Wednesday, May 3

Here we come Cortona!
We were so looking forward to today's destination "Cortona" made famous from the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" and you can be assured it did not disappoint.  Amazing! and definitely another place Steve and I would like to back to and spend some more time in.  It was a great place to wander and do a little shopping as well as find a few ceramics treasures in Tuscan colors. We hit the farmers market to grab a few things for the cook off, toured the cathedral, walked up and down the brick laden streets, and visited the famous fountain from a scene from the movie.

Lunch was on our own and so much fun.  As we were walking through the streets looking for places for lunch, "following our nose"as Rory puts it, we ran into a few from our group.  They had a spot picked out at one of the little cafe's just off the Piazza so we joined them.   I think we kind of stunned the waiter a bit as we started pulling all but one of the outdoor tables together,  I think he got over it once we ordered just about one of everything off the menu  Our meal was great and plentiful to say the least. We enjoyed the company, the atmosphere, and the whole experience!

After lunch we met up with the rest of our group (15 minutes late, but we called to say we would be tardy) and headed back to the villa via a route that gave a view of the lake.  Our driver had suggestion and took us to a little town call Passignano that was right on the lake.  That had the cutest little Gelati shop and walkway overlooking the lake.  Beautiful views, cute town,  and wonderful surprise for all of us.

The day's activities weren't finished quite yet, it was one of our group members birthdays today so we headed back to the villa to celebrate with Stephanie. A bottle of Champagne from Bonfi (thank you Norman), small gifts bought from the different towns we have been to (from members of the group) followed by a fabulous "forno" grilled fish, panzanella salad, lemon tart, Wine, Wine, Wine and a beautiful reading from Rory!

Getting ready to celebrate!

Rory and George always prepared

Our birthday girl!


Our amazing group

Dinner almost ready1


It's going to hard to top this day and we are all wondering what Michael will do to top this birthday "Under the Tuscan Sun".


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