Sunday, July 21, 2013


DAY 7, JULY 14, 2013
This was to be a day of recovery, no commitments, no energy expended, only a recharging of our batteries. It was a day to be spent poolside, reading books and catching up on sleep and we pretty much succeeded on all counts. The only thing not accounted for was my sweetness quotient.
Emmy and I are mosquito magnets, Rick not so much. In fact he seems immune to the little biters. He can sit poolside for hours without the slightest irritation while the two of us are immediately set to scratching and swatting until the ground around our feet is littered with blood dripping carcasses of those mean little stingers. That's why it is 4:13 in the morning and I'm up scratching my arms and legs until I've drawn blood and covered my limbs in welts the size of American quarters. Emmy some how avoided this fate this time. Rick, of course, is completely bit free, but I am covered with misery from head to toe.

The fattoria is as beautiful as ever.
The vineyards are filled with clusters of grapes beginning their ripening process.
The farmyard is filled with animals producing the necessities for a sustainable life on a farm; a herd of goats are there for their milk, a dozen turkeys that will end up as centerpieces for holiday meals as well as a cow that will be butchered once he becomes fat enough for slaughter.
Chickens are clucking out eggs by the dozens and then there are the horses. There are now five horses in residence: an appaloosa, an Arabian, a palomino, and a mare and her foal. These are the reasons we first decided on coming to Armena, to satiate Emmy's love of animals. What we didn't count on was the love we developed for the family that is the heart of this farm.
That evening Stefania had made reservations for all of us, the Saraceni's, our Dutch friends, a Danish family occupying the third apartment, Mirando and Mirella (close friends of the Saraceni's) and us
at the Cinema restaurant in the picturesque village of Montisi.
It made for a very big table. You can never go wrong with this kind of company but for the first time the dinner was a bit of a disappointment. The owner of the restaurant kept a continuous dialogue going, but only in Italian. He seemed to think of himself as quite the entertainer, every little story ended with a broad hand gesture and a huge laugh but only the Italians seemed to understand the punch lines. I think his constant repartee was meant to divert our attention from the service and the wait between courses. Courses that kept coming and coming until after three hours and still no main course we all threw in our napkins and had to call it quits.
On the way back somewhere around one in the morning Stafania lead us all on a secret trip to Bagno Vignoni another small picturesque village dominated by a volcanic fed hot springs. At one in the morning there were still families pushing baby carriages and sitting sipping espresso while others sat on the ledges of a serpentine shallow crevice that ran through the entry to the village. Everyone took their shoes of and dipped their feet in the therapeutic waters that flowed in these veins carved from volcanic rock. It was an enticement to make us want to come back for the full treatment. Stay tuned for that entry

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