Tuesday, May 26, 2009



This is our last day in our little piece of Italian heaven! The beauty, peace and quiet of this mountaintop is wonderful.I am so glad we stumbled on this cottage in this old village by way of Australia!

We make one last trip to Cortona for a few Christmas gifts for family members. One of the pleasures of traveling for us is to do some Christmas shopping along the way. There is no parking by the gate so Dick lets Carolyn out and parks down the hill…we are early so all the shops are still open! After hitting a few little shops and a little walking around,we pick up some more fresh bread and some good-looking sweets for tonight’s dinner and head back to the car.One of the pleasures of staying at the villa has been the availability of the great fresh produce,sauces, bread and pastas to make dinner every night.

On the way back home we stop at Le Celle, a Franciscan Monastery and Sanctuary built in the early 1200’s by Saint Francis.St. Frances of Assisi liked solitude and he found it here early in his ministry. His original lodging was a cave like crack in the ravine, now surrounded by the old stone buildings. The buildings and present day gardens spill down both sides of a steep ravine with a creek flowing though the middle. The area definitely has a calming feel to it.

We are back at the “villa” in time for lunch and an afternoon nap. After a nice nap for Dick and working on the blog and the pictures for Carolyn, we sit on the porch, read and talk about the plans for the last week and a half. It is unbelievable that this journey is almost over! When the sun gets low in the sky, we drive to the top of the hill for some views from above.Then we watch another beautiful sunset over Casalena! Tonight we have a pizza made with our fresh focascia bread from our trip into Cortona with two different sauces, a green salad and wonderful cantaloupe. Of course, there is plenty of the local Chianti. In fact, I think we have gone through four, two-liter bottles since we arrived!

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