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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 06, 2010

The Great Truffle Hunt Saga, Part I - Citerna

I've decided I'm going to split up the "big hunt" day into three categories: The medieval hill town of Citerna, the hunt (which will include flora and one fauna),  and the Tartufi Bianconi "factory", kitchen, cooking and, sadly no eating because my battery went dead!!  And Jane and Betty Lou were just as bad off - I think it was Jane who forgot to put her newly charged battery IN her camera, and Betty Lou's card either got full during the day or her batteries went dead.  So between the three of us, no finished food.

CITERNA - A Beautiful Place to Live
Yes, we all decided that we could easily live here and be quite happy.  Citerna is yet another medieval hill town, very ancient buildings, etc., but it's sort of like the little town that time forgot.  It is very, very untouristy, but that doesn't mean it's run down or poor or anything.  It's a little jewel is what it is - some very nice little shops that don't scream at you, all the upper stories of most of the old buildings are mainly residential and so, of course, there are lots of flowers up high, down low, just pretty and Italian.

Cecelia (she was our interpreter, provided by Tartufi Bianconi, the truffle hunt group)  took us all through the town explaining everything very thoroughly but, not having anything to take shorthand with (!), I'm afraid I didn't retain any of it.  But I would definitely put Citerna on my list of places I'd like to see again and maybe just spend an entire lazy day there.  And just a little more about Cecelia (pronounced in Italian as Chee-chee-ya) - she had to be no more than in her early twenties, was no bigger than a minute, had a very good command of the English language while still speaking it with a delightful Italian accent, and was just cute as a button.  It was obvious she is very proud of her area of Umbria and has started her own business which provides "programs" for visitors to Italy that are really great sounding. I had her web address but can't find it right now.  However, if anyone ever reads this and wants to know how to get in touch with her :), e-mail me, because I will get it at some point - I want to have it for future reference!

And now... Citerna

We arrive outside the ancient walls...

Just a pretty window...
Their tiny, and I believe only, church...
This was a well at one point in the town's history, now it's a great big planter!

I almost missed this statue, hidden away at the corner of a "ruin"
The interior of the church, kind of out of order
I know Cecelia told us about this ancient theater but I don't know what she told us!
I like stairways...

Bella, bella
The well is their symbol because the name Citerna is from the Latin root for well or cistern
And there's Cecelia down underground where they are excavating portions of the village's original cistern system
This was over a local artist's door - Cecelia was going to take us in, but he wasn't home.
So, a lovely village, right?  If I decide to live there, you can all come visit! :)

5 comments:

January said...

Bella, bella indeed!
Just lovely. And how nice to have a friendly person to take you around and show you the sights! I'm on pins and needles waiting for parts 2 and 3 :)

jfalls said...

Love, love, love it! These are my favorite photos so far! So bright and clean and real. Love the windows and the flowers. It is so welcoming - which I'm sure you appreciated after such a harrowing trip to get there! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

Love ya,

J

Hi! said...

Well, at least you can get off the pins - Part II just went up! :)

xo

Christopher said...

Looks like a lovely village... I wondered if Citerna (when I first read it) was connected to cistern... How nice to have a guide, too, particularly in an "untouristy" town.

Marlene said...

I agree - Citerna is a beautiful town and I'll come to visit when you move there, Mary Lynne! What happened to the truffles? Did you get to eat any? Your California friend, Marlene

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