The Etruscans (the earliest Italians) invented or discovered Tufa(the first concrete) but you’d never know that happened near here. Poured concrete is almost nowhere to be found except in small sidewalk patches. But when it comes to stone, they’re on it – literally. Buildings are mostly stone and, well, stone, and are typically 4-6 stories tall, with many windows and almost as many balconies. Nearly all have an interior courtyard, which you tend to forget about until a car shoots out the side of a building. Sidewalks and streets are granite slabs, and when they have to bend or slant or take an odd shape, they’re replaced by intricate patterns of small square cobbles that look to be fired clay. I’ve come upon some street repairs where they lift and stack the granite slabs, rake the cobbles aside, do the repairs, backfill with coarse sand and put the paving back where it was. Nothing for the landfill. I like their thinking.
Had pizza for lunch – very unlike ours. Sloppy and delicious. Tomato sauce, very little cheese, ham, mushrooms and artichokes. Did the Winter’s Bone intro w/Jonathan, then were guided to a little side street ristorante that served “typical Piedmont” fare. Had a sort of ravioli made from fresh pasta and dressed with roast beef juices. Wonderful, followed by a large salad and little bits of lamb on skewers. All washed down with a very smooth local Barbera wine. Couldn’t even think about dessert.
Another unsuccessful shopping and lunch run. No clocks, no nail clippers, and the cafes are open some other time. Jet lag still extreme, and there is no such thing as too much coffee. Then you’re wide awake at bedtime, so stay up till the wee hours drinking Czech beer and hatching mad plans.
Wednesday evening – I have a clock. Finally had my fill of stumbling around a several block area trying to find the right shop, then took to the street vendors and got a clock, nail file and clippers at the first booth for 5 euros. — Odd that this computer will allow you to make dollar and pound sterling signs, but there’s no key for Euros. Anyway, it’s another happy day. Jonathan almost walked my legs off again, so I’m calling it a night, and before morning.
So, Sarah — The only olive oil soap I have come upon is a huge chunk, kind of an irregular cube, wrapped in clear plastic but with a green band that says it’s 20% something. It also says it’s made in France. Could this possibly be the same stuff? It also has a circular design stamped on one side. Still struggling with computer stuff and can’t access the blog at all because this computer won’t allow cookies. Am writing these posts in Notepad on a Windows machine, then transferring to e-mail because I only have a small window on-line.