After a week or so of chilling in one spot we decided to venture out and explore. It’s not our first visit to this region so we decided to pick a new medieval and renaissance hill top town. An Italian colleague of Greg’s had recommended Montepulciano, an hour South of where we were staying. Masks at the ready and perhaps with a tad of nervousness, we packed our brood and drove down the long gravel driveway away from our Tuscan bolthole. Off on an adventure.
I was ready for some awe. I read a quote recently my friend Brydie shared, let me find it.
One sec I’ll share it here.
Here it is …
” … studies have shown that awe can make us more patient and less irritable, more humble, more curious and more creative.” Julia Baird.
Oh there it is. Actually I needed to read that today. Yes, awe. What a fabulous ‘thing’ to wish for. To experience. Hmmm, yes awe, indeed, this is what I strive to accumulate. Moments of awe. In fact I just found my new intentional direction – in pursuit of awe. Oooh yes. I’ll come back to this once I’ve caught you up on Tuscany.
As soon as we arrived at the parking space to the town it was different! No tourists. No buses. No Busy. We zipped into a parking spot and wandered 100 or so metres through the gated entrance to this classic Tuscan Hill Town.
This is ancient, traditional and modern Italy. And this is an exceptional moment in time to experience it. Big deep appreciative breaths (from behind the mask). Everyone is wearing masks here. So different to The Netherlands where the reluctance to wear masks (except where it is mandated on PT) is quite astounding to me.
First food. As we wandered into the town there was a restaurant directly to the left. The food looked mouth watering. In case you’re there the restaurant is Osteria Porta di Bacco.
‘Greg, look at that food’ I said.
‘Let’s eat here!’ He replied directly.
Ok then lunch sorted. And of course there was a table available because few tourists.
Sweet Jesus! The food. We all died and went to heaven. Can I share with you how pleasing it is to have your kids socks rocked by food. Very pleasing indeed.
‘Best food ever’ they proclaimed in unison (even the fussy ones).
The pasta is pici and it’s traditional to this area. It is also apparently one of the easy pasta’s to make at home. I will be trying it! Jamie has one that’s made with courgette. Anyone want to try with me? Here’s the recipe. I’ll give it a whirl this weekend – seems like an ‘awe’ inducing kind of thing to try.
The kids had theirs with wild boar ragu. It’s their favourite meal now, Not sure where to find wild boar but I’m on the look out. It’s also not heavy on the sauce. We get that a bit wrong outside of Italy I think. Mine was a simple one; tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. I also had stuffed zucchini flowers … that melted in my mouth. Greg ate a cow as you can see. The boys assisted.
The afternoon was spent slowly wandering the car-less cobblestone laneways and taking in the beauty that is to be somewhere astounding. Somewhere that is centuries old. Centuries old ingredients, walls and life. We walked (and parkoured) in the footsteps of those who has walked and lived amongst these walls in complete contented awe. There was no need to be nervous about traveling here now in Corona times, I felt the fear ease.
‘This’ I said to Greg.
‘This wandering amongst life and history (and eating) is a thing I love to do’.
This day I really felt awe. I felt a deep return to a feeling I love. The joy of wanderlust.