I am currently regretting not bringing enough layers. It was cool and stormy all morning (and as I post this one day later, it’s raining again). At noon I walked over to the bakery to introduce myself, shivering in my shorts as the rain lightly drizzled. I met Paola, her mother Lina, her brother Giacomo, who is the “chief” baker, and Errico, her father, who I believe is retired but does the bread deliveries to the restaurants and stores in town.
While I was with them, it really started to storm, so I stayed a while and talked with Paola, who speaks some English. Paola does not work at the bakery aside from occasionally helping at the front counter. Her mother and brother do the baking, along with two other men, Nicola and Domenico. Eventually the rain subsided and Papa Tom came to bring me an umbrella. I said goodbye to the Porciatti family, with a bag full of bread that Paola packed for me.
Later that afternoon, after a nap and a run to the store for baking supplies (I told Nana and Papa Tom I’d bake for them), I decided to walk into town. Outside I was greeted by Monica and Tomasso’s two dogs. The white one, appropriately called Neve (snow), was looking to play and as I started to walk down the road she followed me. She also loves to pose for the camera as you can see. Cossimo, their thirteen-year-old son, started calling Neve back but she stubbornly ignored him. She just looked at me and kept going forward.
Finally Cossimo ran up to get her, and she just scampered playfully around and finally back towards the house.
The air was still humid but cool after the rain from the morning, and I made my way up the hill to the town.
I was very much in need of some caffeine after my nap, but after getting coffee, I took a little photo tour of the town.
There is the black rooster symbol of the Chianti region, displayed on the neck of wine bottles to signify an authentic Chianti. I also found a map of the town in the stone on the ground, though I still haven’t figured out which way is north. In the piazza a bunch of kids were playing soccer, happy not to be cooped up inside anymore because of the rain.
On my way home, the sun was setting and the view of the valley completely took my breath away. I could not stop taking pictures. I am continually struck by the beauty of this place. It is unreal. I can’t believe I’m actually here.
Nana made dinner which was delicious as always, and we listened to Broadway classics on her iPod. Occasionally I’d hear Papa Tom or Nana singing along, and I couldn’t help but smile.
After dinner Papa Tom fixed us some lovely gelato, but by the time we finished it was almost 10pm, and I had to be up at 3am the next morning. I fell asleep by 11 but woke again at midnight and was unable to sleep after that (6pm espresso and jet lag will do that to you). I ended up just getting up before my alarm at 2am to finish typing this post. The next you’ll hear from me, I will have (hopefully) survived my first day at the bakery. I can’t wait! Buona notte or Buon giorno, depending on where you are! As for me, it’s both.