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Cortona IV

October 4, 2011

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

Sunday, October 2

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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.

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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.

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

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The Plaza della Repubblica at the beginning of the evening.

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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.

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

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

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

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