OK this apartment has the most comfortable bed I’ve slept in since I left home! I think it might be a memory foam bed. Our room is dark and quiet and I slept like a log. After sleeping in a different bed almost every night for the past two months, I am SO happy that I can sleep well here.
I woke up after 8, and Erik was just heading out to the bakery called Panificia which is literally around the corner from our apartment. In a few minutes, he was back with an assortment of fresh croissants and was soon busy figuring out how to use the cappuccino maker in our kitchen.
I got up and began opening the shutters and windows of our apartment to let in the sunshine. It’s already sunny and warm out – promising to be a beautiful day, or at least until the predicted thunderstorms roll in.
After breakfast, I did another load of laundry and hung it out on the back porch so that it would be dry before the storms came.
We both worked on our Duolingo Italian for a little while – we plan to do our “homework” every day – and then we walked over to the tourist info office, which is next to the Duomo. We got a bunch of brochures and then decided to purchase a “Key to the City” card for 20€ each. This will get us into all of the major sites and museums, the Duomo, and a guided tour of the Orvieto Underground (more info on that later). In addition, we get a free return trip on the Funicular which is kind of like an angled elevator that takes you up and down the side of the hill.
Orvieto old town, where our apartment is located, is perched on the top of a 300m high”tufa” (porous volcanic rock) bluff, and the rest of the town sprawls below. The total population is about 20,000 but only a small percentage live up on the hill. The upper town is about 1 1/2 km long and just under 1 km wide so it’s easy to navigate. At the bottom of the Funicular is the train station which takes you north to Florence or Milan, or south to Rome.
At about noon, we decided to head down to the lower part of town to get some groceries. It’s about a one km walk to the Funicular, then the trip down (1.30€ each), and another 1 1/2 km further to the big Co-op store. We could buy groceries up top but there isn’t as much selection and the prices are higher (kind of like shopping at 7/11) so we want to do at least one bigger shopping trip for basics at the Co-op.
We won’t have a car until next Monday, so I emptied my Camino backpack and hauled all of our groceries back home in it. It’s a good thing Erik insisted that we buy liquids (beer, wine, pop, juice) up at the top or I never would have fit it all in, nor been able to carry the weight. As it was, it felt like it weighed at least 20 lbs. It was hot and my feet hurt by the time we got back up to the top of the funicular so we jumped on the free bus that took us up to the Duomo, which shortened our walk home.
I unpacked the groceries while Erik went to buy drinks and then we had a late lunch of prosciutto, pecorino cheese, tomato, and lettuce sandwiches. After all of the dry bocadillos we ate on the camino, having a sandwich with lettuce and tomato, butter, mayo and mustard felt decadent.
The clouds began to gather in the late afternoon and around 5pm we had a violent thunderstorm with strong wind, heavy rain, and hail. It was quite exciting and I took a video from our back terrace. But just as quickly as the storm came up, it was gone again. The sun came out and the skies began to clear a little.
Erik had a long nap and I worked on my blog and read for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to make dinner (salad, wine, bread, and pasta bolognaise – homemade of course!). I was happy to be able to cook fresh food again – I’ve missed cooking! We had a great dinner and a decent bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. I think I am going to love it here!