My friend and I closed up the house in Anghiari today and we're now happily settling into Letizia's agriturismo in the mountains above Assisi. It's good to be here. I miss Umbria when I'm away.
The house in Anghiari was wonderful -- a great base for exploring. I have so much to say about the Piero della Francesca art trail, including stops in Arezzo, Sansepolcro (a lovely town), and of course, Urbino. Which is a stunning city. And there will be photos, of course, to post.
One of the lovely things about renting a vacation house is not only the space you get, but the freedom to do simple things for yourself, like making a few meals and doing some laundry when you need to. And this was a fantastic house! Not only did it have a good washing machine (and dryer -- luxury!) but also a fantastic kitchen, including a very posh espresso machine that even grinds the coffee beans. I don't want to say how much coffee I went through, and how much we used the dishwasher. But in our defence, we ate dinner in several nights because it was 9 p.m. by the time we returned from day tripping. Making a giant salad with wonderful fresh cheese, tomatoes, great fruit.....it was just so easy and relaxing.
Girasoli, I must say I thought of you every time I downed another container of coconut yogurt -- so good. Why can't we buy this in North America???
And Annie, I've been collecting some Umbrian Madonna street shrines; I think of you whenever I find them. Gubbio had several -- they're always so interesting.
We changed rental cars today. My friend Philippe had rented a manual transmission Fiat which we used for the past week, since he insists he can drive a stick but not an automatic. However, since we're parting ways in a few days, I rented an automatic for the coming week.
We switched rental cars at the Avis outlet in Arezzo, and now we have a very cute Fiat 500 with a sunroof and no legroom. But it looks exactly like the Fiat in the George Clooney Italian television ad for the 500 -- the famous "George Not Included" ad.
Alas, it is a dual transmission, but after all my problems with a similar Fiat last year (it was very hard to get it out of manual mode) I think I'll have better luck this year. But for the price I'm paying, I do wish George WAS included!