Wednesday, October 6, 2004
By now we had discovered that the map that Hertz gave us actually had the mountain roads on it, and Mark decided that to get to our desired destination of Volterra, a medieval town known for its alabaster that also had a roman ampitheater and Etruscan ruins, we should take this shortcut mountain road. Bad idea. Way way too windy for a carsickMonica. We passed cute town after cute town but these were even more remote than our agriturismo–no thanks! We eventually hooked back up to the main road and continued on to Volterra. What a nice town! I’m surprised it doesn’t get more press. Our first stop was the town hall, which was open to the public because there were no council meetings that day. It’s so cool that they still use their medieval buildings for their original purpose! Unfortunately, the tower was closed so we were spared our climb for the day. Next we toured the Palazzo Viti, a private residence that has 12 rooms open to the public. Genevieve really enjoyed looking at the rooms, especially the one that had a grandfather clock. After that, we went back to the restaurant that Genevieve wanted to go to because they had folded their napkins up like hats (in the picture our restaurant is the one on the right). Once there Genevieve made the waitress laugh by putting the napkin on her head and singing happy birthday. We walked around a bit and bought some alabaster goods and pasta on our way to the Roman Theater and baths. The kids were interested enough in the theater (and Genevieve would not put her rainbow pasta down) so we were able to take some good photos. We walked past the Rocca which is in outstanding condition and it would be nice to tour, however it is a working maximum security prison, and to the Etruscan ruins. The kids were getting cranky, so it’s really good that we stumbled on a playground. They played for a while and then I took Charlotte to the ruins. She cried the whole time because she wanted to be back on the swings, and the ruins weren’t much anyway, so we went back to the playground for a while. Then we got some gelato and Mark went to an Internet Cafe to check on the status of our markandmonica.com registration (as you can tell by the fact that you’re reading this, we did manage to renew in time). On the way back to the car, Genevieve noticed that there were shells in the paving stones and so she had fun counting these. There was a beautiful view of the countryside from the hill walls, and the locals were out in force. We had an uneventful drive home on the more major road (no hilly shortcuts for us!) and got home, fed the kids, gave them their shower and got to bed.