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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 9 of 23: Monday, September 12: Cortona

photo by our waiter

Lunch at Il Falconiere

Over breakfast, after hearing today’s rain forecast for Florence with clearing tomorrow, we changed our itinerary and decided to go to Cortona today instead. We left right after breakfast and arrived in Cortona at 9:45. We had coffee while the shopkeepers were opening their doors. We met Jenny Ryland, an English artist who came to Cortona a year ago, fell in love with it, bought a house and stayed. She rents gallery space to show her beautiful watercolors depicting life in Cortona and scenes of the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately, the painting I loved most of a hillside of houses with olive trees and poppies in the foreground, was sold. Jenny promised me a poppy painting by spring. We exchanged emails and I know I will return to see her in May.

We wandered down the main street and I bought another watercolor of Cortona, two large bags of carnaroli rice for risotto (it stays aldente longer than Arborio) that I can’t get at home (the best 3E purchase of the trip so far), two shawls, a pumpkin-colored sweater, and ceramic earrings and a pendant. At the end of every side street is another gorgeous vista. We went into the cathedral, lit a candle, and I was again moved to tears of joy for the opportunity to enjoy the blessing of another beautiful trip to Italy. We left Cortona knowing we would return and adding it to our list of favorites.

We had directions to Il Falconiere, and were hungry and excited to experience a wonderful lunch there. The grounds look like a park. We were greeted with glasses of Prosecco as we tried not to gawk at the beauty and attention to detail in the restaurant. The china, linens, silver, flowers, and views were beautiful and formal. We shared two appetizers of panzanella and “Tuscan Pie”, a tiny soufflé of eggs, cheese and bacon sitting in a bean puree. Next, we were served a complementary sweet red pepper soup with a chicken panzarotti in the center. For our entrees, Brad had goose tortellini with peas, Les had roasted duck, Jan had a cheese, porcini and bacon omlette, and I had zucchini blossoms filled with soft boiled eggs in a pecorino cheese sauce. We had a beautiful selection of breads, and were then served an assortment of spectacular miniature desserts in tiny expresso cups: cappuccino mousse, chocolate mousse, vanilla crème with berry sauce, tiny assorted cookies, and pots of coffee crème with spun sugar. I, (who almost never order dessert) had already ordered fig carpacio when the sweets arrived, but I did not regret my choice! I was served a plate of fresh ripe figs drizzled with honey and almonds and topped with zabalone gelato! YUM! We had coffee and walked around the grounds just in time before the rain began.

We got back to Amorosa at four and slept happily in our food comas until seven. Later, we went to the Enoteca for a glass of wine and brought a snack and tray of coffee/grappa back to our room for a relaxing evening of reading and journaling.

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