The daily diary of a wandering restaurateur
May 15 - Villa Bietolini, Monte del Lago and Cortona

It's Sunday afternoon and we are still putzing around the house. Take a look at these shots and you may understand why we are reluctant to leave!

We finally hit the road about 2:30. I guess we are finally on Italian time. We had a few errands to run -- and there is still that curiosity about real estate -- so we headed back down toward Lake Trasimeno to hit the Mercato Uno for a toaster and drive around the hills. Margene wants to be around water and you never know where you will find your next lake view property.

As so often happens around here, we stumbled onto a little hill town that was just a gem. There was nothing particular to see in Monte del Lago, just to absorb what it was like to be there. As in most of these in-town places, parking is a challenge ... but the views! ... and the ambience! ... and the ancient charm of the place! What's not to like?

Our dinner plan (Ever notice that when you are on the road, the day seems to revolve around meals?) was to go to Canta Napoli, a local ristorante/pizzeria that our host, Augusto, highly recommended. Apparently he is not the only one who is high on this place. We had no reservation so we were turned away -- they were full for the night. Before we leave, I will discover what it is about this place that has them turning people away when the other 50 pizzerias in the area are half full.

Many of the other restaurants at the foot of the hill were closed on Sunday, so we headed up to Cortona. Surely the restaurants in a tourist town would be open ... and they were. We wandered in just as a market in the theater piazza was breaking up. From the looks, it was plants and crafts. We decided to try the Taverna Pane e Vino (Tavern of Bread and Wine) still another recommendation from Augusto. More on that on the photo page.

Oh, before I sign off for the day, I must mention perhaps the greatest gift of all in our cozy little villa -- high speed Internet! Augusto has wired the house and I am finally able to function a lot faster (and a lot cheaper) than the dial-up connection of last week. I am not totally sure if my joy at this discovery is a good thing or a bad thing ... but it does help me stay up with things and gives me more faith that my location in the world is becoming less and less of an issue when it comes to maintaining a business.

Photos of our New Digs

Monte del Lago and Cortona

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