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Report 1176: September Song: High Notes of a Few Precious Days in Italy

By Roz from Massachusetts, Fall 2006

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Page 8 of 16: Castiglioncello and Volterra: Stormy Weather

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Outside the Web & Wine internet cafe in Volterra

Monday September 25 was the only really bad weather day of our two-week trip. Mike and Maureen went to Siena, while DH and I drove through the rain down the coast to Castiglioncello. Why that not-very-interesting seaside resort? Well, we were considering signing up for an Italian course at the Pasolini language school there, and thought we'd go check it out.

Somehow I had failed to bring the paper with the school's address, but Google Earth and DH's good visual memory saved the day. He had spent lots of time at home locating the school on the Google Earth aerial maps, and when we got to Castiglioncello, was able to find his way there by recognizing the landmarks he'd observed on the computer. Castiglioncello seems like a pleasant enough little town, and we liked the school's option for reasonably priced private lessons with an apartment rental. So we think we'll go back next year for a week as an educational escape from winter in Boston.

The rain become heavier as we drove to our next destination -- Volterra. We had a tasty, if not terribly memorable, lunch at Etruria restaurant on the main piazza. It seems to be a big tourist attraction, as we ate next to a photo commemorating Prince Charles' visit there.

We had heard that one of Italy's best Internet cafes was in Volterra, and it seemed like a good spot to check out on this rainy afternoon. The Web and Wine was a very cool bar where you can sample some nice vintages, or sip coffee or one of 22 kinds of hot chocolate while you check your e-mail over Etruscan excavations.

It was too wet to spend much time outside, but we did walk around a bit to the cathedral, baptistery, and the gate with both Roman and Etruscan stones, which the townspeople managed to save from Nazi destruction in World War II.

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