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Report 834: There's No Such Thing as Too Much...Pasta and Ceramics

By Palma from California, Fall 2005

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Page 13 of 23: Friday, September 16: Gubbio

photo by Palma Hansen

Gubbio ceramics

Happy 5th Anniversary to us!

Brad and I were up early for breakfast and off by ourselves for the day to visit Gubbio. We took back roads, avoiding Perugia traffic and finally approached the walled city on a high hill. We drove to “Centro”, and parked easily. ELEVATORS to each level of the city! What a wonderful town! We had coffee at the main piazza and browsed several ceramic stores. I bought two beautiful painted plaster picture frames and we stopped for lunch at La Taverna di Lupo. We had the best cheesy breadsticks ever and the complementary appetizer of fried pizza dough with proscuitto. We shared a cheese plate of four Umbrian cheeses. Brad had delicious grilled veal with crunchy thin onion rings and I had a plate of grilled sausages that were heavenly. We had coffee outside, and then walked up to the finiculare.

I was determined to do this finiculare ride, as it looked like fun, and we came all this way to see the church of Saint UBALDO, but then I saw the little birdcages on the wire going straight up the big mountain…so I asked the attendant in Italian, “Posse alta la machina?” Can you stop the machine?

He smiled and said, “Si, un momento.” He used a walkie-talkie to tell them on top that when cage number 31 came up, to stop it again at the top to let me out. They stopped the mechanism long enough for Brad and I to get in the cage without it moving. I was happy and safe, enjoying the ride and the view. At the top, it stopped and I climbed out without having to exit while “airborn.”

We walked up to St. Ubaldo’s church where he is entombed in a glass casket on top of a high altar. After spending some time in the church, we had a coke and it was time to go back down. I assumed my technique would work again, but this time there was another attendant on top. When I asked, “Per favore, posse alta la machina?” He said, “No! Perche?” I told him in Italian that I was afraid. His response was to laugh, open the next cage coming by, and shove me up and in. As we were laughing and enjoying the return trip view, if occurred to me, they weren’t going to stop it at the bottom either! When we got close, I saw the same guy at the bottom that had stopped it for me earlier. I called to him and he recognized me and walked over to open the cage door and help me out. I threw my right arm around his neck, and felt him place my feet firmly on solid ground, but my left hand was still clutching the cage with a death grip and blocking Brad from getting out. I was soon horizontal again, as the cage was still moving. Brad yelled, “Let go” and he jumped out as they both uprighted me again. Guess a chairlift would be out of the question!

We stopped at a ceramic store before leaving and bought two lamps and a beautiful large jar with lid and twisty handles. We got back to Montesolare by 6:30 and had a glass of Prosecco with Jan and Les and opened their gifts: a lovely coral and pearl necklace she picked up for me in Chianti and a great bottle of Umbrian olive oil for Brad. We had a mediocre seafood dinner in the dining room and had coffee, a bottle of Prosecco and our fabulous chocolate torta from Perugia on the terrace of our room.

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