Friday, October 25, 2013

Appreciating the Roots

As soon as my train pulled into Pesaro at 10:30pm on Saturday night, I rushed off to meet Iris at the Centro per le Arti Visive Pescheria, where an art show was being held focusing on comic drawings.  As I don't speak Italian well, I didn't understand all the comics but it was interesting seeing all of the drawings, some of which were very good.  They also had an activity for attendees where you could write a story and have it turned into a comic strip; although I didn't participate, the group I was with wrote a story about a stuffed animal in a nightmare.  The majority of the time I spent outside chatting with various friends of my friends.  People tend to speak English with me which is very nice of them, but on Saturday I told them to speak Italian so that hopefully by listening I could absorb some of it through osmosis. 

On Sunday afternoon I was yet again off on another journey by bike.  I have discovered I am not the best bike rider, and I had several near misses navigating the bike paths.  However, 45 minutes later David, Fiona and I arrived in Fano, a city about 10km from Pesaro.  My first view of the city was from a small walking path that jutted out into the Adriatic; with the waves crashing onto the nearby rocks I could see through the haze the colorful houses and shops.  The city center was filled with activity, kids were competing in basketball and volleyball games, and there was even a karate demonstration going on.  After lunch we biked along the ancient city walls and saw a statue of Caesar Augustus.  Unfortunately I was unable to take pictures as I hadn't realized my camera was dead until we arrived!
Pesaro Seaside Visit
 Tuesday, David, Fiona and I headed to the Tuesday morning market.  Our only purchase was some clementines from a local farmer however it was nice wandering around the various tents and window shopping.  Some of the vendors have beautiful, soft sweaters embellished with a sprinkling of gems.  Also in fashion here are embellished high top sneakers with studs in various shapes (of which I would like to own a pair!).  The market was also a great place for David, Fiona and I to teach each other new words through describing an item or asking what the Italian or English equivalent was.

Makeover by Elena
Sorry to my American friends but you will not be receiving snail mail!  I went to the post office with Iris on Wednesday and it is 2 euros per letter to the U.S.!  Then in the afternoon, Anna's previous workawayer, Alexandra and I wandered down to the seaside.  She has been traveling for the last year and a half so she has all sorts of stories to share!  Trips to Polynesia, Australia, all over Italy.  I can imagine how exhausting it must be to be constantly traveling however all the experiences you can have!

The Ancient Mill
In Santa Maria dell' Azilla about 25 minutes drive from Pesaro is an ancient stone mill where corn is ground into fine, soft flour for baking and polenta.  The owners were super friendly and explained to David, Fiona and I that the mill had been in their family for over 270 years during our visit yesterday.  I really enjoy that they are continuing to do things in the traditional way in order to maintain the highest quality.  Since there is no modern technology or electronics involved it is a process that takes a lot of skill and time so their mill produces only about 20 tons a year.  Phillipo, one of the owners, was a very intelligent man who talked to us at length about Italian culture and cuisine.  His mother, the other owner, gave us each a gift of some of the Polenta they had ground at the mill.  We plan to return next Sunday to visit their restaurant!

Church in Candelara

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