We have just spent a week at Agriturismo Prato al
Italy. It was a wonderful celebration, enjoying our 24 th Family
celebrating 55 years of married life (our actual anniversary in in
but we decided we couldn’t wait) and a few birthdays in April.
Best of all was
the large wooden table in
the communal area where we enjoyed lavish breakfasts and huge dinners,
barbecues prepared by Aviv and lots of gnocchi and fresh pasta.
A few of us even braved 12 degrees C water to swim a few times.
Mornings started with the arrival of the bread van of Danielle, who every morning came to offer us a variety of baguettes,
breads and a Tuscany sweet bread. We passed on the local salt free bread. Tradition suggests that back in 1540
the inhabitants began to make salt free bread in protest of a salt tax.
San Pancrazio, where the villa is situated, is well placed for touring Tuscany, even though it was about 15 minutes from the nearest town.
day we all drove to Perugia to visit the Baci Chocolate
surprised when we arrived at the piazza of the old city – not
would expect a factory.
Wazes got a little confused and pinpointed a Baci chocolate shop. A fortunate mistake as we toured the old city
which included a whole underground complex.
We did make our
way to the chocolate factory
we saw the multitude of machines that prepare
and wrap 1,6000,000 Baci chocolates a day, as well as Easter Eggs and other sweets, including little
KitKat. Best of all was the tasting and the ability to fill our pockets with goodies.
They have a dark Baci, which we didn’t see elsewhere which was truly excellent.
The next morning
we all drove to Pisa wearing our specially printed
T-shirts. (Click to see the picture on our Family Reunion page).
We had a great time with family photographs. Of course we all took turns propping up the tower. Most of us walked up the Tower, leaning first to the left and then to the right as we climbed the spiral steps. Special congratulations to Itamar and Amit who overcame their fear of high places. A long drive home where we enjoyed another great barbecue.
morning we visited San Gimignano, a medieval walled hill town
with huge stone towers. When we climbed to the top of Torre Grossa we
to identity the 14 towers that remain today of the original 72 towers
Lunch was pizza eaten on the steps of the Duomo.
evening we had dinner at Il Belvedere restaurant in Monte
Savino (highly recommended!) to celebrate our 55 th wedding
anniversary. Great food, emotional
speeches and Saba got his own shofar as a present. He used it to great
in the mornings to announce that breakfast was ready.
The following day we visited Montepulciano for wine tasting. We admired the statue of the horse executed according to the actual design and dimensions of Michelangelo. We had lunch at Il Buco Restaurant in Chianciano Terme, where they make their own pastas. Then Vered and Aviv left to return to Israel and we continued to Pienza, the home of Pecorino cheese where, despite a full meal we managed cheese tasting.
The next day we
visited Siena, enjoying walking around the narrow
streets to the campio where the Palio horserace is held. An impressive
horse race, keenly contested by 10 local clubs, on a sloping stone
Everything is allowed. The first horse to complete the 90 second race,
riderless, is the winner.
The following day we returned to Orvieto where we walked down – and up – the impressive St Patrick’s well, which has two spiral staircases, one going down and one up. They are the width of a donkey carrying 2 water containers, with openings in the stairwell for light allowing one to peer down and look up all the way. It was built nearly 600 years ago by Pope Clement who feared a siege by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
Our last stop
was to Civita Bagnoregia, an impressive hilltop village accessible
by a long, long pedestrian bridge, down then up.
olive oil is
made at a local oil press and took everybody
to see some caves.
I trudged back to Eitan, down and up the other way.
On our last day
together we visited Florence.
We had no idea where to park until Moran found that at Park2go, a few
walk away from the Duomo, one could not only park but reserve a space
Choosing not to wait in the long queue, we viewed the impressive
Santa Maria del Fiore from outside and admired the bronze doors of the
which Michelangelo called The Gates of Paradise.
After wandering through the streets we found gelato, including Venchi, our favourite Italian chocolate and ice cream. Dani then went off to shop while we continued to the statue of Porcellino/the Boar, some shopping and then on to Ponte Vecchio until we arrived at the interesting Galileo Museum. Afterwards we split for shopping (those with girls) and home (us, tired).
That night our last dinner was at Il Cassero also in Monte San Savino where over excellent food and wine we toasted the birthdays of Zoe, Anthony/Eitan and Itamar.
After a final
breakfast we split – Aviv and family to Rome, Moran and family
to hike the Apennine Mountains.
and Rafael back in Givatayim Israel. The wine wasn’t great, but the story was.
It was a most satisfying week – a family strengthening the bonds of friendship not only between siblings and cousins but between all of us.