We’re almost finished doing battle with the Italian bureaucracy. We thought we would be done last week, but, alas, if there can be a monkey wrench thrown into something, we will find it. We went for our final appointment in Sansepolcro to get our permesso di siggiorno. It was an appointment that they set, so we thought we were in like Flynn. Not so fast. We got there at the appointed time, waited our turn to go in (only two people at a time allowed inside), only to be told in fast Italian that we had to leave. We’re still not sure why, and frankly, at this point we don’t really care. All we got was that they would call us when we could come back. That should be an interesting phone conversation. But we have our health insurance cards and our Anghiari residency cards, for which we had to get fingerprinted and asked to be organ donors (we said yes).
Now we’re turning our attention to getting the house in order. We have a couple more pieces of furniture to get in place, but for the most part everything is here. Our lack of storage remains an issue for me (where do you put your broom?), but now I’m concentrating on nesting. You know, arranging things, then rearranging them, then putting them back the way you had them to begin with.
This morning, being Sunday and all, we went to the flea market thing Michelangelo showed us a few weeks ago. We got two bedside tables for upstairs, a food mill, a gorgeous marble slab, and a beautiful ceramic vase for 27 euro. We were so proud of ourselves that we treated us to a nice brunch of gelato. There’s a gelato place in San Guistino, not far from Anghiari, that has fantastic gelato. About 15 – 20 years ago during the International Gift Show at the Mart in Atlanta, we stumbled upon a group of Italians exhibiting all kinds of treasures from Umbria (the next region over from Tuscany). It’s there that we first met so many of the people who would become very dear to us. As part of their Umbrian extravaganza, they had the gelato king of Italy there making the nectar of the gods for us Americans. That’s the place in San Guistino. I really don’t know how the gelato king of Italy is crowned, but I do know that he has some mighty fine gelato. It’s the same guy and we told him about meeting him all those years ago in Atlanta. He remembered (the event, I’m sure, not us) and was so pleased that we are here now. It’s about a 15 minute drive to his place – not too bad for the best gelato in all of Italy.
After brunch, we decided to go whole hog (pardon the pun) and swung by the Monterchi market for a porchetta panino to take home for later. These panini are the best – made to order from sliced porchetta and Tuscan bread. Even though Monterchi is in Umbria, they use Tuscan bread at this stand. It’s the best combo because the pork is seasoned so perfectly you don’t want anything else competing with that flavor. It’s so tender, with just the right amount of fat. That crispy on the outside, pillowy on the inside bread is just what you need to hold it all together. It was a worthwhile trip and nice dessert to our brunch of gelato.
This afternoon I’m going make tomato sauce to freeze from some of Tuscan tomatoes Piero the gardener gave us. I’ll need the food mill to do this the correct Tuscan way. The vase looks great in so many places I’ll be moving it around for a while. I love this marble slab, but whatever will we do with it? The bedside tables are great how they are, but I’m thinking of painting them a creamy white to go with the dresser in the
bedroom. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. That’s the great thing about nesting. You can busily organize, plan, and arrange or you can sit on the terrace with the warm Tuscan sun on your back listening to the church bells and trying to memorize the glorious view. It’s all in your nest and it’s all productive – for the body and the soul.