Fifty years ago today I was a college freshman at Millersville State College, now Millersville University. I had been there about 2 weeks, having graduated from Lebanon High School and started college immediately. As I was eating dinner with some new-found friends, a guy came over to the table and told me there was someone who wanted to meet me. Naive that i was, I went with him, and he introduced me to his friend, Don Weinberger who was in summer school because he had failed two courses.
Nine months later we started dating.
Eleven years later we gave birth to Ben on this very date.
And a Facebook post by our Catherine today revealed that on June 29, 2005, 38 years after Don and I met, Catherine and Martin met. On the same date. It’s times like these that I tend to believe in a Higher Power!
Fifty years later we are celebrating the date with 1) a special lunch right on the edge of Lake Bolsena
The day was breezy and cool, finally! We chose to eat “fuori” outside despite the wind. The owner said that Italians, Germans, English, and French don’t like to eat when it’s windy, so they were all inside. Wonder what that says about Americans??!!
The three fish dishes we ate from this lake were beyond amazing. We asked the waiter for recommendations, and wow, did we ever get the BEST dishes!! BTW, this was all in Italian, just in case you were wondering!
and a 2) night at Civita di Bagnoregio, a magical place we visited some years ago and never thought we’d have the opportunity to spend the night.
Best part is. . .I kept it all a secret from Don and only told him about our night at Civita at lunch today! Give me carte blanche to plan a trip and you never know what. might. happen!
Yes, we ignored the ZTL roads, parked under the bridge as instructed by my new best friend Franco who owns the Civita B&B, pulled our one suitcases up the bridge. Steeep? A..yeahhhh!! Somehow we didn’t remember it being this steep three years. ago!
But up we went and finally reached our B&B–put on the map probably by Rick Steves. The B&B itself has only 3 rooms and a taverna where we noticed one whole wall dedicated to photos of Franco, the owner, and Rick. Sometimes I don’t know if you should bless or curse Rick Steves! In fact, folks in Maremma is hoping he does NOT discover their hidden treasures.
The room is tiny and features the seriously most tiny shower we have ever seen. The bed is comfy, as evidenced by our daily nap which found us each sleeping peacefully!
The view from our room. . .and who else but Giuseppe Garibaldi in the piazza! That guy gets around!
Cost of the room–$85 per night. With breakfast.
Civita di Bagnoregio is like no other village. Built by the Etruscans centuries ago, they chose a good place where they could see invaders for miles around but they failed to take into account that the tufa is soft and eventually nature would take its course. Chunks of houses and roads around the perimeter have fallen away over the centuries.
There are about 10-12 full time residents, some eateries, gift shops, a few artists, but what I like best is its ethereal vibe. At times during the year it is shrouded in mist. I’m hoping to find a snow photo tomorrow. I vaguely remember one from a previous visit.
On our passiegata (walk) around town tonight we discovered more than a few interesting vistas looking out over the surrounding valleys.These four were snapped by Don.
A few hidden gardens revealed some gems. . .
I discovered a path that took you down, down, down with the tufa rock rising up, up, up beside you. A little spooky, actually!
There’s more to Civita di Bagnoregio but internet traffic is very slow tonight, so I will end for now.
Actually, who would ever even expect to have internet on top of an ancient Etruscan tufa rock town with only a dozen residents!!?