With a smile on my face and a ton of laughs at hand I have found you can get anywhere in the world. I have left Gail today in Firenza (that’s Italian speak for Florence) with her off to the Milan airport and me on my goating adventure in Caprese Michealangelo. I rode the train solo from Firence to Arezzo – getting on the wrong train. Actually it wasn’t really a wrong train but the train that stopped at every little town instead of the express I had planned. The countryside was gorgeous but unfortunately there was a very nice gentleman that was slightly (well extremely) enebriated. He wanted to practice his English and whle I pretended to be asleep with one eye open watching the gorgeous landscape, he continued to interrupt my peace and quiet. I really preferred soaking in the ambience of the countryside to conversing about how beeeee-u-ti-ful his country was or how he felt life should be slooooow. I know it was a snotty attitude but I just never wanted to draw my eyes off the mountains in the distance.
These people really take gardening seriously. If there is a 3 x6 (and I don’t mean 3 x 6 acre, but feet) piece of land it is growing something. Along the rails, which undoubtedly must be rail owned property there are small gardens everywhere. I even saw some boar goats on the ride, only three but it is only the second time I have encountered goats along the way. I saw vineyards, orchards and field after field plowed under after the summer crops. This is truly a beeeee-u-ti-ful country and is rich in architecture and vibrance of life.
Upon arriving in Arezzo I had to find the bus ticket office and purchase my ticket to Anghiari. The ticket agent was very helpful and the bus only left 15 minutes after the scheduled time. I don’t believe anything leaves on time here. I have a satchel full of food brought for the road but I am not hungry and the excitement has taken over. As I approached the bus I quieried the bus driver that I was on the right bus and if he know my destination of Bar Cocomero. After lengthy debate with several other drivers and friends on the street I am vaguely assured that he knows where I am traveling and will get me to the right address.
Tonight I will be arriving at Priello where I will be volunteering on a goat farm that is a commercial cheese dairy. They are well known for the Valle del Mezzo brand which is sold at markets in Firenze. My host advised me they were finished with milking for the season but I am hoping I can learn a few things about cheesemaking while I am there.
As we wound through the town of Arezzo, it is evident that this is a city bustling with commerce. Our hour of departure is evidently in the middle of rush hour as the cars are backed up and the horns work well. I have not seen one accident since arriving here and the drivers make you hold your mouth just right when you see them weaving in and out of the traffice. It has also been noticed that parking is a grab it when you can situation and even though there are numerous yellow lines, white line and designated parking areas, they are only a frivolous suggestions since any open area you can squeeze one of these tiny cars is claimed as parking territory. Smart cars are abundant here but surprisingly they don’t look as small as they do in the states. The majority of the cars are sub sub compacts and must have five million hamsters under the hood as the speeds they can attain are incredible. Bus drivers must be the best of the drivers as they can drive a bus through city streets within inches of the parked cars and making turns that no American in their right mind would ever attempt.
Part two coming soon as we continue with the bellissima (the beauty of it all).