Da Ancona a Desio

September 30, 2013 § 3 Comments

Whew, what a week!  After a little slump in the land of cappuccini and gelati, I headed over to the bookstore on my last day in Ancona to pick up my artwork displayed on the walls.  Instead, the owner of the shop asked for my permission to hold on the artwork and gave me some cash as a deposit and a stack of cute journals and folders that I wanted to buy as a “buon inizio” to my school year.  He then shut the book/paper/art store an hour before the usual lunch break, showed me off his artsy loft house, and abducted me (in an anti- creepy way) to buy me the best gelato in Italy in this little village on top of a hill.  During this delicious ceremony of unofficial adoption, he told me everything that I needed to hear the past few weeks about life, Italy, and happiness, and concluded the adventure with a stroll through a medieval town.

Which was a great excursion, except for the fact that by the time I got back, I had less than three hours to clean the entire house and throw stuff into a suitcase.  Just as I threw the last sock onto the pile, Mr. Italian got home and we zoomed out of Ancona; arrivederci, my love-and-hate relationship.  Time to take a break.  I’ll see you again in four months, maybe.

MINI ROAD TRIP: DA ANCONA A DESIO

Our first stop was magical; arriving at our favorite food stand in the entire world just as the man was shutting the blinds on his wooden hut.  So, after stuffing our faces with crescia and downing some wine, we hopped back into the car and jammed to Italian ’60’s music the entire way to Perugia.

Perugia

Stroll and tea in Perugia, and then a last-minute decision to check into a hotel for the night.   After knocking on wrong doors at midnight and running into cows being lulled to sleep by meditation music, we found an open door and collapsed inside.  Upon waking up, we did all of the formal reception procedures (or, as formal as they get out on an Umbrian pasture), played with the farm animals, and bid addieu to our first night away from home:

Then we hopped around Lago Trasimeno for a bit:

Lago

And then ooh-ed and aah-ed at all of the cute little shops and huge underground wine cellars (those casks were three times as tall as me– that’s a lot of wine in really big ancient underground caves!) at Montepulciano:

After all of the food samples, wine tastings, and hidden grottos, my favorite part was the collection of funky sculptures in the piazza at the top of all of the stairs that line the mountain:

Montepulciano2

(also, I learned that this is where some vampire movie was filmed- the name of it escapes me at the moment though:)

MontepulcianoVampires
And then, we took the opposite road from the one that we were supposed to, so we didn’t make it to Montalcino to try some more wine.  In the end, this was a good mistake though, because we had a long evening in Lucca, which is one of the coziest and cutest and most impressive Italian cities that I have ever seen.  Lucca included the best meal I’ve had in Italy, crashing an art reception (I felt so at home for a few minutes!), sleeping in fancy villas, enjoying brunch by poolsides, and wandering around many, many little alleys:

Next day, we drove from seaside to the top of high mountains and back down again to Sestri Levante, a little port town a few kilometers north of Cinque Terre:

I particularly liked old, barefoot couples sitting in front of organic gelato shops (as well as the gelato inside those shops):

SestriLevante3

And fish statues:

SestriLevante
The last night we spend in a cabin in the middles of the mountains, completely cluttered with little teacups, dried flowers, and old-fashioned board games.  After an adventurous dinner and infinite cups of tea, we had the perfect ending to the last full day:  a rainy, rainy thunderstorm:

Sunday, another zoom from Favale di Malvaro to Monza, where we had a quick stroll and snack.  And then… time to take the luggage out of the car, march up the steps, bid Mr. Italian farewell, and ring the bell of my new home for the next four months:  a big house in little Desio.

Stay tuned for stories of chirping teachers in school chapels, daily train commutes, and the jungle inside the those that I live in (and the eleven fancy motorcycles right below it).   Not even 24 hours in Desio, and I already have a few too many stories for the next blog post.  I’ll try to keep it organized.

GattoInFinestra

Last view of Ancona; ciao, gatto!

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