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Finally, Perugia!

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.

Comments (12)

Anne:

No gelato yet??? Such deprivation definitely fits the penance bill! Hmm, that shower sounds interesting, look forward to photos of this peculiar setup (although this might be one of those times when one is better off in blissful ignorance!)

Will you get to keep whatever you create yourself? That would be a marvellous keepsake.

Amy:

I am so excited about your weaving workshop! Please, please post photos! (Can't remember--did I tell you I used to weave, back in a former life?)

Mindy:

Sandrac,
you're too funny.

I'd weave my fingers into a ball of thread and have to have them amputated; I'm sure you'll do great and come home with a lovely little something to hang with pride on a wall in your home.

I'm looking forward to your posts...and photos!

Hope you get your TIM card/phone troubles taken care of. At least you have a phone (remember mine was left on a plane by my supervisor....the phone I had JUST bought and used only a few times).

Happy days and kilos of gelato!

Caterina:

Sono contenta di leggere che siete arrivati sani e salvi. Fate attenzione nella doccia spaventoso!

Good to hear from you! Glad you're there and "too busy" for gelato. That shower sounds crazy. Enjoy the workshop!

Oh Sandra, I am rolling on the floor laughing at the thought of you in that shower! I think the exercise machine built into the wall must be there so you can have 2 gelatos a day instead of just one a day. The food sounds wonderful!

Glad you made it and are enjoying your textile workshop. Sorry it is so hot for you. I saw the latest temps and thought of you. So what is up with the Tim card? Anything we can do on our end to help? I could email my friend if you have specific questions. How was the bus ride?

Enjoy!!! :)

Lou Ferrentino:

I love Perugia. My daughter and I stayed at the Fortuna two years ago after reading your review. Guess what, we had that same funny little room with the exercise thingy!

The hotel is in a wonderful position and the staff was very friendly and helpful.

Have a wonderful stay.

Brad'll Do It:

Looking forward to seeing those shots of you in the shower. Oh, it's pictures of plumbing you're pondering. Wine is essential to Italian life; so, you're consumption is really just getting oriented (isn't it?). The textile class is VERY cool. With your becoming a collector, you will now be a knowledgeable one. Divertiti!

Kathly (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, I'm so glad to hear that you've arrived in Italy safely. The meals you're enjoying sounds delicious. You have such will power to hold out on gelato for so long. Your room sounds like it's own adventure too. :)

Your 3-day workshop sounds so interesing. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it and seeing your photos. Have fun and enjoy!

sandrac:

Anne, I realized as soon as I posted about my gelato shortage that this couldn't go on. I had aI fabulous pistachio-nocciolo mix last night. t was perfect!

Amy, I should have known that you would be interested in weaving since you're so skilled at knitting. The workshop has been fascinating, more history of Umbrian textiles than hands-on weaving. But I've had several hours on the loom and while I came close to breaking it, I think it'll survive even me.!

Mindy, I was sure that somehow I would set fire to the workshop as soon as I started on the loom -- that's how clumsy I am! But so far, no fatalities. And no visible damage!

Grazie, Catarina e Annie!

Girasoli, the bus ride was not so bad! Long, but not too annoying. And I didn't get bus sick (although i didn't try to read or do anything but listen to my iPod.) There was a long stop at Tiburtina before we left Rome, a short stop at Deruta and otherwise, it was direct!

Thanks SO much for the offer of telephone help, I finally fixed it today. But the TIM thing is baffling -- for some reason that I'll have to explore when I get back, the TIM chip I bought came with a strange "promotion" that wound up costing me several euro. So, when I bought a 5-euro recharge card two days ago, my debt with TIM completely ate up the new credit.

I went into a TIM store today and the staff quickly cancelled the "promotion" and refunded me a few euro. So, it's fixed but I still have to figure out how this so-called promotion was supposed to work and how I wound up with it!

Lou, I'm so glad you enjoyed Perugia, it is a fantastic city! Did you ever try the exercise machine? I may yet give it whirl just to know how it works.

Brad, I'm going to have to watch my grammar -- no photos of me in the shower (that would be too frightening for readers!)And you're absolutely right about my wish to know more about Umbrian textiles, so I'll understand what I'm collecting. (I just hope I don't succumb to too much collecting on this trip!)

Thanks, Kathy -- I hope I can figure out how to post photos via my new netbook. I love your travel photos, so I hope I can do a little myself.

I'm also looking forward to seeing the shower. I had a crazy one also in a hotel in the Dolomites. The sprays came from all directions. It had a semi-circle door and felt like a space age transporter.

Loved reading this, so funny! That shower sounds like something different... Great to hear everything went well and that you have a nice cool room. I feel the weather changes fast in Perugia, several years ago I stayed there for all of June and part of July, and June was soooo chilly. I kept wearing the same warm sweater and jean jacket all the time. Then the weather changed and it got scorching hot. Sounds like you came just in time for the scorching hot part!

Looking forward to reading along as you travel!!

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