I tricked WordPress into letting me load this video without putting it on YouTube first. So much has happened since Sandra and Kurt left Saturday at noon. I moved into their apartment. It is smaller but has the most amazing views from every window, including il bagno! I can never get over the views here.
I went to Mass at La Chiesa del Gesu, the one built over the vault. Zoe wanted to spend the whole day with me. She’s the only young person in the whole school, except for the family with very young kids who started classes this week. We met at the school for a hike. We found the same white road we took with Sylvia toward Montefollonico, but we turned back at the first fosse (arroyo). Still, it was very hot because it was in the middle of the day. We stopped at the place Laura and Vance did, Il Poggio (the well), for a salami and cheese plate and then hung out in my apartment. She really wants to go to Florence, so now I’ve become Cousin Charlotte (Maggie Smith in Room with a View) to Zoe’s Lucy Honeychurch. We miraculously found an Airbnb super host apartment in the center of everything, and this afternoon I’ve been working on getting reservations for Davide and the Uffizi and train tickets. We also have to catch a bus from Montepulciano to Chiusi as there is no train station here.
Later we went to a concert at “my” church. It was a choral group comprised of ordinary people, ages 18 to 80, and they sing a capella. They were amazing, thus the video I posted above. After the concert, one of the older women came up to me and Zoe to thank us for being there as we were the only ones who weren’t family or friends!
This morning I went to Caffe Poliziano for caffe, and the baristas now call the cappuccino un “Vincenzino” with orange marmalade, chocolate and cinnamon sprinkles, after Vincenzo, the barista who invented it. He is in vacanze per due settimane. And Daniele looked over my homework. When I got to school, since Lisa and Franki are no longer here, I got placed all day in Zoe’s intermediate class. I was so excited. We spent a lot of time talking, and I understood everything. It’s the speaking that really trips me up, and I always seem to get the words only partially right. Still, it’s surprising how that works in context.
Sylvia, the director, told me that this week, as no one is at my level, I will have private lessons with Alberto, my teacher from four years ago. But I’m paying for group lessons, so it’s a great opportunity for me to advance quickly, if I don’t drive him crazy with my mistakes and enthusiasm. I really enjoy learning this language, or attempting to.
Sono molto felice in Italia. Now for some photos: