|Saturday 29th September 2007 Weather: - Overcast/sunny
(J) It is actually Sunday morning now as I am writing yesterdays' journal. I am sitting on the terrace of the Hotel San Luca with the most magnificent vista of the valley towns below reaching as far as the lake. There is a mist below that is slowly lifting so starting to peek through the morning mist are the tops of the church steeples and of course the mountains in the distance. The mist is on the lower towns only so there is a circle of towns around the base of the hill that Cortona resides on that are in full view.
The Saturday morning breakfast at the B&B that we stayed in Friday night consists of a voucher for a coffee and croissant that we could take to any of the eateries in the street below it. As we were equipped with cereal and other incidentals in the food line we decided to make our own breakfast in our room and save the vouchers for a late morning tea.
By 10:30am we were settled in our new hotel and were able to get a cancellation for Sunday night as well so we do not have to move again. The hotels are so booked out that the B&B Le Gelosie had no problems with us cancelling for tonight. I must say that if you go out to dinner on any night we have found that booking is highly advisable as most places get booked out. Dinner in this town starts at 7:30pm. We had another nice meal last night, the restaurants around here seem to cook a lot of the regional dishes and they are delicious and also not overprized so that is perfect for us. I have mentioned to Herman "if they would only start a bit earlier, say 6:45 they would get a lot of double sittings per table" but I guess they think that they are doing well enough, business wise, so that is the way it is.
Our stay in Cortona is one that we want to savour so we are very relaxed about it, just a bit of wandering around and enjoying the ambience. As said before the town is built around the top of a hill so there is a lot of climbing to do but we are doing it with ease now, we are a lot fitter than when we started this journey.
In our explorations Saturday morning we found the Piazza Signorelli, as well as some of the little side streets were taken over with the weekly market. Everything was on offer, from hardware, clothing, underwear, junk, to foodstuffs. Down one of the alleys they had caravans with all the nicest hams, salamis, cheeses and also on board they had a whole roasted pig on a spit which was being sliced up on the spot and the meat served out on bread rolls. That made a nice lunch for us and we ate it while sitting on the town hall steps. Who could ask for more, life is absolutely as good as it can get. A bit more wandering around town and it was time for an afternoon rest as we are going out tonight.
Our adventure tonight was to go to the 'Theatre Signorelli' to see an Italian opera. The entry into the theatre left us a little spellbound; it has a light blue ceiling with lots of carvings and ceiling roses. There is a beautiful chandelier in the centre and the walls are lined with four tiers of private boxes, the seats are upholstered in rich red velvet just like a miniature 'la Scala' but not quite as grand I expect. On the programme tonight was a modern comic opera called 'L'Impresario in Angustie' written in Italian and as we do not know the story behind it we are here for the music, atmosphere and a new experience. We profited on all accounts, with Herman having the additional amusement of watching the conductor, for most of the evening, with the comment that he "hoped the conductor would grow wings" as Herman had named him 'Louie the Fly' because of his slight stature, his large rimmed, eye glasses and his extremely energetic conducting. Thus we saw through another day of this fantastic vacation.
Just a warning for Herman's work mates, I am a bit worried as to what time Herman will turn up at work when he gets back because instead of getting out of bed just before 5am he has now taken to sleeping in until 8:30 in the morning.