Yesterday was the day the umbrellas came out. In a good way.
More than three weeks into our two month adventure we have yet to have a day of bad weather. No joke. Twenty seven days and not a single day devoid of sunshine. Not a single rainy day. Perfection. In every respect.
Click below for a slideshow of our perfect days:
So yesterday, under perfect blue skies, naturally, we headed to Montefalco, one of our favorite local towns, the center of the Umbrian wine culture, home of some great restaurants, a town with a great atmosphere. Our destination was the Hotel Palazzo Bontadosi, the new, ultraluxe hotel in Montefalco’s main piazza, to take a day off and visit the spa. Our guests were off on their own – touring Perugia and painting in Deruta with Gerardo Ribigini – and we were enjoying a rare day on our own. I enjoyed a massage and Suzy a pedicure. It was a little slice of heaven.
An hour later we emerged onto the main piazza, a little early for lunch but wanting to enjoy the warm sunshine. So we pulled up a chair at the Ristorante-Enoteca Federico II, a nice wine bar and restaurant on the main square, and enjoyed a glass of grechetto from a vineyard just a kilometer or so from where we were sitting. The square was peaceful, with a handful of people strolling by softly and the occasional motor vehicle passing by. After a little while, a white panel truck pulled up and began unloading a pile of outdoor umbrellas and stands. And a little while later the waiter began to unpack them and install them.
It was only later that we understood that this was not a daily happening. It was the beginning of the outdoor seating season and we had lucked upon it on opening day. Later, as we sat for lunch a few hundred yards down the road at Spirito Divino we learned that they, too, were inaugurating their outdoor seating. It is these simple rhythms that are nice to become aware of and enjoy when you are able to slow down and visit a place. It was nearly as soothing to watch the unfurling of the umbrellas as it was to receive a massage.
Tomorrow my high school roommate and his wife arrive for a visit that will last several weeks. The forecast is for rain. So no doubt we’ll be opening another type of umbrella. But the memory of the umbrellas at Federico II will keep us going.
Bill and Suzy