We went to Cinque Terre yesterday. It was HEAVENLY! Sam had been there 3 years ago, and it was just as awesome this time! Cinque Terre means 5 lands, and there are 5 cities you can visit along the Italian coast (Northern). They are literally built INTO the coast, and it is so fun! We had such a blast traveling from city to city, visiting 4 of the lands (one is 300 and some steps up to it and its 90 degrees out with high humidity…no thank you!) and just enjoying each others company. Sam’s favorite are Vernazza and Manarola. Last October, Vernazza had a devestating mudslide, with 13 feet of standing mud, and they have recovered to recreate their city. We, of course, purchased some things there, in order to put money back into the city we loved to help them in our own small way. Between two of the cities, there is a walkway called, appropriately, Via Del Amore (lovers walk). Along the entire pathway, which is about a 20 minute walk, there are millions of padlocks locked on. Italian legend says that when you lock a lock onto something along the path with your love, then throw away the key, your love with last as long as the ock does. Knowing this from prior experience, Sam bought a lock. Together, we picked a spot, locked our lock, and threw the keys into the ocean. Hopefully, sometime in the far future, we can go back and visit that spot, and see our lock. 🙂 Cheesy yes, but also cute. Sam purchased a lock and key charm to put on a necklace as our reminder of our trip and the love we share.
Today, we moved to a new house! While we loved our other villa, this one is fabulous as well! It has beautiful views and a fabulous pool! We are a 5 minute walk from the backside of downtown Cortona (you could probably find the house on google maps, its the only one with the pool). We are so excited to be here, Aaron is already looking for tickets to a soccer (sorry, football) game in Siena tomorrow night!!!
More later, we love you all tons, and are surprised and eternally grateful that we have you all as family, friends, and readers. 🙂
Today’s update comes as the second part of this post, mostly because I have time and I don’t want to harass people with posts! J Today we went to Montepulciano (which, hilariously enough, is where they ACTUALLY filmed the scenes from Twilight that were set in Volterra). It was really fun. We got caught in a HUGE rainstorm, probably the biggest one I had ever been in, and hung out in a café, making friends with an Australian family and enjoying the thunder and power surges until the storm passed. It literally flooded the streets. I took pictures, but I don’t think they do it justice. It was just way cool. They are ending their giant festival right now, so it was cool to be able to be a part of that, and taste (and purchase) some delicious wine made in the town. The festival (Bravio delle Botti) culminates with each of the 13 contrades (essentially, the original major families in the town) send 2 athletes to roll a giant barrel all around the endlessly hilly city, for a cloth that has a saint on it. Apparently, it’s a huge deal, because everyone was decked out in their Contrade’s flags, shirts, and scarves. It was so strange….honestly, we kept joking that it was like Hunger Games, because there were 2 from each part of town, and they had a giant presentation of the contrades, including a parade, and then they went into a church, had mass, and prepared for the race. Cameras surround the entire square and there are screens everywhere, and every TV has the coverage on. It happens at 7:00pm tonight (Sunday). I don’t think we will go back for it though, because there are up to 30,000 people expected to view this race (tiny town, tons of people, not a lot of parking…no thanks!) Now we are just back home enjoying the first bit of cool weather we have had…its probably in the mid to high 60’s, so its not actually that cool, just more like home.