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Italy, Thursday October 8, 9 hours ahead of PDT

Buon Giorno! For you it is 1145 pm and for me it is 8:45 am. I just finished a quick breakfast, which is the one meal I do not do traditionally Italian. Italians generally enjoy a croissant or sweet pastry and a cappuccino in the morning and that is all. I need a little protein to get me going and so from the buffet at Parco Fiorito is some prosciutto and a soft boiled egg on a piece of bread, with some olive oil of course! Some fresh juice, some coffee, and I am molto bene!

Last night with the steak we had antipasti of prosciutto, then a wonderful pasta dish that involves fresh vegetables ‘crudo’, or raw, cut up so tiny that they disappear into the dish. The heat of the pasta ‘cooks’ the veggies just enough to blend the flavors, and some grated pecorino tops it perfectly. Dessert was Roberto’s fabulous tiramisu, which he taught Mark to make last January. It is light and lovely and everyone was quite sated by the end. The steak was very rare, and Roberto obliged those who like it cooked a bit more by putting some back on the fire after cutting it off the bone. It was charred and fabulous and everyone was smiling.

The walk back to the house was much needed and the moon was bright enough to light the way for us so we did not even need a flashlight. We woke to the roosters and other birds singing us Italian songs. As I danced in the meadow the deer and bunnies ran to me and danced… oh wait… I think that was a scene from Snow White. The birds singing was real, though, and the sun broke through the light fog as we walked over to the convent this morning. Today we head to Pienza to taste the vinegars and olive oils, and the cheese that the region is famous for, made from sheep’s milk. Then we will taste wine! And Antonio Sanguineti will join us. We love Antonio!!

I don’t think I remembered to tell you that Roberto is not going to come to us at the end of the Month. So Leslie, please have Sharon call any reservations that are already made since we have to cancel. He is planning a new trip in January or February and I will keep you all posted. Maybe I did tell you… I don’t even know what day it is any more and I am relaxing into the pace of our trip. It is really wonderful here in Italy!

I will report more later, we must be rounding folks up for the bus. Ciao for now!