My Italy trip - Day 3
My trip to Italy. A close experience with history I had heretofore observed just in picture collections and motion pictures. The landmarks, culture, scenery and food from the immense Colosseum to the spread of Olive trees-that blow one's mind!
ROME - ORVIETO – TUSCANY ( MONTECATINI SPA RESORT)
I began to feel the strain of all the walking and climbing from yesterday, just as expected. My digestive system was feeling the effects of all the bread and cheese that we have been eating. So from the entire array of breakfast dishes laid out, I chose cereal and fruit for breakfast!
Our first stop was at Orvieto, a small town between Rome and Florence. It is up on top of a hill. We had to take an Incline cable car, called Funicular and then a bus to get there. We visited the Piazza del Duomo and the gothic cathedral, with its San Brizio chapel. The cathedral is one of the most peaceful ones I have ever seen. The statue of Jesus Christ and the expression on his face almost seems live. It really moved me more that any others that I have seen. I had a hard time walking away from that. Later on, I hear a few more of our tour mates make the same statement, so there must be something special to it.
After that, we walked around the quaint village, obviously popular for ceramics. It is sad to see the economic conditions there. Without tourism, they cannot survive. We spent a couple of hours there. There was a park there from where we had a very nice view of the countryside below. We saw a lot of cats over there. My husband was attached to his video camera; he had bought a new memory stick for it just before we left. But something was not working right with it, and our new IT friend had to help him out. We had espresso coffee at the café. Both of us are not fans of it, and I prefer the cappuccino. Incidentally, the IT friend also helped me to get on the English version of Yahoo. They are becoming our tech service on tour!
From there we drove through the Cianti wine area of Tuscany, to a quaint town called Montecatini, where we stayed the night. The evening dinner was an optional tour, which was the “Tuscany dinner and dance on a farm”. We declined the tour as did quite a few others. Especially when it came to dinner oriented tours, it was not appealing to us, vegetarians. So, for the first time during a sight-seeing tour, we actually relaxed and even went swimming in the hotel pool! The town was within walking distance and we explored it on foot. We saw our other tour friends riding in an open trolley. After walking around a bit, we started to look for a restaurant which served vegetarian food. Everyone we asked referred us to a place that sounded like Donkey Shot! I was not very impressed by the name so we went up and down several times, looking for others, but none appealed, so we finally settled down in a place that we had passed by several times. Turns out it was Donkey Shot….except it was spelt..Dhokskeydshoutht….or something like that! Next time, we should ask for the spelling! The menu was all in Italian, but we lucked out by being served by an Indian waiter who spoke Italian and Indian fluently! Good food. I like the Italian salads, where the Salad Dressing is just Olive Oil and Vinegar. The salads in Italy are tasty and healthy, not like our overdressed salads of America. On the way back, we had Amaretto gelato. We have been having gelatos every chance we get! We walked back to our hotel. This hotel is not luxurious like the Mediterraneano, it is a small room with a full size bed. But that is how it is in most of Europe.
We were all set for the next day.