Sunday, May 15, 2011

Check out the weird UFO looking cloud.
A Saturday night of parties, local legends, and possible future table dancing
T got invited to the birthday party of her friend Adriana's brother which was at a little house on the actual wall of Lucca.  It is called the Villaggio dei Fanciulli and although they usually they have activities and services for kids in need, you can also rent out a space for parties. I completely misunderstood Gabriella again, abbi pazienza con me amica mia, because I thought she said "no parents were to come," but really she meant that "no parents were to stay past the first two hours." Or something like that.

T was rather psyched to not have me or possibly any parents around, as you can well imagine. Although I accompanied her a mile or so around the wall from our house I made sure to lag behind by quite a bit at the end so that she could end up at the Villaggio alone. Imagine my surprise to bump into not only the parents of the festeggiante/party person, but also a long stream of other parents. So after helping Gabriella's husband Antonio to unload the car of food trays, I had to explain that I couldn't stay and took off to meet Federica and Marco and show them around Fattoria Colleverde and go back to the Osteria del Vecchio Pazzo for dinner. Gabrielle and also Lucia were poised to come pick T up at the end of the party and accompany her safely home, and we had several exchanges to verify said transportation of valuable child person, in case you were wondering.  In the end, T had a great time all though she wished that the boys had played a less violent game of calcio/soccer so that the girls could have joined in more.

Being up in the vineyards at Fattoria Colleverde is like getting drunk on beauty.  I don't think there is a more breathtaking spot on planet earth. So to see Federica and Marco whisper encouragingly to the wild horses and admire the villas and the lush panorama as much as we do, even though they live quite close to there, was fun and super satisfying. At one point I gestured excitedly to Marco and he tripped and fell backwards on the giant uber-friendly dog, Ciro, that hangs out up there. Luckily, both of them had a good laugh about it afterwards and Ciro followed us around for the rest of the tour.  Of course when my allergies kicked in with a wash of stinging eyes, burning throat and dry, hacking cough at four this morning, I thought to myself that I am a beauty addict in the extreme to be in that much denial about my body's reaction to pollen.
I love them! Plus they think I look like Eva Longoria.

Dinner got underway and after I explained as I hadn't so much reserved a table as much as hinted on Wednesday night that we might come back, but we got a big table upstairs anyway. There is a new waiter that is the kind of character you find in all the best comedy films who takes his job really seriously and who takes vegetarianism as a heady challenge and empty plates as total vindication. He brought out as part of the antipasto a kind of raw meat/carpaccio with two white, creamy scoops on it. What was it? Federica thought it must be mozzarella, but it wasn't.  Then she tried it and said it tasted like marscapone cheese and we had to try it. In the end it was a kind of gelato/ice cream flavored with sage. After the waiter told us what it was, he asked it we liked it. You have never seen a waiter look more relieved.

At one point Federica said she was watching Desperate Casalinghe/Housewives and Marco said that he thought I looked like Eva Longoria. I love these people. Then I made the comment that yes, I am very short. . . and Federica laughed. There is nothing more satisfying then getting somebody to laugh in another language, I tell you.

We chatted and planned great things to do together this summer including going to a restaurant where after dinner everyone goes and dances on the tables. My kind of place! After noticing an old photograph along the stairway as we were exiting the restaurant, they told a story about a street depicted in the photo where there used to be an old convent.  Apparently the nuns were very naughty back then and would run across the road to visit the priests and get jiggy with it! To this day, on that road, no matter how much wind blows, there is never so much as a leaf in the stripe that extends down the center of the road and all of the rocks in that stripe are deeply scratched. It is called the devil's road. Spooky!
This is a real place that you can visit. In real life.

Also they told about how when one of their horses gets sick, the next morning they find their horses tails which are always straight intricately braided. According to the legend there are this type of small dwarf or gnome like creature called a linchetto that comes and does this as a sign.  But both Marco and Federica have seen the braids with their own eyes and Federica said she had nothing against super short little men who braid horse hair, but given her druthers she prefers not to bump into one in real life. I had to agree.

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