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Osso's first trip to Italy

 
 
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 07:45 pm
3/22/88 --- Martedi ---- Tuesday

Skipped breakfast at Casalta and went east to Monteriggioni again. Quiet. No bar for coffee or pastries open; over to Castellina in Scala and then Castellina in Chianti, past fattores aplenty. Misty/drizzling ride, beautiful.

Castellina in Chianti is a fairly airy town, has a bank and newstand w/Herald Tribune and nice shops, though not many, and a bar with a good and hot caffe latte and dolci (3 each). Stopped and got post cards and the paper; early on, John got Kleenix; yesterday razor and cloves at the Strove village. Today I hovered at a black nylon counter but passed.

Came back to Casalta and checked out the San Luigi residence down the road. Quiet hotel, stone construction, lawn and pool and restaurant. Lawn chairs all displayed like Baden Baden, but no people.

Read the paper a bit then went to Monteriggione for meal at Il Pozzo. Our most expensive meal because of the coperto and supplemento.

I had pappardelle w/wild boar sauce and John had tomato basal pasta, these after our antipasto of varied salamies, one with tongue and calves' feet and with boar's feet.

We had house wine, a Monteriggioni red, and I had due dolci and coffee.

Back to Casalta and walk, clouds after us. Late meal, I had Sp Strovese, John had Sp w/clams. We had water and some cheese and fruit, a small scotch neat before dinner.

I wrote in their guest book.
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ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2016 02:19 pm
3/23/88 --- Mercoledi ----- Wednesday

Caffe and dolci at Colle d'val d'elsa Jolly Caffe, and then over to Volterra. Volterra turned out to be much better than expected after the 'non-recommendation' of the guide books back in California. We went through the Etruscan Museum, after a group of schoolboys passed, to our relief, not that we didn't like them, but the place was more serene without all that. I fell in love with the Ombre della Sera sculpture. A good lunch at L'ombre della Sera ristorante across from the museum, after going to the bank. I almost bought a Tuscany book. Did purchase an small alabaster dish for Cathy.

Lunch: John had roast veal with rosemary, garlic, clarified butter; I had Conciglio alla contadina, rabbit stew with olives and meaty sauce. Local rosa wine. Bought some etruscan panforte to take back to Casalta.

Came back. Another walk, for last photo taking. Casalta restaurant closed so we went to San Luigi Residence, which turned out to be German: some soup, 1/2 bottle of wine, and apple cake.
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ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Sep, 2016 02:04 pm
3/24/88 --- Giovedi ----- Thursday

Up and out after slight fracas paying bill re American travelers' checks - had to wait for Giorgio, who said fine and wanted to give us a bottle of wine! Caffe in Poggibonsi (photo on wall of wild boar hunting brigade) and nice ride up through Montesperoni, Montelupo, to Sesto a fiorentino, which turned out to be near Leah and Sandro's area. Got a terrific - in retrospect - deal at Villa Villoresi, a run down slightly beautiful, then very beautiful villa hotel. Ended up liking it very much. First built in the 1200's. Our room was huge, with fresco'd walls, chandelier, antique furniture, immense wooden doors opening to long veranda overlooking garden ("longest veranda in Tuscany"). We were the first customers of the season, they gave us a deal when we said no at the first price (not bargaining, it was really way too much).

After going out and exploring Sesto for bank, alimentaria, vino, found a Co-op. Went out after luxurious baths to find food.. the restaurant in Sesto closed for a private parties. Eventually found a pizza parlor on the road toward Firenze. Their crust thin, sauce falls off, but good. And some wine. Inexpensive. (2016 - I think I remember it as having a bowling alley.)
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ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Sat 17 Sep, 2016 07:44 pm
3/25/88 --- Venerdi ----- Friday

Bye, Firenze! Got sweets at nice Caffe by the Communist Party Headquarters, good caffe latte. Went to bank w/no trouble and gas station where guy was nice. Made it through Firenze to the Avis place, ai yi yi, and then walked to the train station.

