While the boat was still in the yard, I went to cooking school, Tuscookany, while Neal worked on the boat. Yes, I fled to Tuscany, to cooking school, rather than spend a week in the yard, without floors (the sole panels were being varnished- but wait, you say…didn’t they have the sole varnished NINE TIMES last year? Yes they did. See why Vanessa is a raving lunatic? See why it is better to send her off to Tuscany to cooking school than listen to her wail about having to varnish the damn floor AGAIN?? AFTER 1 YEAR???). I hope I made my point.
It was fun, stunning location, but I was not overwhelmed by the cooking. Sorry. Great chef, good people. But the dates that worked for me were for the Mediterranean cooking and we sort of hit a few common foods from Spain, Italy, France, Morocco and they were essentially too easy to bother with in a cooking school (salad with goat cheese toasts) or things I will never make (pasta- nobody makes pasta. buy fresh pasta). I did learn a few new things, and I would own the property outright tomorrow, if it were for trade for one 70 foot boat!!
On to Poppi, the cool little town nearby, not just another small Tuscan hill town. We visited the town’s castle, the Castello dei Conti Guidi, known from 1191. One of the Guidi (a Guido) was said to have drunk the blood of his enemies. I liked that part. There was also the remains or a cast replica of the remains of a prisoner who tried to escape. Rather severe.
The best part was the Library Rilliana, a collection of ancient ancient books and parchment manuscripts, inculabula (look it up- it is too great a word to not know) from the 15th century forward. A great room to inhale.
Just outside the castle is a bust of Dante Alligeri.
Just between the bust and the castle, a couple chose to hold their wedding. Dante, you know, is known for his Divine Comedy, first part of which is INFERNO (hell). I thought it an odd place to hold a wedding, but perhaps there was some divine comedy in mind.
We visited the church of the Madonna del Morbo, where this painting of the virgin (I think) is attributed to Filippino Lippi.
I also noticed and found interestingly morbid, this painting of someone calmly being boiled alive and this other one of someone being martyred.
Maybe it was Tommaso Crudeli, who was condemned as a heretic, was imprisoned in Poppi’s Palazzo Crudeli, and tortured to death. Neat town! Especially for a wedding!!