What a time in Tuscany! I'll write more about it later this week. The best part of course, was seeing my parents and sisters. And then, the Tuscan countryside...once I read the instruction booklet on how to download photos from my new camera, I'll post pictures. Such distinctive light and color in that part of the world. I'd forgotten that olive trees have a sort of silvery tint to the leaves. And that olives are all types of colors, from a hundred shades of green to purplish to black.
I have to mention our tour guide, David Macchi. The first day, I thought, "Oh, he's nice." The second day: "He really knows what he's talking about." And the third day? "Wow!" David began playing opera selections on our bus as we rolled through the countryside (including the songs of Andrea Bocelli, an operatic tenor from Tuscany). Later that afternoon, and for the rest of the tour, David surprised us by singing some opera himself. The combination of music and scenery? Nothing better!
If you know me at all, you'll know that I loved the foods of Italy, too. Visiting all the tiny pasticcerias and formaggio shops--pure heaven. Since I wasn't returning to the States, I brought home some peccorino, chocolate paneforte (a type of almond and honey spice cake) and a bottle of Tuscan wine tucked into my checked suitcase. Maybe I can find a recipe on the web for the paneforte, it would be nice for Christmas. About the only Italian food I wouldn't care to try? Well, that would be tripe. And any related cow organs.