Volterra is truly a mountain town. Not touristy and very charming, and parking is easy. Just the right amount of shopping for Sally and me, and a nice museum for the Dentons, Joyce and Margaret. It has two specialties – first, it is the site of Etruscan artifacts and ruins, and second, local artisans create and export beautiful alabaster bowls, plates, statues, and anything else they can think of. We had a nice lunch on the relatively unpopulated and simple town square, and I must say the food has been excellent everywhere in Tuscany. Bonell indulged his happy travel hobby of introducing himself to strangers and asking them about themselves. I continued my travel hobby of photographing everything and everyone. Sally loves shopping for purses and found one in Volterra. She says she may buy another one before we’re done.
The drive up to the town offered spectacular scenery. We kept saying “Ooooo, look there!” and “Aaaah, pull over Margaret!” And she did, bless her. There were lots of windy roads and hairpin turns, but M. is a very good driver!!
Today we slept late and drove around to see the local towns. Our lunch in Quercegrossa (this is the first day any of us has been able to pronounce that one) was excellent – way beyond our expectations. Sally had fried potatoes a la grandma (yes, the real name) that were out of this world, and if I’d had the nerve I’d have licked the peccorino cheese which covered my spinach ravioli right off my plate. We’ve been having our big meal at mid-day and mostly snacking at night, with the addition of hearty salads. Sally discovered an excellent sweet biscotti with peppers, loved by all but Joyce, and we have a good supply of Italian sausages and cheeses.
We are all happy with the accommodations at the villa – a complex of old stone buildings. Sally and Jim are in the restored barn. Margaret is in the guest house with a tower lookout bedroom from which she can view the sunrise. The Dentons are in one second floor bedroom of the main house, and Joyce is in the other. I am on the third floor in a lovely room with three beds. The other good part of that is lots of stair exercise. Thirty-seven steps up to bed and down in the morning, half those back and forth to use the john in the night. Less huffing and puffing now than when we first arrived. Yay!
Tonight we are not snacking. We have ordered another dinner from our cook: crostini with tomatoes, grilled zucchini, pici with meat sauce, chicken cacciatori, grilled zucchini, and tiramisu. In our experience, that meal will feed us all for two days.