Before going to sleep last night, we decided that we would stay in Todi for the day. The rain had kept us from walking around more of the town and we really wanted to see a bit more. The flexibility of planning as you go wins again. As for Orvieto – next time!
Went down for breakfast this morning and the house was empty. Our server told us that everyone comes for the weekends and then go home. I guess our timing was even better than I thought it would be. No worries, she brought Sue’s tea water and my cappuccino and then the buffet was all ours.
Afterwards, we grabbed the camera and off we went to explore. It is really great that around the perimeter roads they have nice sidewalks to walk on. It makes it a little safer and a lot easier on your legs. In the historical center, the streets are narrow and we find ourselves ducking into nooks and crannies as the cars go by.
We walked all the way down to the ring road and then went to the church of Santa Maria della Colsolazione. It has a Roman feel to it with it’s dome and inner niches for the statues of the Saints – including St Thomas. Again, simple and nice.
We then followed the road along the old wall which led back towards the older part of the city. The upward angled streets make for a good workout. Umbria is the one place where if your parents said they had to walk uphill both to and from school they weren’t kidding.
Passed through an area that had a few newer homes with people tending to their daily chores. Everyone just goes about their day here, you will always get a smile and a buon giorno from the people.
As we continued up, we decided that it was gelato time. Two scoops each. Caffe and pistachio for Sue, banana and chocolate hazelnut for me. Now that’s the way to take the edge off.
Stopped at a small store to get a couple bottles of water. 1.5 liter bottles of water were .9 Euros each, then upstairs to relax on the terrace for the last time. We will definitely miss this hotel, but so far we are 3 for 3. Tomorrow’s hotel by the train station is just a transitional hotel, so we’re not expecting luxury.
So our last dinner was at Le Cisterne Pizzeria, another of the hotel’s restaurants. Same staff, same menu, same prices, just a little more casual. Tonight we shared the best calzone we have ever eaten and also a dish of fettuccini with cinghiale (wild boar) ragu. The food was awesome, the wine was delicious and the service was like being at an Italian family’s home.
Leaving was sad, as they have been so nice to us. In my best Italian I told Francesco that we were leaving tomorrow and that we loved eating with them. Sue got kisses from Francesco and Uncle George, I got handshakes and hugs and we left feeling like we had been visiting family. Now that’s a travel experience.
In case you’re wondering, Uncle George was the pizza chef who looked like my Uncle George Riscili in Niagara Falls. He had the same smile, the same playful demeanor and a cool little way about himself that made us feel like family.
Back to the room to relax and get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow we are heading back to Perugia to drop off the car and transition to the southern phase of the trip.
All in all, Umbria was even better then we anticipated. If you asked us what the best part was, we’d say the people. All the towns were wonderful, but the people were the best part. We never felt like outsiders, we truly felt like we belonged.