“I’ve got a feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night….”
We lay in bed rocking out to the music that floated through our open window. From outside the celebratory sounds of a wedding party crashed the night.
It was one year ago today that I was honored and lucky enough to attend the most fantastic wedding in my life. No, not my own, but a friend’s wedding in Italy. Every detail, from the ceremony in an ancient church, to the fireworks that lit the sky over the medieval castle where the reception was held, was perfect.
But not all weddings go so smoothly. Some are unlucky, some were badly planned, and some were never meant to be. We’ve probably all attended at least one wedding where something major went wrong. And even my friend’s wedding in Italy had a couple of stumbles; the bus that couldn’t squeeze down the narrow, country road to the castle…. Or the train on the wedding dress that tripped the bride and groom as they did their first dance. But little issues like these are what make what would otherwise be too choreographed become real; human.
I am thrilled that in November Soul Mate Publishing will be releasing the digital version of my story, UNTANGLING THE KNOT (check here for a little more info about it). I loved writing this story because it takes place around a wedding; one with its own share of problems. And what could be more fun than that… Well, other than possibly attending the rocking wedding party I heard this weekend!!!
My Friends, Steven and Melissa - outside
Fiesole Cathedral; July 30, 2011
It is hard to believe that one year ago I was making my way across the lovely Tuscan hillsides. I thought it would be a perfect time to re-post my blog from that time in case any of my followers did not get a chance to live my adventure vicariously yet. I hope you enjoy!
"It is made by my uncle......."
Apparently there is something about Tuscany that forces you to write lyrically.... It may be the wine, or perhaps the moments of beauty, but whatever the reason, I apologize for my change in tone. It can't be helped.
Images of San Quirico d'Orcia- A garden, hidden by a stone tunnel. Voices and the clinking of silverware on plates. It is obviously a trattoria.I walk through the town; a dark church where a white ceramic statue of the madonna floats in front of gauzy silver fabric. She glows like an apparition.
My parking ticket in Chianciano Terme put me off as I began my day, but now I have been put back together again.
A store is open past 1:30; it is a miracle. Inside, linens fill shelves, frames and ceramics are everywhere, but my eye is caught by a small pillow, Le Mamme sono angeli in incognito.
A wide grassy area in a park makes me wonder why? There are bleachers... perhaps sports? No, it is for music of course. Today, though, all is quiet, only ghosts crowd around me.
I am drawn back to the trattoria. A table for one? I ask in english. Of course signora, he says. The menu has English
translations... oh no! I have chosen wrong. How is it possible? The setting is perfect. A table under an awning, under a tree. A wisteria covered trellis. Everyone around me speaks Italian and smokes.
Wine? I am asked. Soft or hard? Old or new? Full bodied? Ah, this one, he says. I ask, where is it from. He tells me
Montepulciano...It is made by his uncle. All is forgiven... I have chosen right after all.
So this is what panzanella looks like. It has more bread than i thought - and cucumber for crunch. I take a picture but its essence is hidden in 'place'... this place.
Pici is a type of pasta from this area. It sounds like it should be small pieces of something but it is actually more like misformed spaghetti. With pecorino e pepe, it is as close as Italians might get to mac-n-cheese. All creamy and
white, the pepper stands out as the queen of the dish.
Now I am done. Should I linger or continue on my journey? The perfect contrast between the dark pink red of the
melon and the green of its' rind is compelling, but I think I will pass. A dark cloud is coming our way and I hope to find another place still today.
But no, not yet! First I meet Graciella and Guido as we wait to pay our bill. I take their picture and they take mine.
Guido is very interested in my time here. It is a good place for Americans to see, he says. Yes, they should come here. They are from Torrino, it is too built up he thinks. This is what a holiday should be.
The cloud has passed.... probably I will now chase it to Montalcino.
Have you been to Italy recently.... please share your stories here also so I can live vicariously through you.
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