Since I arrived in Perugia Tuesday night, it has been roasting hot. Suddenly, all those Renaissance paintings that depict a scorching version of Hell have new meaning!!
I’ve still managed to eat dinner on outdoor terraces the past two nights, have had my fair share of wine -- but still no gelato!!! No desserts of any kind. I think it’s a reaction to this little glimpse of how hot Hell might be; I’m doing a little penance now, just to be safe.
In reality, I’ve been too busy for gelato (how’s that for a big lie? Now, I’ll have to forego even more gelato as further penance.)
I’ve been doing a million small errands since I arrived -- you know the kind: stocking up toiletries I didn’t want to pack, like moisturizer. Trying without success to put time on my Italian cellphone (I curse TIM.) And of course, the obligatory changing of the hotel room.
I don’t have to do this every time, but I can’t help shopping around a bit to see if there are better rooms available than what I‘m first offered! The first night I arrived, Hotel Fortuna gave me a large room with a lovely terrace, a room I’ve had before. But this week, the air conditioning barely worked. I tried to tough it out, but it was so hot with my wonderful west-facing windows that after the first night, I gave up.
So yesterday morning, I moved to a new room with better A/C, also lovely views -- and some sort of unfortunate exercise machine. This is apparently a kind of “fitness” room the hotel offers. The wonderful young woman from the front desk , who showed me a few rooms to choose from, seemed as baffled as I was by this equipment. Built into the wall like a kind of Murphy bed that folds away when not in use, it looks like an instrument of torture.
This room also features an elaborate ‘spa” shower that threatened my life last night when I first used it. I’ve never had a shower that came with elaborate instructions. Spray comes at you from many directions, sequentially. So, for example, your feet are blasted while shampoo drips in your eyes because it’s not yet time for the overhead spray. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it. And I do like the little bench so you can sit down and rest between pummellings.
I’ll be taking photos to document my experiences.
Needless to say, the food has been fantastic. To date, I’ve had wonderful ravioli, a spicy spaghetti (called Spoletino, which may be a shot at a neighboring city) some wonderful carpaccio, caprese salad, too much wine and limoncello.
Today, I started my 3-day workshop at the Giuditta Brozzetti textile atelier and found it fascinating. I spent the morning learning about the history of textiles, and the role they have played across economies; and in the afternoon, Marta began teaching me to weave. I have no illusions that I’ll ever really learn to weave properly, but I don’t believe I can really understand the rich history of Umbrian textiles if I don’t know a little about the techniques used.