Murlo. Sounds like furlough. Not Merlot.

Owen had another field trip Friday, so Kelly, Fred and I drove up to the Tuscan town of Murlo (12 miles south of Siena) to visit their RISD colleague Nick and his wife, Monica. They’re there for six weeks through RISD—on-site at an archaeological dig, recording the findings with drawings (by Nick). Click here if you’re interested in learning more:

Murlo has 25 inhabitants (!), but Nick and Monica live in the bustling metropolis of Vescovado with its other 748 inhabitants.The drive was great, as always, when Kelly’s in the car and Fred’s in charge of the music. We listened to his mix of sit com theme songs from the ‘70s. I’m sure we were the only car in Italy listening to that—in the world, for that matter. We stopped for a few views along the way. Blazing hot, and very dry. Last time I was in Tuscany it was a bit more green.

When we arrived, we panicked that we hadn’t picked a place to meet our hosts, but that’s before we knew Murlo was so tiny. There they were at the entrance to the town—he drawing, she knitting. After a tour of this picturesque little village, we had lunch in a perfect spot overlooking a valley—a very green valley, actually. The menu was adventurous: chick pea pasta, chestnut pasta, stewed wild boar with prune sauce—oh, and an appetizer of bacon wrapped fat. Yup! And wine, of course.

Entrance to Murlo.

Cool promotional posters for an exhibit.

After lunch, we went down to a municipal garage where Nick spends most of his time. It was cool to the dig stuff all over the tables.

Dig findings. 

We then drove to their apartment—walkable, but we had the car— and saw their spacious apartment with its best view out the bathroom window (!) and walked around their town. Also, very charming. It had hotel with a pool in the center of town where we stopped for a spritz. A perfect end to a Tuscan afternoon. Then back on the road to Viterbo.

Silly profs.

Silly statue.