cucumber and tomato salad. And then I had some ravioli with a sage butter sauce. Delicious. And both things I think can be replicated when I get home (with the help of my neighbor, the pasta queen, of course). Last night's wild boar sauce, I fear, is going to be bit trickier to replicate at home.
Ok, so after lunch, we did a little wine tasting—and buying (just a couple bottles for sipping back at Sant Antonio on our little terrace). Then we wandered around town seeing the sights, taking pictures and then popping our heads into some of the shops.
Well, one ceramic shop in particular caught our attention because we could hear them playing Cat Stevens. Another small group of Americans walked up commented on the music, too. And Steve noticed that the group included Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas. He had to point this out to me because I never recognize anyone. They walked right by us and then we went into the shop to talk to the shop keeper. As we were talking Marlo Thomas came back and asked about the music. Apparently she was looking for some Italian music. So we all talked about music and Phil Donahue came up and started singing. The shop keeper gave Marlo a CD of Italian music. She wanted to pay him for it, but he refused. So, the two of them left and then the couple that they were with bought some lovely ceramics to have shipped to Marlo and Phil as a surprise. We struck up a conversation with the woman and it turns out that she has just moved to Summerland! (for those of you who are not local, Summerland is a small community, a couple minutes from Santa Barbara, where we live). Yet another of one of those 'small world' moments. The week promises to be an interesting one.