La dolce vita – we’re living it right now. We arrived in our little village, Anghiari, Thursday evening in a steady downpour. No matter. We survived the long journey, with Millie, our dog. just fine. In fact, the trip was one of the best we’ve had. I highly recommend KLM. We’ve never flown them before and they were great. They are extremely efficient, polite, friendly, accommodating, and the seats were actually comfortable. We got the cheapest ticket possible – way in the back. Despite the location, there was much more leg room than either Delta or Air France. A big plus – especially for the long-legged Steve Anthony. The only drawback was that there are three seats on each side and four in the middle. We were on the side and guess who was in the middle? Me and Millie. Well, I watched two movies I had been wanting to see while the two men on either side of me snored away. The movies? A Star is Born and The Green Book. Enjoyed them both, but really loved The Green Book.
How many times have we been to Anghiari? Many, many times and each time we love it more than the last. This time, we arrived at our very own home. Villa Chiassolo. We saw this place when we were here last in October. Through many long, somewhat agonizing, conversations, we decided to get it. I didn’t want to, Steve did. It took a while for us to figure this one out, but that’s what marriage is all about, isn’t it? If you don’t figure it out, then there’s not much left.
Our own home. Wow. That’s hard for me to believe, even as I sit here in the living room writing this. It changes our perspective in just the slightest, but very significant, way. There’s a connection that we haven’t had before and a sense of peacefulness that we feel because we’re no longer transient – we’re permanent. Even if we’re just here for a few months of the year. It’s a nice feeling.
I been here about 26 hours and have had pizza, pasta, gelato, salami, cheese, prosecco, and chianti. I’m very proud of my progress. Last night when we got in we walked down to the pizzeria on the piazza, where Millie made a new friend. Dogs are welcome in all restaurants here and this one had a resident dog. A little Jack Russell-ish terrier that became fast friends with Millie. I had a pizza with sausage and it was all I had hoped and more. I ate about 2/3rds of it and said “I’ll take the rest home and we can reheat it for happy hour” and proceeded to eat the entire
thing. I’m glad I did. Because we live at the very top of town, we have to walk back up to our house and we decided that meant we could eat even more because we burned so many calories walking home. I love rationalization, don’t you?
We woke up this morning to the sound of Millie wanting to be fed. Our internal clocks may be messed up, but hers was working just fine. Her stomach had made the adjustment to Italian time with no problem. We reluctantly got up and started our first day. Steve, God bless him, went to take care of all the business – renting a car, opening a bank account, and other necessary, but not fun things. I stayed home with Millie and started nesting. I unpacked – are you ready for this – our four suitcases. Our place is furnished and I needed to take inventory of what we had and what we needed. I started a list and added to it all day. About 10:30 I realized I was hungry and we had no food. Millie and I walked down to the village where I got a pastry (cream-filled, thank you very much) and a big bottle of water. I saw several people I knew and they all recognized me. It was nice. When Steve got back we started out to whittle down the list.
During our errands, our thoughts drifted to food, as they tend to do. Our big question here is always the same – big lunch and small dinner or small lunch and big dinner? It’s a tough decision. Today we decided big lunch and small dinner. We thought it would be better to be home and have cheese and salumi on the terrace at the end of the day. Not that that’s small, but, hey – we’re in Italy! We went to Sansepolcro for some of our errands and had lunch at Da Ventura – a great restaurant that we’ve enjoyed many wonderful meals in. I had tagliatelle with cinghiale (wild boar) sauce. Steve had tagliatelle with artichokes, speck (similar to proscuitto), and radicchio. And with a nod to nutrition we shared a salad. Perfection. Oh, and we had a great Chianti.
Finally after a full afternoon of errands, we had our small dinner of cinghiale sausage, proscuitto, pecorino cheese with truffles, and rosemary crackers. And prosecco. On our terrace. It was wonderful. The chilly evening air chased us inside where we continued our feast.
At the end of our first day, we’re sitting in our living room having a last little drink of Chianti. Millie is sleeping on the new bed we bought for her today. Pavarotti is singing on our bluetooth. We’re in Italy and there’s no doubt about it. All the troubles and problems that we had back in Atlanta are still there and we’re here. Living la dolce vita. Vacations are wonderful for the body and the soul.