Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 9: Nathan Actually Buys Something

After a quick breakfast on Saturday morning, we headed to the Umbria region, to Arezzo, to go to the antique market which takes place the first Saturday of every month. I will point out that Nathan put this activity on the to do list just for me because he knows how much I love antiques. It was pretty amazing. Every street was filled with vendors and gorgeous old things-jewelry, furniture, art, and books everywhere I looked. I was careful not to look at anything too closely because I didn't want to fall in love with anything I couldn't fit in my suitcase. Such a shame too because there were so many beautiful tables and armchairs, etc. that were super inexpensive until you factor in trying to ship them home.

Anyway, we came upon a tent with tons of small boxes of odds and ends. One of the boxes contained small armless painted pewter Italian soccer players. (A little background first: Every year Nathan and I give each other an ornament as one of our stocking stuffers. In past years, Nathan's ornament is usually a reference to a place we've traveled in the last year, and yes, he likes to go the odd route). He decided that one of the small armless guys would be the perfect addition to our ornament collection, so he picked his favorite out, making him the only one to purchase an antique at the market.
After wandering around Arezzo and getting a snack of delicious cotto crudo (I think?), which is a sandwich stuffed from meat they hack off a whole roasted pig right in front of you, we headed next to Castiglione del Lago, another small-hilltop town that is perched right over a large lake. We explored the small town, buying a few things (wild boar salami, an olive wood cutting board) and then walking along the lake shore. Castiglione del Lago was pretty far off the tourist track, lovely in the slight fog and very peaceful.

Panicale was another incredibly small town that was recommended to us by a couple at dinner at our agriturismo the night before because of a delicious restaurant that served lake fish. Unfortunately, yet again, we got there around 3 and the restaurant was closed. We found a cozy cafe/bar with a view where we could have a small bite, and Nathan could try a new digestif. A little disappointed to miss out on a fish lunch, we headed back to Montepulciano to play some cards before we headed in to town for some dinner.

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