Day 15 (February 19th)

First off I would like to thank Christina for chiming in that some people other than Mother read this post!  Thanks Chris!  As a reward, I have a lovely Italian leather jacket (It turned out to be a women’s jacket) with your name on it.  We will try to drop it off on our way home.

Today was a long day of driving at high speed in poor conditions.  Well, if I was driving the Island highway in the middle of a November South-Easter, I would have called the conditions typical.  I don’t think they are typical in Italy.  Anyway, visibility was limited, so I can’t comment much on the scenery, though I suspect it must have been very interesting because I kept driving out of tunnels onto bridges and back into tunnels.

We got to our Agritourismo (http://www.sturaro.net) stay at around noon, settled in and headed out to find sustenance.  Unfortunately, we got to the Despar at 1:10 and it was closed for Pranza until 4.  Eventually we will remember Pranza.

We returned to the farm and flipped through travel guides and brochures about Padua and Venice until we could stand it no longer and went for a drive.

We located the train station we need to go to on our way to Venice, but it was still well before 4pm, so we headed off into the hills in search of a winery that the owner of the agritourismo had said would be open.  We found it, and it actually was open!  (http://www.villalessi.it/English/Home.swf) So, in we went.  Miwa and Mitzi waited in the car.  There were many lovely wines to be had.  Their whites definitely outshone their reds, and we ended up buying half a case.  In retrospect, it’s probably a very good thing that we couldn’t find many open wineries in Tuscany, or we would have come home with cases upon cases and had an absolutely horrific duty charge awaiting us.  Fortunately, I picked up a bit of local knowledge today.  One can get wines around here for 1 Euro per bottle!  How convenient that that is exactly what the wines I have purchased so far have cost!

I should mention that when the hosts here asked if there was anything we needed, I piped up, “Vino!” and they brought in a mixed case of all their wines.  We can drink what we want, and settle up when we leave.  Their most expensive wine runs an exorbitant 4.50 Euros.  Tonight’s wine was “Serprino”, a vino frizzante (slightly sparkling wine) made form the same grape they use to make Prosecco.  I was initially a little put off, but it grew on me and I was thoroughly enjoying it by the time I finished the bottle.  I think my initial reservations came from the size of the bubbles, which were large and made me think that it had been sparkled by CO2 injection.  Once I go over my snobbery, I enjoyed the wine.

No pictures from today, with all the driving, rain and poor visibility, we just didn’t pull the cameras out.

Tomorrow, Venice!  So there should be a picture or two.

Caio.

P.S.  This is the first place that actually has Internet access, so we should be able to post our blog every night instead of the next morning.  For those of you on the west coast, that means our blog should be updated by about noon each day.

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