- Fizzy Thoughts: Italy Trip: Day Twenty-one

Italy Trip: Day Twenty-one

Saturday, October 06, 2007

9/18/07

Today we set off to look for local villas. Our first stop was planned - Valsanzibio's baroque gardens. Entrance to the gardens is 8.50 euros and they give you a guided walk to follow. The garden/villa was built in 1669 by Barbirigo and Bernini drew the plans. The walk through the garden is supposed to be an allegory of man's progress and salvation. We weren't exactly up for such deep thought, but we did enjoy the walk and the fountains. We checked out the maze, the hermit's pond (no pond, but there was a hobbit house), the swans in the fish ponds (the black swans were quite chatty and kept following us), Rabbit's Island (with lots of little bunnies hippity hopping around), and the Fountain of Water Jokes (where the fountains start up as you walk by, potentially soaking those sitting on the benches). We eventually made it to the villa, which is still occupied and not open to visitors.
We drove north looking for another villa, but it was closed and for sale. So we stopped for lunch instead. After lunch we headed south of Monselice to look for two other villas. We passed through teensy towns with old men walking down the driveway in their underpants. Okay, it was just one guy. We stopped in Sant' Elena only to discover that villa was closed too. So onward to Villa Estense, to the palazzo there that was supposedly declared a national monument in 1924. Yup, also closed. So we gave up and went to the grocery store for more wine.

Later we went across the street for dinner at Gero. It was fancy, but cheap. And the waitress spoke very little English, so we were amusing each other in our attempts to communicate. I actually baa'ed to make sure something was lamb, which totally cracked her up before she said "Exactly!" Thank god she had a sense of humor. For dinner I had chicken ravioli in a mushroom sauce, and for dessert limoncello gelato in a chocolate shell with a fennel sauce and blood orange slices. It was soooo good. And it was gelato!

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In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

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~St. Augustine

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~Mark Twain

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