Day 7: Tuscany and Etruscans courtesy of Roberto.


This morning we had the pleasure of getting acquainted with Roberto (nice name), a hand-picked local guide who knows Brad quite well.

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Roberto told us, "Brad was not born, he was distilled.  I went to a restaurant with him once and the waiter came and said, 'Would you like to have some more water,' and Brad said, 'No thanks, I already washed my hands.'"

We took the bus into Tuscany, to the town of Chiusi, where Roberto met us for a visit to an archeology museum.  He was a non-stop joker and teacher, and we enjoyed his company as he brought us into the bowels of the museum to look at Etruscan tombs.  The Etruscans came just before the Romans and many of their art works were based, like Romans, on Greek interpretations.  The museum had its "tombs" laid out in an old wine cellar, which effectively mimicked the temperature and darkness of real tombs.

After the museum, Roberto took us to a real tomb in the countryside where, six at a time, we could venture into the darkness and see what it was like to be buried long ago.  While waiting outside, the rest of the group admired the view and the nice weather.

We waved goodbye to Roberto and stopped for lunch in Chiusi.  Freyja and I had a sit-down meal at a wonderful restaurant.  The house wine was perfect, with pears, cheese, and walnuts to start, soup (white bean for her, leek and potato for me) next, and then pork and wild boar to finish.  Yummy.  Back to the bus as the weather clouded up.

Silvio drove us via the scenic route back to the villa, and we stopped for a while at a ridge overlooking the big lake.

Back at the villa we had a demonstration of how to make pasta from the head chef.  He made 3 types, including gnocchi, and dazzled us with his knife work.  We also had a couple of volunteers try their best to mimic him, and they did okay, helped with applause from the crowd.

Fillipo gave us a tour of the grounds and the history of the villa, while Cocobolina followed us around.

Our final dinner at the villa consisted of Brie and radishes, then the local soup with bread in it, and veal and an egg-potato custard.  For dessert we had mousse with a coffee-caramel sauce.  All accompanied with a pinot noir (a.k.a. Burgundy) wine that Rick K. picked out.

To bed at 9:30.  Everyone had to pack tonight for an early departure tomorrow.


Now, at the halfway point of the tour, Roberto and Brad's camaraderie reminded me of the importance of having good friends with you when you travel.  As we continued on this tour I felt more and more that the sightseeing was just an excuse for the group to be together for a while, and that was okay with me.

     
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Unless otherwise noted all text and images are copyright Robert Williams.

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Last updated 11/12/2005 .  Email me at bob@besttravelbarcelona.com.

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