Hello Roma! Easier arriving in Rome this time. Came in mid-siesta time, no crowding at the Metro. Got caffe at Viale Aventino and went on up the hill to Villa San Pio. Rm 66, garden view. A little rest, then shopping at alimentaria - Chianti Classico wine, cheese, candy, olives, crackers. Out to dinner at Rino after the cheese (Setticoli and Pecorinella, salty) and crackers. Me, spaghetti all'Amatriciana and John, ----------, w/house wine. Still the best, according to me, but we'd just had some of the Chianti Classico, different. They recognized us, and gave us the same table... as did the guy at the bar when we got coffee after the Metro, and the guy at the shop. Good waiter at Rino..
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Sep, 2016 05:35 pm
@ossobucotemp,
3/26/88 --- Sabato ----- Saturday

Wandering walking day. Started at St. Peter's via Metro, then walked back across the bridge to the Corso, then pz. Colonna., pz Navona, Campo dei fiori, Circo Massimo, then home down Viale Aventino where we bought wine and cheese and candy.

During the day we had gelato at Giolitti. Me a cona medi, John a cona piccola - me, pistaccio and caffe, John, strawberry and torrone, And... Tre Scalini - John, pistacchio and torrone and fregola, and me, un caffe.

Crackers and cheese after we got home to Villa Pio, w/vino. Then to Rino for vitello marsala for me and abbacchio lamb chops and carciofi for John, plus a beer for each. Rome book and the Herald Tribune to read.
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ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Sep, 2016 07:03 pm
3/27/88 --- Domenica ----- Sunday

John has flu! Stays in bed for a while. I went down and had usual caffe and roll. Called Pan Am to confirm. Talked to American woman in the lobby. Then got back and John abed. Went out and got daffodils for him. Also, a comic book for Michael (boss). Came back and John was about to get up.

We went over to Porta Portese market (walk to Via Marmorata and across the Tiber), a real Ocean Front Walk experience. John bought a brass door knocker for Jimmy. We came back through Testaccio district/there was a Giolitti there. John had nociola and cioccolata and I had a cappuccino, back to the hotel after going back to the Colosseo exit and looking around to buy a few souvenirs for friends.

John rested and I started up again on another grand walk. Went on a search for Rome T-shirts, or something, up to Corso Emanuele via Pz Venezia and over to Pz Navona, F. Trevi, past the Corso -- Nada! (It was Palm Sunday). Did have caffe and bathroom visit at Tre Scalini. Wandered around fast, easy now. Town just filling up with tourists for Easter week.

Walked over to the Forums of Trajan and then Augustus, over to Colosseo (bought 2 prints from some old guy) and through Colosseo out to Via Gregoriana past the Palatine - crying in waves now, last time ... through Circo Massimo and up Aventine hill, and home. John up and better. All this time the weather had been gorgeous, Roman clouds, some light drizzle, some sun.

Went over w/John to the pizzaria on V. Aventino - pizza and beer for John and veal/spinaci e patati for me. Back to hotel. We talked with Luigi about crime(!) Packed, paid the bill. Luigi fixed John hot milk.

Jean and Raffie (?) came in to the lobby, talked, they wanted some liquid; Scots guy and Hamburg fellow came over, Luigi joined in, sitting down with us, wine, conversation.

John got much better after that milk. 24 hr flu. Off to bed we went.





0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  3  
Reply Sat 24 Sep, 2016 08:06 pm
3/28/88 --- Lunedi ----- Monday

Up.
Baths. Dress. Breakfast on patio.
Chat with a German and Americans. Down to local bar for candies and one more caffe.
Back, order taxi, taxi comes, arrangement by the helper at the desk (not Luigi at this time of day). Some grumbling from driver. Dirty window. I put it down. Me tearing, good to have wind coming in , drying eyes which I know will hurt later. Especially teary crossing the Tiber. Hunh, he took us a new ways through the suburbs, Bob Segar blasting 'Flatbush City limits, or is it nutwood, and Travelling Man. He took our bags out at the airport and roared off.

Check-in, boarding passes, shopping - Ferrari's, garden magazine, newspaper. 2 Baci and 2 cappuccini, last good coffee, only it was mediocre and lukewarm. So the last was on V. Aventino.

Boarded plane, cattle car, 2" of window. Food ok enough, Italian 'host'. Scotch. Herald Tribune. New York. LA.


