JAMI AND BETH IN ITALY - PART 2
We had a difficult time trying to figure out how we’d meet and greet Jami and Beth. USAir must change their schedule during the off season. Instead of the usual 8:45 a.m. arrival, Jami and Beth would arrive at 7:30 a.m., and we just couldn’t get the train schedule to work for us. We’d have to leave home during the wee hours of the morning, and then wait around for hours after they arrived. Reluctantly we decided that we’d have to brave the Rome morning rush hour!
Like most large cities, Rome continues to enlarge and reconfigure it’s roadways, especially those leading to and from the airport. Although the bottlenecks change locations, they’re always guaranteed. At one point we probably went 3 miles in thirty minutes, but before and after that section we had no problems.
Art stayed with the car while I went into the terminal to find Jami and Beth. The traffic had delayed us slightly more than we’d expected, and I found them waiting just where we’d agreed to meet. As I’d suggested, they’d used their time wisely and had already withdrawn some cash from the bancomat (ATM).
As planned, we drove up the A1 towards Orvieto, arriving about 10:30 instead of at noon if we’d taken the train. We weren’t sure what time the Duomo would close and wanted to be sure that our guests would have time to window shop on our way there and still have time to see the Duomo itself.
Art walked over to the Tourist Information office to buy tickets for the Chapel of St. Brizio, containing the frescoes of Signorelli. These frescoes depict in graphic detail the end of the world....one side showing what happens to those who were bad, the other side of the chapel showing the reward for those who were good. Jami and Beth were lucky enough to be in the small chapel at the same time as a tour group, and were able to overhear some of the details and information.
We left the Duomo, again strolling and window shopping on our way to a nice little place for lunch. After a light lunch we headed back to the car and drove to San Venanzo. We let Beth and Jami settle in and take a short nap. Jami had slept on the plane but Beth had not, and changing time zones is always a challenge. Generally it’s best to keep moving and wait until evening to sleep, but a nap…if it’s a short one, can help.
We wanted to show Jami and Beth around San Venanzo, but the spring-like weather we’d been having had disappeared and it was COLD! We drove slowly through town, pointing out the various shops along the way, and when we got to the Servoli grocery store on the edge of town we stopped in to buy some wine.
We knew this store still had several half bottles (375 ml) of 1997 Brunello, and Jami and Beth thought these would be nice to take home. Jami was also looking for some Perugina chocolate bananas, knowing that there were none at the Perugina factory.
As we were looking at the wine, Jami spied a full box of Perugina chocolate bananas, and at 35¢ each they were a bargain. She bought the entire box, just over a kilo, 99 pieces to be exact, and with our wine purchases we were off for Pizza at Nestor’s in Marsciano.
Mara and Giuseppe are every bit as nice as the Testatonda family, and we feel so welcome every time we walk in the door. Of course Jami had been hearing and reading about this pizzeria since we first arrived in Italy, and now she was finally here! We understand only too well how wonderful and overwhelming this experience can be!
We each ordered a different pizza, and Mara brought us a plate of antipasti to munch on while we waited. AnnaLaura, Mara and Giuseppe’s 5 year old daughter joined us, as she so often does. She asked us again when Daniela, the year old daughter of our friends Jill and Larry, would return to Italy. We reminded her that Daniela wouldn’t be here until September…six months…an eternity for a 5 year old.
A quick stop at the larger grocery in Marsciano proved fruitful, with Pocket Coffee now checked off the must buy list! We were all ready for bed that night, and planned to get an early start the next morning....Assisi and Montefalco were waiting!