Saturday, July 27, 2013


DAY 13, JULY 20, 2013
It was around six in the morning when the padding of Rick's footsteps on the stone floor woke me. He motioned to the window where I could see that the fog left by last night's storm had rolled in over the farm weaving a cashmere blanket against the cool morning.
It was as if we had been lifted above the clouds and were floating on a sea of foam. It was an omen that it was now time to do the devil's work.
We snuck out to the car and rolled down the hill to where we knew we would have the prefect opportunity to break the eighth commandment. I drove the get-away car, a minor offense, while Rick go out his pruning shears and began to sin of pillaging the nearest sunflower field. We didn't have to go far.
There are miles and miles of fields surrounding Buonconvento. Rick filled his arms with as much as he could carry. I had the trunk open and in minutes we were back on the road trailing a dust cloud of sunflower pollen behind us.
Our dining table is now complete with a burst of sun pilfered but no less beautiful from the sin we committed.
Around ten we went to the market in Buonconvento. Saturday is market day here. The market travels from town to town, but Saturday is Buonconvento's turn.
Fruit and vegetable vendors mingle with fishmongers, butchers and cheese sellers.
You can augment your closet with everything from jeans to brassieres.
Toy vendors and drugstore goods are available along with tablecloths and fabric by the yard or here by the meter. The whole market in a small town like Buonconvento is maybe a football field in length but the lengthy of its history in Italian culture is thousands of years old.
After the market we took a little road trip to Pienza. The drive from Armena to Pienza is one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
When you picture Tuscany what you are seeing is this drive. Pienza was built from the old town of Corsignano. The birthplace of Pope Pius II, it was this Pope who decided to rebuild his birthplace as a retreat from Rome. His aspirations were high and innovative as he strove to remake Pienza as a model Renaissance city.
He employed the greatest architect of the time, Bernardo Rossellino, to devise a complete plan for rebuilding. This was the first time an urban plan had been used in city development. Soon after the use of urban planning spread throughout Italy and then the rest of Europe.
Pienza is so beautiful it has been used as the set for several movies. Take a second look at the English Patient and you'll be looking at Pienza.
For the first time since we arrived I took to the kitchen and prepared the evening meal. Hand rolled fusilli from the local coop with a sauce of cream, parmesan, black pepper, rosemary, sage and parsley taken from the farm's garden. I added meat from a roasted chicken we had picked up at the market and put out a side dish of leftover figs, melon and prosciutto. Not bad for a novice.

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