Saturday, October 06, 2007
I woke up to the sound of church bells. I though it would be 8:00, but the cell phone said 8:19. There is a church next door (yes, pizza on one side and church on the other…it’s a very small town) and the bells are rung by hand. Last night we heard them at off times between 6:00 and 8:00. One time the bell ringer practically played a symphony. Tonight, at 8:30, we only heard one solitary bong.
Today we drove to Este and Montagnana, both due west of here. At Este we cruised through the flea market and then the castle.
The castle was built in the 1300s. The walls still stand, and the inside is now the city park. It has paths and benches and rosebushes. What a totally cool idea – the town must think so too, as we saw people of all ages there.
We continued on to Montagnana, an old walled town. The walls and gates still stand, although you can’t walk on top of the walls. The portcullis spikes are visible if you look up at the gate. And you can see where the moat was. The gates were serious business…three or four arches to pass through. After entering the main gate you come to the piazza dominated by the duomo, aka il jumbo duomo. Huge inside and out. The piazza had a few vendors selling candied nuts and cheeses. We went for the nuts, which were warm and sugary. Then we walked through the town – lined with antique/junk stalls as it was the third Sunday of the month, and this is what they do on the third Sunday of the month. We walked the length to the other gate, then walked back to have lunch at an hosteria. It had a small menu with mostly ham and cheese plates. I had a caprese salad and bread – with the absolute best tomatoes I have ever had. Then we went across the street for, yes, gelato. I had green apple – mela verde. Mmmmmm. Then we came home to relax and do laundry (one load takes 2 freakin’ hours in the washer!) and eat leftover pizza from last night.