Italy travelogue, part XVII

Photos by Bruce Wilder
Photos by Bruce Wilder — Top row Pitti Palace, last four at the villa.
Glorious, perfect day of doing pretty much nothing.
I did my yoga outside–a little tricky with balancing poses on a  mat over bumpy grass, but worth it. I’m going to try pilates out there  today.
After yoga, breakfast on the patio, So, so nice. BW wanted poached  eggs, so Kat and I watch her make them–very much as my mother used to. Hard  boiling water–but she adds some vinegar and salt, stirring, stirring when the  water gets to that fast boil. Then crack the eggs right in the water, boil them  fast for a couple minutes. She scoops them out and onto a thick kitchen towel.  Serves them on toast for BW. They were beautiful.
Our shower here has the biggest rain head I’ve ever seen, and was  indeed like showering in the rain.
I took my book and walked back to the pool, sat and read–moved  into the shade, read some more. Spent a lot of time just looking up, then around  at the sun-washed hills and fields.
Walked back for lunch. Amazing gnocci with pesto and a leafy green  salad with grilled chicken. The lettuce was so green and fresh I expected it to  shatter like glass. Antoinetta gave me the recipe for the pesto. I must try this  at home as I grow so much basil.
More reading in the shade, with doves cooing somewhere in the  trees.
The four of us finally stirred ourselves enough to walk up to the  bocci area above the pool and play. Much fun, even though we’re fairly pitiful.  Still, some pretty good throws/rolls here and there–both accidentally and on  purpose. I’d already walked across the little dirt road for a closer look at the  vineyard, but we all crossed over on our return. Big clusters of grapes–still  need ripening, but both Kat and I sampled one. Deliciously tart.
We had Concord grapes growing over our little flat-roofed garage  when I was a kid. I remember so well sitting up there eating them in the summer.  And the grape jelly my mother would make from them if we left her  enough.
And a closer look at the two front gardens. Red, red tomatoes,  purple eggplant, green and red peppers. Something that may be kale but is bigger  than I’ve seen before. I spy some purple verbena that looks as if it’s growing  right out of the stone wall.
Back for dinner. I ask Lucia what the little tree is right outside  the kitchen with the fruit that doesn’t quite look like pears, not quite like  figs.
Pomegranate! I’ve never seen them on a tree before. They’re very  young, fussy and fasctinating.
Asia tells us that tonight we’ll be able to see the ISS near the  Big Dipper at about 10:25. We gather out on the chairs on the lawn–with a  laptop that shows its progress. It’s over the US, over the Atlantic, over  Greenland and so on. The sky’s so big, the world here so quiet, with the only  lights the few scattered over the vast shadowed landscape from houses or  villages.
And we spot it right away, track the little, fast-moving light up  and through the Dipper, overhead. Then it dims and vanishes like a candle  snuffed out.
That is our dinner and a show for the evening!
Today the others are going out to explore a nearby village. I’m  staying back to bask and to write. Maybe read some more, maybe take a walk.  Plenty of left-overs if I want to make lunch. And Antoinetta will be back to  make dinner.

13 thoughts on “Italy travelogue, part XVII”

  1. Sounds so relaxing – good for you! Maybe you’ll share the pesto recipe if it turns out good? Enjoy!

  2. I am enjoying your travelogue immensely Nora. I am truly seeing, smelling and tasting Italy through you and enjoying it so much. That is my dream trip…Italy. Enjoy and Bon appetite!

  3. I am loving your travelogue! You’re taking lots of us along with you on this fabulous trip. You have my permission to adopt me anytime you’d like! By the way, what does our favorite author read while she’s relaxing??????

    Thanks for all your beautifully descriptive sharing and for the many hours of enjoyment I’ve spent with all your books.

  4. Hi Nora,

    Make the pesto with everything but the cheese, freeze, (I use snack size bags, then label a small freezer bags which will hold 4-5 snack bags), defrost when ready to use, add cheese and hot pasta. It will stay in the freezer for a long time. Last year I made 25 meals of pesto for Hubby and me. Eating this in winter will remind of your trip and summer. Enjoy. Love reading your travelogue.

  5. You’ve found heaven 🙂 Italy is just the perfect place for doing nothing but being.
    I would love to try that pesto!!

  6. Funny that Nora had never seen promegranate tree. I’d reccomend for the garden… even if the fruit sucks 😉 is a wonderful study in the phases of a fruit: the lovely flower, then the tiny promisse of the fruit and when it forms the tree almost bends over with its weight as the branches aren’t so tough. 🙂
    I’m glad she found it and I’m wondering if such tree would handle Innsboro weather… Nora’s grandkids would love to wait for the promegranates 🙂 as you pretty much can baby them from tiny flowers to ripe fruit (here around Christmas).
    Thank you, Laura, for bringing Nora’s travellogue and BW pictures.

  7. I think our winters are too cold and harsh for pomegranate. Further south, with less cold and snow maybe.

    I finished Sue Grafton’s W Is For Wasted, and will look at the pile I brought
    with me to see what I start after doing some writing tomorrow.


    1. My stomach was growling as I was reading the food that you’ve been eating – it all sounds so delicious! Can you tell us the Pesto recipe… I have a craving for pasta now and would love to try to make it (if it’s not too complicated) 🙂

  8. Even just reading about it makes me think I’ve died & gone to heaven. Are we talking about a real place here? I’m half expecting to read, “This is really a setting for Nora’s next project & only exists in the fictional world.” EVERYTHING sounds just decadent! The food, the quiet, the uninterrupted reading by the pool, more reading in the shade… I’m sighing in contentment over here!
    Beautiful pictures! Thanks again for sharing!

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