Next E-Mail Sent by Mark October 15, 2013
First off, sorry for the delay! It's been sorta hectic, but definitely in a good way. We left Germany Thursday morning after transforming Chris and Patrick's farm for two weeks. We put up fencing around their property, built a roof over their patio, built a door, chopped enough wood to last them for three Armageddons, tended their sheep and chicken daily, picked mushrooms, hand cleaned sheep's wool, cut down trees and made tons of BBQ! Don't worry I took pictures. It was an emotional last night there, definitely a bittersweet moment. We made great friends in Germany, but we were extremely excited to come to Italy. So, we ate our last plate of barbecued bratwursts, sausages and chicken and enjoyed our last German beer, before taking pictures and saying our goodbyes.
We woke up early Thursday morning to catch a bus to the town of Augsburg. We took a short train into Munich, caught an eight hour train through Austria to northern Italy and arrived in Attigliano-Bomarzo, Italy (an 45 min train ride north of Rome) a little after 8 pm. The trains had AMAZING scenery. Huge mountains with small towns in the valley and castles, built centuries ago, on the top of ridges. It was incredible to say the least.
We are staying with Claudio, Michelle and their son, Daniele. I've never stayed in a house this old. It was built in the 17th century and was originally a watch tower. I'm not going to try to explain the beauty of this place. Again, this will just be left to the camera.
Claudio and Michelle are retired journalist who traveled the world before settling down in Attigliano. They have about 4 acres of land and a lot of it is covered by olive trees. We will be hand picking olives over the weekend and making olive oil. I filtered and strained olive oil from last years harvest today, and prepared it for storage. Claudio is the cook and the meals only get better every time. So much pasta and red wine.
This past Saturday we spent the day in Rome and saw a few sites. We plan on making another trip too see more. Our stops included The Colosseum and the Vatican and random churches we just happened to come along. We ate a three course meal with desert and more wine. It was exactly what you imagine.
After lunch, we slowly made our way to the Vatican just in time to see the pope come out and give his blessings! It could not have been any better.
Yesterday we went to the hilltop town that's only a five minute walk away from Claudio and Michelle's. It is an old kingdom or castle that over looks the valley we are staying in. It felt like something out of a fantasy book.
That's about all I have for now. I will update all again soon. Hope all is well and life is good. Ciao.