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Cortona IV

October 4, 2011

The candy booth at the market. (See below.) The proprietor seemed unhappy about my taking a picture, acting like a typical tourist. I don’t blame him. How can I sleep at night after this? He cheered up a little after we bought a couple of bags of his wares.

Saturday, October 1

Saturday mornings in Cortona there’s an open-air market in Signorelli square. Patrizia drove Peggy down and I walked down later.

If you ever go to Cortona, one thing you gotta try, just gotta, is porchetta. It’s a young pig, boned, stuffed with spices, and roasted over a spit. Sounds great, tastes better. I wish I had bought more, but there’s always next Saturday. Patrizia, God bless her, after Peggy told her that she didn’t eat red meat, kept saying, “Just a little taste! A little taste!” Peggy wound up getting some (almost) equally good roast chicken.

The female side of the porchetta franchise. Next to her is a tray of roasted pig livers, and I wish I had gotten a skewer of those too. Patrizia on the right.

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More porchetta and other meat delicacies, and scenes from inside and out front of the local market.

Now that we have a washing machine, this is a common sight.

Potatoes fried in olive oil and garlic. We had ’em with our respective purchases, some roppini, and beer. Buona notte.

Sunday, October 2

Today we went for a walk. Above, the church of San Domenico, at the south edge of Cortona.

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The altar and interior of the church.

Southeast of town, the area around Bramasole, the farmhouse restored by Frances Mayes in her book, “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Maybe we’ll see this before we leave.

Back in town, a whimsical sculpture of a cinghiale, or wild boar, on the menu at many Tuscan restaurants.

The Plaza della Repubblica at the beginning of the evening.

We dined at Trattoria Dardano. Peggy had ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese, and I had, well, wild boar and pasta.

The plaza at the end of the evening.

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Peggy picks out some postcards at the tabacchi, and the long trudge up to the apartment.

Monday, October 3

Today we walked to Eremo delle Celle, a monastery north of town, about a forty-minute trek.

After a few minutes we found ourselves deep in the woods, looking down on the olive groves and farmland below.

From a distance, one can only see the monastery’s parking lot.

Once inside the gate, we could see the monastery itself, backed into a wooded ravine.

Below, some pictures of the Celle, in a setting ideally suited for the contemplation of the monastic life.




On a path below the buildings, we heard a rustle in the distance, like some small animal in the brush. Then a mountain bike appears, crosses over the bridge beneath us, and charges past us up the hill!

Tuesday, October 4

Today was a day for errands, taking the bus into Camucia to replenish our 3G account for the iPad and buy a few groceries. On the way out we found a crane truck removing the fixtures from a favorite pasticceria.

Cortona, seen from the road to the market in Camucia.

…and we stopped in at the train station to check on ticket prices to outlying towns for future explorations.

The view down Valle Regina Elena, with the station at the end.


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