29 October 2006

Roma, Umbria & Ascoli: 2 week tour

After a week in Agropoli on the 15th of this month we met up with Valerie’s sister Cara and uncle Dean in Roma for a few days of sight seeing in that city that has become familiar to us after our four months in nearby Anzio. There was a big film festival in Roma and one day while enjoying our lunch in an area slightly off the tourist path we had a brief encounter with fame…we had lunch at a small osteria and William Defoe sat at the table next to us…so we can technically say we had lunch with William Defoe. From the newspapers it appears many other Hollywood celebrities spent a few days in Roma as well. The streets of Roma seemed just as crowded as they were this summer; lots and lots of tourists.

We then picked up a car and drove down to Anzio as Dean and Cara wanted to see the area where we had spent the summer, and dip their toes into the Mediterranean Sea. We visited Anzio and the American War Cemetery at Nettuno.

We then headed north to Citta della Pieve in Umbria where we rented an apartment at an agriturismo outside of town for a few days. Once we got to Umbria the weather changed for the worse with overcast skies and various periods of rain, but we used this location as a base to visit Citta della Pieve, Assisi, Todi and the surrounding countryside.

From Umbria we headed back to Ascoli Piceno where the trees in the mountains have begun to change to their fall colors. We mixed exploring Ascoli with a visit to the small country of San Marino which sits on a cliff edge with great views of the mountains to the west and the Mare Adriatico to the east. Dean and Cara enjoyed strolling the streets of our adopted home-town while indulging in their fair share of gelato at the local gelateria that specializes in chocolate.

Thursday we drove them back to Roma for one more night before their early flights back to the US on Friday. The four of us spent this last night with our friends Giorgio and Francesca at the restaurant where we first met them, Osteria dell’Arco, just outside Piazza Fiume.

We are now back in Ascoli trying to catch up on laundry and other chores that were neglected during the three weeks we were “playing tourist” with family…at least until my parents arrive in November.

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