Sunday, January 29, 2017

Italy Cycling - Post Trip - Lecce and Rome

Monday Oct 31

We said goodbye to Sondro and Debora last night at the farewell dinner. I was especially sad to say goodbye to Debora. What an amazing young woman! Smart, caring, funny, enthusiastic. I'm going to miss her, and I’ve only known her for a week!

It's a short quiet bus ride to our next stop, Lecce. The largest town in this part of Italy, Lecce has a very old city center, full of churches and palaces. We follow a short self-guided walking tour of the area, have a cappuccino, walk a little more, eat salad and pizza for lunch. We are pretty tired today, no big adventures on the agenda. We did a little souvenir shopping and are resting now. Found the wine we tasted at the wine tasting back in the first Masseria in a wine shop here. We bought 6 bottles and are going to check them as another bag to get them home.

Tuesday Nov 1

We leave for the airport at 9:30 AM, but earlier I go for my first run in over a week. It feels a little strange to run, mostly because my body is so sore from biking. My knees and my sore leg hurt going up and down curbs, but running feels okay. I'm supposed to do 4 miles but settle for 3.4. I was going to run in a nearby park but it doesn't open until 9 so I run in circles outside it. There are a few other runner's up, and cyclists too of course. Always cyclists in Italy!

It's only a one hour flight to Rome. We are at our hotel by 1, and starving, so once we're checked in we walk down the street for a panino. Then a gelato too! We go back and get unpacked. Around 5 we take off again, to see the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon by night and get dinner. The fountain is beautiful, the pantheon is huge. We are hungry so it's restaurant time.

Santa Ana. Lots of Italian movie stars on the walls. A Barolo to drink, a good salad, fish. The dessert is really the best part of the meal. Lemon ice cream with vodka. Delish! A lemoncello too. Homemade.  I ask for the recipe and they tell me: 1 liter 100% alcohol. 1 liter water. Zest of 20 lemons. Put it in a container and let it sit for a month, shaking every few days. I'm tempted to try it! And actually we do and it came out great. We researched it a bit on the internet. In the US you can use something called Everclear for the alcohol. Its like a zillion proof so its the right stuff. The instructions say to be careful to remove all the white stuff (the pith) from the lemon zest because it will make your Limoncello bitter. And the recipes I found said to add simple syrup to taste once you remove the zest at the end of the month. Ours came out really good. We still have a big bottle in the freezer. Its lasts a long time!

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