Postcards From An Italian Adventure: Another Great Weekend Has Ended

Published Date Author: , August 30th, 2010

Postcards From An Italian Adventure:

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Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24th

I am sitting on the deck of my room in Viareggio….oh, excuse me! Orson’s room, that he has graciously shared with me when I visit. I am looking out at the beautiful Tyrrhenian sea, across the umbrellas, thinking how blessed I have been, to have such good friends as Massimo and Magda Carli.

I would never have met the interesting people that are their friends, nor had the opportunity to relax on the beach with them, and their family. I have enjoyed these trips to Viareggio immensely.

Friday, I arrived by train. I had a ticket for the opera, “Turandot”, at the Puccini Festival in Torre de Lago, on the outskirts of Viareggio proper. I was able to get a shuttle bus out to the theater and back. The theater is outdoors, a beautiful setting. There was a full moon that night, and it floated over the stage as if it were part of the theater props. Wonderful!

On Saturday, the Carli’s had another one of their great dinner parties. Lia came with her granddaughter, Anna, who is 6 years old (we had gone to Anna’s birthday party about a month ago).

Lele, the Renaissance man, was here with his dog, Pippo, who played with Orson. Dina was here, from her home on Lake Como, and a young couple, Michele and Laura, then Massimo, Magda and I rounded out the party.

We started with aperitivi, then Massimo made a delicious pasta with fresh mussels, followed by poached salmon on a bed of rucola, and a big salad. Of course, there was abundant wine with all the food.

During the pasta course, I received instruction from everyone at the table, on how to properly twirl spaghetti on my fork. I think I now gave the hang of it, although I liked Anna’s approach of slurping up the noodles.

I have been trying to speak more Italiano with Massimo and Magda, but I am slow, and not very good at it, but Massimo insisted, Italiano only for that evening.

Well, after a couple of glasses of Prosecco, my Italiano improved enormously. No one made fun of me, anyway. This was fine, until the emergency.. I heard a banging and knocking and a little voice calling for help. Anna had gone into the bathroom, locked the door with the key, then she could not open the door again. Finally, with much coaxing, by standing on the deck off this bedroom, and leaning forward, Magda persuaded Anna to remove the key from the door, and hand it to Magda through the open bathroom window. Since we are on the third floor, I had visions of someone needing to do a James Bond maneuver, and climb through the window….I knew it would not be me! But Anna listened to Magda and handed the key out the window to Magda. Anna was rescued, all was well and the dinner continued.

Finally, we had the cheese and fruit course, followed by gelato and grappa. One of my “ducklings”, Christine, had left behind a bottle of schiaccatra grappa, which I had given to Massimo. He brought it out at the end of this meal. The picture with me and Lele shows me getting a hug from him, in appreciation for the grappa only, don’t get any wrong ideas here. Everyone had to try it… it is way too strong for me, but those Italians loved it. By the time we finished the evening, we had been at the table for over three hours! Another wonderful evening.

Last night, the Carli’s and I went to the Puccini Festival together, having aperitivi with their good friends, Carla, Mario and Leila before the performance. I have been surrounded by excellent cooks, as well as the most interesting people, thanks to the Carli’s. Then on to the opera, where we saw “Madama Butterfly”. It was not the best performance of that opera, but entertaining.

Now we are going to drive back to Florence together, when Magda and Massimo tie up some loose ends at their office, and I am just sitting here, looking at the sea, and being lazy, again.

Tomorrow, my young friend, Amanda, and I will go by train to Monterosso on the Cinque Terre for a two- night stay. There we will swim in the Ligurian Sea. Same sea, just further northwest. We will rent beach chairs and an umbrella, and have a good time. Amanda has not been to Cinque Terre yet, so I am looking forward to taking her there. Another adventure awaits.

So i will say, “Ciao for now”, and you will hear from me again, after the excursion to Monterosso.

Keep in touch and let me know your thoughts about the blog postings.

Ciao for now…


Want to Follow Bella’s Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

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