I have notes written back then and some for now, but that's the first diary..
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ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Sep, 2016 09:19 pm
I have not understood how unliked I am until I wrote all this. An a2k lesson. Thank you for the listeners.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Sep, 2016 11:01 pm
@ossobucotemp,
I have been following along the whole time. If it's any consolation, few of my threads get any comments either.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Sep, 2016 11:12 pm
@edgarblythe,
Thanks, kiddo. You give me some more pep. I don't mind arguement, I'm trying to get my first takes out there.

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saab
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2016 12:26 am
@ossobucotemp,
I have read all about your trip to Italy.
If people do not give a comments does not mean you are unliked.
If you were - then there would be plenty of nasty remarks.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2016 09:49 am
@saab,
You're right, and I was being too sensitive.
I'll add some notes later on.
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ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2016 06:22 pm
Someone posted up some of my posts. Thank you, I was feeling lonely, not kidding.
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ossobucotemp
 
  3  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 02:16 pm
Notes to myself after returning from the first Italy trip -- some of them pretty outdated:
~ never again bring a lot of small denomination travelers checques
~ dumb to buy souvenirs for everybody at work and minimum/zip for ourselves (I did buy that one handknit sweater in Montalcino)
~ one camera enough, no interior film necessary, or very few rolls
~ binoculars a good idea; ours were on the small side
~ never again bring a travel iron
~ no hair dryer either
~ pack book mailers or buy there if buying books
~ fewer clothes; small expendable purse good idea, with waist money belt or travel neck thing for passport/money under clothes
~ read some before trip, but not a whole lot of photos since I like to be surprised and not have seen it already. Luckily my guides had some maps and some drawings, and detailed descriptions, but not photos, so it was all basically a surprise for us.
~ invest in taxi when arriving in city, at least from the airport to town, if flight was a long one
~ visa card exchange amounts worked out fairly, relative to expectations;
travelers cheques exchange rate turned out to be higher, on review later, re some of the places having high exchange rates, and some lower exchange rate places had added fees
~ get flu or flu shot before trip!!! also, see dentist pre trip
~ nice is a boring adjective I used too much in my diary, and doesn't convey the sense of wonder, grace, delight, that is the reality of much we saw.

Jo, list made in 1989.



I'll write some short notes re my reactions to this old diary soon, some 28 years and two more trips later, but I'll save those actual trip diaries for another time.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 02:47 pm
@saab,
Saab, I'm wondering about your first trip to the U.S., thinking the experience may be somewhat similar, though I know you have relatives here.
Some a2k continental pals have been here too - Walter Hinteler, and Izzy the Push and McTag come to mind immediately, but there are plenty more. Dlowan from Australia has been here too.
saab
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Sep, 2016 12:47 am
@ossobucotemp,
At my first trip to USA I had no relatives there. Got them later as in-laws.
Going from USA to Italy some decades ago probably was more of a "cultural chock" than for me to go from Sweden to USA.
Sweden had a very high standard of living just like USA. Living in a small town in Sweden and go to New York was of course a thrilling difference.It got to be a fantastic experience of small details and fun memories from an international citiy.
As a Swede I find it is easy to be around Americans and also British people.
It is easy to make small talk with them.
The British sence of humour is wonderful. The Danes and the British are so alike in that sence.
If you start noticing people you can - to a certain extent - tell from how they move their hands, hold their heads during a talk where they come from. That is from a distance.
In Germany I somehow noticed that men with a deep and heartly laughter often were Catholics or Lutherans, but the evangelische /reformed) had a rather timid laughter.
Swedes -also are more timid when laughing - even tho they are Lutherans.
Danes laugh a lot.
Interesting is to notice oneself being in other countries when one can speak the language. You are basicly yourself, but somehow you change your personality a bit.
Being with Germans I would never start playing with words as they do not understand it anyway.
Living or visiting another country one expects differences. For me it is the small details which never stop suprising me.
I learned when teaching individuals going to Scandinavia to work it is also important to teach a bit about "how to behave". Of course people do behave,.
Scandinavians when asked "How are you" would say "Fine, thank you" whereas in Germany you tell them about your cold, and stomachproblems and other things you do not want to hear.
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