|In yet another cable car-type vehicle|
Spent the last two nights in the spa town of Montecatini Terme, where they name the water as well as diagram a sort of mix-and-match with the ailments the various springs are supposed to cure. Needless to say, my constipation is over. (But I think it was the gelati rather than the mineral water that did the trick.)
So, I'm writing off this trip, and one of the reasons I can do that (besides researching the novel I've already written and can't seem to sell), is that I work for a food company that just developed a line of croutons branded with a nod to "Old World Italy." All this week I'll be posting my culinary adventures on this particular Facebook Page, starting with yesterday's recon in the kitchens of the hotel/restaurant.
|Gelati. That is all.|
So Montecatini was fantastic. The Italian cultural norm of taking big-ass naps in the afternoon and staying out until 2:00 a.m. seemed to work well for me. As did the people-watching: old ladies strolling arm-in-arm, groups of boys playing street soccer, Tony Soprano types and their booming voices and ginormous stomachs holding court in the metal chairs of street-side cafes. The crazy drivers. The zippy motorbikes. Arias belted out in public spaces. And the shopping! Okay, I hate shopping, but I couldn't resist browsing through the street vendor wares, where tatted means lace, not body ink. Dresses come in three sizes: zero, two and matron--and the styles pretty much follow. Oh, and the aforementioned gelati--on every corner.
You dress to go out at night, and sashay down the cobblestones in your heels, then land at a cafe where you're expected to order a bottle (not a glass!) of wine, and linger until the wee hours. Was this country made for moi, or what?
There was some sort of beauty contest in the square the first night we were there. A throwback to overt sexism, where they skipped over the "talent" part, and the girls simply paraded around in bikinis -- and in the plot of street right beside it, you guessed it! A car show! Extra special sight-seeing for Kirk in this hopping town.
|The right-leaning Tower in all its glory|
But first, Pisa. Let's take one of the world's biggest architectural fuck-ups and build a crappy little city around it and watch the Americans flock to it. Throngs of tourists all striking poses for posterity where they simulate propping the tower back to straight. Seriously, imagine 400 people all doing this, as if it's the most original idea ever. I envisioned all these people with copies of 50 Shades of Grey stuffed into their Leaning Tower tote bags. Ugh.
Anyway, kudos to Team Wanda:Kirk for negotiating various UTurns where seven streets came together and not getting us all killed on our way out of Pisa.
As of three hours ago, we're here in our piney woods bungalow, the cicadas are yammering away, and the beach beckons. See you soon, but before I go, let me ask you, what's the most outrageous thing you've ever written off on your taxes?