Today was Vitorchiano, a neighboring town with one of the prettiest medieval sections we’ve come across.
On the way to Vitorchiano, we stopped at a huge peony farm. I think the biggest in the country—maybe even the world. Of course, the blooms are gone, but it was pretty amazing to see the fields of peony bushes. What I would do to have just a small percentage of those plants. Clearly, I had peonies envy.
What we saw (from high on a wall that Fred hoisted me up on).
What we would have seen in May!
It’s called the Moutan Botanical Center—over 200,000 plants covering 37 acres. http://www.centrobotanicomoutan.it/presentazione.asp?lang=en
Once we got to Vitorchiano, we parked in the center and walked along a road outside of the walls so we could look back at the old part of the city. Fred wanted to find a good vantage point to sketch it. It’s tough because of all the locked properties. We did “break in” to one person’s yard because the gate was closed, but not locked. We discovered he keeps rabbits in cages in a garage. They were hot, in the dark, and had two-foot mounds of poop under their cages. My heart broke.
We moved on because Fred would not be so bold as to pull out his stool and set up camp while trespassing. Our next stop down the road was perfect. Someone’s driveway without a car in it gave us access to a breath-taking view of the city. Leaving Fred there to sketch, I walked back to the old town and walked it for about an hour before settling down in a caffé I knew of.
This is the view of the old city where Fred stopped to sketch.
And this is the view I had from the old city looking over at where Fred sketched.
Here's a close-up of Fred sketching. I yelled "Fred!" and he looked right up!
A study in gray.
At six, we met at a different place—a bar inside the walls that has seating just outside the walls. Often we see waitstaff walking down the street with a tray of drinks and chips as they make their way to the seating area associated with their restaurant or bar. It’s bizarre—sometimes a block or two down a busy street! As usual, we sat with about 15 older men wearing blue. (All the older men here seem to wear blue—as do lots of their female peers, too, come to think of it.)
And a study in orange.
My Spritz :)
Dinner at home was at a very local place we’ve been walking by for years—ten to be exact—and never felt any temptation to enter. Until a local woman mentioned that it’s great. And she was right—great pizza, great atmosphere, and you can’t beat the location—a five or ten minute walk.
Pizza with arugula, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.