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Friday 6 November

Spello station, bench, about 65F, 10:05 A.M., waiting for the 10:14 to Assisi. Definitely in the rushed last days now of my stay, but yesterday — the second time it's happened — fell asleep again at 10 A.M., woke up at 3:20 and lost the whole day (so of course went and gorged at the Pinturicchio: zuppa campagnola, excellent — beans, lentils, rosemary, possibly some pork or sausage; gnocchi al tartufo, very good although just a touch too much salt; cutlets of cinghiale, about which Mirko said the boar might've been raised rather than hunted, but quite good anyway; and I ordered all this around the wine — downed the whole bottle — Masi's 1994 Amarone (Valpolicella), which is a very distinctive wine, with indeed a strong note of bitterness to it, a bit like chestnut honey. Mirko just enrolled in his first formal sommelier course, all fired up from the introductory lesson — A.I.S. Associazione Italiana Sommelier — some rather good course books, altho' where trilingual the French is not topnotch and neither the French nor the English match the Italian: obviously, a serious translation management problem. Anyway, got out of there at midnight thirty, Mirko sat at my table and we talked wine of course —)

Not the best organized diary entry: before recording Wednesday, a bit that I forgot, in my rush to catch up. Sunday's non-visit of the Ponte Parasacco partially redeemed in fact by a young couple I met in the garden near S. Barbara — Booby suddenly realizing he hadn't looked at the little section of aqueduct that traverses the church and Porta Montanara complex, climbed into the open section and peered down the closed section, taking the obligatory photograph; felt the need to explain myself to an innocent couple sitting on a nearby bench — with a very little encouragement, this of course turned into a mini-lecture on Spello's Roman water and sewer system. . . .

The inside of a dismal-looking old stone conduit with a peaked ceiling. It is a Roman and mediaeval aqueduct in Spello (Perugia province, Umbria, Italy).

People pair off or group in the most unforeseeable ways; always fun to watch, though. Gaudenzio is an electrical engineer from Porto S. Giorgio; Fiona as Irish as her name, struggling with learning Italian in Perugia — and having known each other for years, there they are relaxedly picnicking in Spello, when up out of an aqueduct jumps Booby: eventually to wind up on my terrace drinking some of Gaudenzio's family's homemade sweet wine. (Among the interesting or amusing things I learned: there are so many English people now living on nice properties in the Chianti area of Tuscany that some now refer to it as "Chiantishire"!)

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Page updated: 7 Dec 20