Tuscany Trip Report-Day 3, Part 2

October6

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Upon departing the Siena Duoma, we were delighted that the rain had stopped and the clouds were making way for patches of blue sky.  We had worked up a substantial appetite and went off in search of a trattoria to enjoy some lunch.

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We discovered a delightful place called I Barberi.

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At this and every place we stopped for lunch, we would order a carafe of house wine. Not only was it affordable but stellar in almost every case.

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While D perused the menu, I went in search of the ladies room and to do some snooping at that lovely place.

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Another tourist explained to me that I was looking at photos of the Palio di Siena which is a horse race that is held twice each year in July and August. Ten horses and riders, dressed in appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen city wards. The Corteo Storico (a pagent), precedes the race, which attracts visitors and spectators from around the world.

The race itself, in which the jockeys ride bareback, circles the Piazza del Campo, (where we had stopped for coffee that morning), on which a thick layer of dirt has been laid. The race is run for three laps of the piazza and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds. It is common for a few of the jockeys to be thrown off their horses while making the treacherous turns in the piazza, and indeed, it is not unusual to see unmounted horses finishing the race without their jockeys.

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Just before I returned to our table, I chatted with this table of American tourists, who admitted that they were a little bit overwhelmed when trying to decide what to order from the menu so they chose a little bit of everything!

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D and I shared this starter of warmed parmesan with a drizzle of balsamic. It was heavenly!

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D chose lasagna which he enjoyed a great deal but not as much as my dish:

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I chose the taglialini with truffle and it was one of the most amazing, yet simple pastas I have ever eaten!

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As we left the trattoria, we decided to turn on our cell phones and use their wifi. Low and behold we had a message from my nieces’ future parents-in-law, whom D and I had never met. We knew that Australians Honor & Gaz were also in Tuscany and we knew that there was a possibility that they might arrive in Siena that day. What we didn’t know was that they were waiting for us at a coffee shop just across the street! We dashed over there to no avail. We couldn’t spot them and decided that it wasn’t meant to be. Begrudgingly we started to walk back to our car down the narrow street pictured above. D as you saw above was wearing a Canada sweatshirt and sure enough Gaz and Honor were walking towards us. Gaz took a chance when he saw the Canadian sweatshirt and shouted something to get our attention. What an exhilarating feeling, to meet Dylan’s parents (who we love dearly) from half way around the world!

 

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The four of us hit it off immediately and they invite us for drinks at their hotel. This was the view from their hotel window. The hotel was charming and so lovely.

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They suggested that we have drinks in the hotel garden and we were delighted by this beautiful space to the rear of the hotel. But the must thrilling surprise was still to come.

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We sat next to the wall that enclosed the garden, which turned out to be the city wall and overlooked the amazing country side that surrounds the exquisite city of Siena.

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I couldn’t stop taking pictures…I was absolutely enthralled by the changing light from the late afternoon sun. This was the Tuscan experience we had travelled so many miles to savour. Here it was in the backyard of the hotel of new friends who we met quite serendipitously.

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Here are the four of us, absolutely delighted to be together, with so much to ask and say to each other.

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As the sun set, we realized that we still had the car journey back to Montecatini, so we reluctantly tore ourselves away for our dear friends and the sites from their hotel garden. Our happenstance meeting seemed divinely inspire and D an I so look forward to being with them again. Our next opportunity will be on Isla Mujeres when their son marries our dear niece in March of 2017!

Kath’s quote: “We all have chance meetings with people, even with complete strangers, who interest us at first glance, suddenly, before a word is spoken.”-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Love never fails.

 

 

 


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