Days 11 and 12 – Groundhog Day – Italian Style

tuscania approaching from the east

tuscania approaching from the east

Same day, twice.  With Sophia still sick we decided to take it easy and let her rest in the house.  That meant that Corey took Isabel to the market, to lunch and to the pool.  At one point they also attempted to go to the farm at Casa Caponetti but they missed the turn and never made it there.  Of course the road is completely unmarked, and the farm has no real address, so it’s not surprising that they missed it.  It’s probably a good thing that they didn’t get there because Sophia would hate to miss it.  I’m hoping we get to take a cooking class there before we leave.

Meanwhile Sophia convalesced in front of more Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes and Magic School Bus DVDs.  But it wasn’t all bad.  In truth hanging out at the villa, cooking, reading and planning out the remainder of our stay here wasn’t a terrible way to pass a couple of days.  We also busted out the games and had four action packed rounds of Uno followed by a 500 piece sunflower puzzle that is still only about 1/2 complete.  It was very family fun-time and picturesque playing cards under the grape vines.  I think sometimes its those unscheduled, unplanned easy days that make the summer so special.

For the past two days Isabel has had a blast at the community pool.  This is her new favorite place, and not just because its across from the best gelato and foosball tables.  Though she did beat her dad fair and square at foosball.  I think her triumphant smile is permanently imprinted in her facial muscles.  She is the only American at the pool.  Actually, I’m pretty sure we are the only Americans in Tuscania right now.  And it’s just fine that way.  After Florence and Venice it’s nice to be back in a town where you feel like you are truly away, participating in a place and culture far from your own yet completely relatable.  Nowhere is a language or cultural division less obvious than at a playground or pool.  Kids having fun swimming, splashing, laughing that’s just easy to understand.

Isabel’s gelato exploration went in a new direction this week when she discovered the Italian version of Good Humor, or as she put it, “UGH, Good Humor – stinky!”  (I’m sure that opinion will last about 5 seconds when we get back to the city.)  But, for now she is in heaven with the largest, richest, densest packaged ice cream you can imagine.  She orders this vanilla and raspberry swirled behemoth that is drenched in chocolate and somehow manages to stay on a stick despite weighing about a pound.  This is a thing of pure Italian art.

Corey headed out to the thermal springs near Viterbo yesterday.  At Terme Dei Papi there are hot springs that bubble over and then travel via a Roman aqueduct to the pools.  When you drive past you just see these 3 large brick stumps of ruins and then the white aqueduct wall with people perched on the hilltop where the water collects.  It smells like sulfur and there is the requisite mud that everyone smears on.  I never got the allure of that, but sure enough there the people were sloughing it on.

on the way to viterbo

on the way to viterbo

So now we’re just waiting for Sophia to kick this virus or whatever she has for good so she can get out of the house and we can get on with our trip.

This is an original beccarama.com post