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Report 1008: 'I Vincitori' Learn to Get Lost in the Hills and Valleys of Italy

By Marian from New Jersey, Spring 2006

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Page 14 of 15: Isn't Pienza Wonderful (Friday, 19 May)

photo by Marian

Flowers On the Pienza Wall

Today we can go back to the Bar Centrale. We are happy! However, this is to be our last full day in Italy, so I am also a bit sad. I try to organize my things for packing. Although I did not buy all that much, it's more than I thought. And those three bottles of wine have me worried.

We've made a lunch reservation at Latte di Luna, a highly-recommended trattoria in Pienza. (We had tried for dinner for last night, and were unable to get a reservation.) This is the place we were going to lunch at with Doru. So we will have a drink in his honor. Or two.

The restaurant is quite full, but we get a place outside on the nice terrace. Nearly everyone around us is speaking English, so we are a bit disconcerted. The waiter is helpful, but there is some confusion about the prosecco, then all is fine and we get our drinks. Suddenly, the waiter becomes our best friend. We are not sure why, but at one point he compliments my Italian-speaking abilities, and we get into a conversation. When he asks who has recommended the restaurant, I say "Zak and Gary", and he flashes a big pleased smile, "Ah, Zak and Gary", so maybe that's it.

He cannot do enough for us. I have a delightful conversation with him about the various parts of Italy I have visited. I tell him that I first visited Italy in July 1964; he tells me he was four months old then. He keeps on coming by, smiling at us, chatting with us. Marc, Cheryl and I each feel an incredible sense of well-being.

We are much too full to order dessert, but he surprises with a lovely semifreddo and three spoons. This is followed by a bottle of limoncello and three beautiful little glasses. We are so happy we could burst. The food, the setting, the waiter, the Italian --- all is perfect. Or "perfetto" would be more accurate. (For those of you who are curious, we did leave this waiter a tip, for which he seemed equally surprised and grateful.)

How can you top this? We walk around Pienza for a bit, and take some photos from along the walls. And then on home.

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