Susan's sketchbook log: Tuscany


Economy class to EuropeEconomies in economy class

No more cute little bilingual menus, though is that cost-cutting or is the airline embarrassed to list what's being served?

Back in the day, even economy class got free wine on international flights. Now, the price for a "winelet" has not only gone up to $5, but it's Chilean. At least the movies are free. I try "King Kong" in Italian, but even that can't keep me amused. So, I sketch my fellow travellers, who seem to like the ape well enough.



First things first

Arriving in Cortona, I dump my bags and head out for a coffee to keep the jet lag at bay. It's Tuscany, so of course across from the Caffe Signorelli is an enoteca, a wine shop.

On the short main drag of Cortona, la via Nazionale, there are several enotecas that are just shops, one with tastings, one with food pairings and one that will serve you a full meal and ship you a case home.

I go to the latter a couple of times during my stay, mostly for the rare pleasure of good wine by the glass. Of course, here it's not just a "glass" -- it's a "calice." Given that I am drinking Brunello di Montalcino, I will let them get away with calling it a "chalice."

God's Stairclimber alla Toscana

One day I did hear rock music and looked in a door and saw an aerobics class. Seemed a tad silly what with the city being built on QUITE a hill. Think 60° grade, a few feet wide and paved with cobblestones dating back numerous centuries. A place that has a street called 'Etruscan Walls' just wasn't built for stiletto heels or SUVs. Though I saw both and sympathetically gave them the right of way.


At the top of the hill is Santa Margherita and above that a fortress. Stunning views across the Valdichiana and to Lake Trasimeno.

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