Monday, July 29, 2013


DAY 15, JULY 22, 2013
Rick's one request had been to go to La Foce, a garden near where we were staying. Online it looked majestic but other than a reference to it being in the Siena are it was hidden on any maps we found. Even when we spoke to Stefania about it she said she had heard of it but had never been there. She thought she knew where it was but following her directions got us only partially there. By that I meant we could only remember half her directions not that we did do the journey without some of our limbs and various body parts present for the trip. We were to take the road to San Quirco and then head toward Bagno Vingnoni. Before we reached Bagno Vingnoni we were to take a road to our left to another city we could only half guess at and then somewhere along that road would be a restaurant with the Villa La Foce across the street.
We drove straight into Bagno Vingnoni missing our turn because we really didn't have any idea of what the turn was called. When we got to Bagno Vignoni both Rick and Emmy were ready to give up and just head back to the pool. I had to persevere. I decided my best bet was to pretend I was a guest at Bagno Vignoni's grandest hotel and tell them I was taking a day trip to La Foce. The first person behind the desk spoke no English. He pointed me to a woman also behind the desk who was currently on the phone. I waited till she had finished and began my query. "We want to take a trip to the gardens at La Foce. Can you give me directions?"
"We hava no gartins, we hava pool"
"No, I'm not looking for gardens here but at La Foce"
" I tella you we have no gartins"
"I mean I'm looking for L-A-F-O-C-E"
In typical tourist speak I thought if I said it louder she'd understand my request, "THE GARDENS AT LA FOCE"
Nothing. Then the man who spoke no English turned his head and said, "Oh La Foce!"
All of sudden they had postcards and maps that they drew lines on as directions. We were back on track even though the track was still a little iffy.
We reached La Foce about twenty minutes later. We found the reception area and a very nice lady that told us the gardens are only open on Wednesdays from three to six. All wasn't lost. A dry run to a place this hard to find would only make our trip on Wednesday that much smoother with the possibility that we might actually get there in time for a proper visit.
It was back to Bagno Vignoni for an early lunch. We keep forgetting that the Italians eat every meal late and it was only 11:30.
We had to settle for a café and a snack-like meal. Bagno Vignoni is a tiny little town with one industry: their thermal baths. The crowd seemed decidedly older walking at half speed through the village streets but we did make reservations for the following Thursday. Can't wait.
The afternoon was spent at the pool out of the heat of the day. That night I took the kids back to Why Not for a quick gelato.
We had barely begun our descent down the steep narrow dirt road when out of nowhere a wild boar leapt out from the side of the road and ran across in front of our car. I don't know if the boars are so stupid they'd wait for an oncoming car before trying to cross the road or if they're confrontational in that barbarian kind of way daring you to run them over or a forest bully out looking for a fight.

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