I was a very happy girl a couple weeks ago because my boyfriend of four years was able to come visit me in the wonderful country of Italy! We had an amazing time visiting Rome, Pisa and exploring my home away from home, Florence! For his last Friday here we were supposed to take a day trip to Siena with a tour group, unfortunately our trip got cancelled the day before due to not enough people signing up. We were all bummed but decided it wasn’t going to keep us down! Instead we decided to hop on a train and take a spontaneous trip to the small hill town of Cortona!
We start our adventure by barely making it to the train station on time, but of course still finding time for a necessary cappuccino. Running to the train, avoiding gypsies along the way, we jump on what we hoped would be the train taking us to Cortona.
Luckily, the train drops us off at the small town of Camucia, which is at the base of the hill that Cortona sits on. Naturally I had Rick Steves by my side to guide us along our trip, so we referenced him to see how to get to Cortona from there. He recommended that we take the bus that comes every hour and NOT to do the steep 4 mile hike up the hill. Being the smart people that we are, we decided to do the hike.
We were starved by the time we made it to town so first stop had to be food and wine! Instead of listening to Rick Steves we decided to trust our instincts and pop in a little place off of the main piazza.
As we walked in we were greeted by a man who only spoke Italian and two little kids running out from the kitchen, I automatically knew I was going to love this place. We were the only ones in the restaurant besides two older gentlemen seated right next to us. We quickly ordered wine and bruschetta before deciding what to eat.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this one was of the best meals of my life, my mouth is watering as I am typing this.
Ari and Cassie were advised to order the famous wild boar spaghetti and they were not let down, it was incredible. No words were spoken while we ate each of our pastas and we all cleared our plates. As we were obsessing over our dishes we were too busy to notice the older gentleman next to us who had been eating alone and smiling while sipping his wine. Ari pointed him out to me and as I turned to look behind me I caught his attention, he took that as an opportunity to start conversation with us.
I have never been more grateful that I have taken Italian for 7 years because he didn’t speak a word of English. Luckily, I was able to hold enough conversation in order to find out that he had lived in Cortona for 30 years, he was 92 years old and he ate at that same restaurant every day for 30 years. It took everything in me not to burst into tears and bear hug him. As we had been eating, another small family had sat down to eat lunch as well. The two little boys were messing with each other and giggling, the old mad just smiled at them and laughed, he turned to me and told me they were his brothers great-grand children, I almost cried again. He enjoyed the simple things, such as sipping his chianti, watching us enjoy our tiramisu while telling us why Italian products are the best and laughing at his crazy great-grand nephews. We spent two and half hours in that restaurant and I never wanted to leave.
If all we did in Cortona was hike the mountain and eat at the restaurant I would have been happy but we figured we should explore the town a little bit too.
Cortona gave us the perfect taste of Italian culture and was exactly what anyone would picture when they think of the typical Tuscan hill town.
I am so lucky that my boyfriend Ari was able to visit me here and I loved being able to share all these new experiences with him. I know we will have many more adventures to come since we both share a passion for traveling 🙂
Ciao for now!