Il dolce far niente*

*the sweetness of doing nothing

For now we are enjoying leisurely drives about the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside, taking in the sights and wandering the streets of the medieval “centros.” Soon enough we will see some of the art masterpieces of the world but as it is, there is more than enough to take in and the days are passing too quickly. Here, as in my day-to-day life, I am much more of a countrymouse and I am thoroughly enjoying experiencing small village life.

We’ve been joined by our good friends from St. Petersburg, Ken and Other Vicki. Rich is a sport, driving endless roundabouts on twisty roads with Ken directing; this is a blessed relief for me, not to have someone contantly nudging, “which way? which way” The roundabouts will have signs with no fewer than 8-10 small villages, all with similar names in a language I don’t understand, arrows pointing in all directions. Ken and Vicki have done this before and it’s nice to have someone point this way or that. Once we arrive at some small mountain town, Ken and Rich follow along patiently as Other Vicki and I window shop endlessly. There are SO many beautiful things to see.

This is a very typical small bakery although we were especially smitten with the size of the meringues. Meringues are Abby’s most favorite sweet in the whole world and I make them each year for her birthday instead of cake so we purchased one of these, measuring about 8 inches in diameter, and tonight we are going to try to find her on Skype and have her watch us eat it, in her honor. We have been stopping in local churches and gardens and important historical buildings in every town. The architecture and the art are simply stunning and the sheer age- what Ken refers to as the “OS”* factor sort of takes your breath away. And yet, we are never far from thinking about food. There are constant reminders everywhere.I know it looks as though I’m getting fat(ter) but I’m just bundled up and happy. We have taken to dining out at lunch and then buying food to cook for dinner. Tonight it will be fresh pasta, cheeses, prosciutto, greens and Roma tomatoes, Umbrian Chianti. Keep in mind that it is all fresh, fresh, fresh and immediately local. And for dessert, of course, is that mother of all meringues.
Il dolce far niente.

(OS= “old sh*t)

13 responses to “Il dolce far niente*

  1. It all looks wonderful, and so do you.

  2. That is definitely the way I would want to see the country. I am really enjoying these posts although I am green with envy. Just beautiful.

  3. Thanks for the pictures and blog, Vicki! You look great! I think Italy agrees with you!

  4. It’s cold there now?? The Oct. we were there, they had a heat wave and we didn’t have to wear jackets until we got to Zurich.

    I want to be there with you!!

  5. This is the first time I ever considered that it actually got cold in Italy. When we were there it was soooooo hot! Love bakeries!!!!!!

  6. You look so happy! And that makes ME happy.

  7. Lovebirds. (and I don’t mean Rich and Ken).

  8. You look quite happy. Good on you. And the bakery? Please.

  9. That last photo … so Italy.

  10. OK, the title of your blog sounds so familiar. I knew what it meant immediately. I think I originally heard it on the Dick Van Dyke show, I being a big fan way back when.

    Great pix and stories. Reminds me of that Tuscany movie, about that divorced lady who was trying to set up house, and she kept running into all sorts of characters. But she had a snake in her house there and that wasn’t so cool. Probably wouldn’t bother you though.

  11. Your Italian adventure is full to bursting;
    I especially love paintings of Mary nursing.
    Les deux “La Gioconda”
    Makes my heart pounda!
    And those handsome mans
    With crisscrossed hands
    Show why your vacation
    Is void of consternation.
    Now all that I wanti
    Is to share your chianti.
    May I request
    You see the doors of Gilberti?*
    You are so blessed!
    Ciao, arrividerci!
    *Three gilded bronze doors of the Florence Dome and Baptistery
    Whose exquisite beauty and tour de force technique remains a great mystery!

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  13. cool site you have by the way

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