Home Sweet Home

Well they say nothing beats your own bed but the one at Villa Dei Sogna sure went close. We arrived home this morning – getting through our front door at about 1.45am. We woke up at about 3PM! It was so cold when we got home we couldn’t believe it. Put all the heaters on, found all our spare blankets and doonas and dressed in our best flannelette with bedsocks. What a change from Umbria. I had to cuddle Dippity to sleep she was so distressed “I want to live in Italy!” she cried until eventually falling asleep.

We caught the slow train from Orte at 1.14 and only the fact that my brother was there to help us get the luggage on board and dad was there to park the car enabled us to catch the train on time. We of course, left it to the last minute to discover that Hugamuga’s sandles had gone AWOL. Drama. We couldn’t bear to leave. We had a fantastic lunch drenched in Italian sunshine and our family gathered near – a lunch that for me was a highlight of a brilliant holiday.

Earlier we gathered for a family photo in our team tee-shirts which was fun, the dogs even making an appearance. The night before we went to Orvieto which is known for it’s Cathedral – and deservedly so. It is amazing. I especially liked the Pieta which is (and I know I’m going to be controversial here) I think better than either of the Michelangelos that I saw. You can see the veins in Jesus’s arm, and the worried frown in the Mary, Mary Magdalene looks in despair. It is very moving to see it.

The shopping was okay but I was expecting more of Orvieto – perhaps we didn’t go to the right spot for shopping. It is another hilltop town and full of character, drenched in sunlight it was a beautiful sight.

The night before that we spent at home and Mike made chocolate pudding – a journey back to our childhood and totally yummy. We watched the second part of Cleopatra and my sister’s flowerpot statue went up in flames! Oh maybe I didn’t tell you about it – I don’t think I even took a photo of it – sigh. She made it with the kids the day we caught up with our friends from Perth. Dippity put a candle in it and unfortunately the plastic flower pot proved flammable. Sigh.

That day Groover took Mum, Dad and I out to a Michelin 2 Star restaurant for a completely over the top culinary experience. Oh my God it was amazing. For one thing, we were the only people in the restaurant. There were 18 chefs in the kitchen and two waiters – for four people!! It was extraordinary. I took photos of the food. I never take photos of food. That’s how amazing it was. The bread sticks were great and I took some home for the kids – I thought I was taking three home – they gave us about 20!! Delicious!

And then before that on the Monday we went to Perugia and Assisi. Perugia I could leave but Assisi – what a beautiful place. The church was the best I went to in Italy – yes including St Peters. I actually felt welcomed instead of overwhelmed. And that’s not to say it is not overwhelming – it’s just human. The town is so picturesque to be unbelievable and while I think I prefer Todi as a place to set up my pensione, I did love Assisi, the views, the streetscapes… go there.

We were hoping to meet up with our friends and go to Voltarra but unfortunately things didn’t work out. They had come to see us the day before and the kids enjoyed the time out playing with each other. Their youngest certainly won some hearts – she complemented and ate Groover’s risotto, volunteered to help my sister take the excess flower pots back and told my brother how much she liked his painting (they bought one at his last exhibition). That girl will go far!! It was lovely and surreal to see the Boyles in Italy and we were jealous that they were at the start of their holiday as we neared the end!

I’m nearly up to date. We did go back to Spoletto to that bar with the 300 beers. Spoletto was gorgeous by nightlight (do check out the photos when I get a chance to put them up) and the pub was empty!! We were the first there on opening and Rory made a friend of the publican with his first breath when he asked for Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap) – rated no 1 by beeradvocate.com – he had one in supply! So Groover spent a happy couple of hours talking beer with Antonio who had to drive to Belgian and wait in a queue with friends to get just 6 bottles of this beer before returning to the back of the queue to get some more. Groover was in heaven! My brother and I enjoyed a big bottle of Chimay Red (not as good as Blue but you make do) and my sister had a dubious Italian cocktail. We were also offered some pretty average cake on the house.

Anyway now we’re home. The weather is COLD. We can’t quite believe we left Italy voluntarily. Come and see us – promise not to subject you to an endless slideshow! (you can view that before you come!!!)