Domenica is Sunday in Italian. It’s also a great John Besh restaurant in New Orleans, my former hometown. http://domenicarestaurant.com
Because it’s Sunday, I’ll try to keep this short. I thought about not writing at all today, but I did say “a month in Italy,” so I feel obligated. Not that writing ever feels like an obligation to me– I love it. Love the craft of it all. And I’ve been fortunate to make my living doing it for 20+ years. But I digress.
I’ve been trying to meet up with some local rock climbers and had success yesterday. Because the weather has been cold and rainy, I stopped by Arterisko, the climbing gym in nearby Macerata. http://www.arterisko.com The guy at the desk spoke about as much English as I spoke Italian, but another climber heard us and came over. Roberto was super friendly and helpful. He lived in New York with his Italian parents until age 8, so his English is very good (better than even he thinks). And he clearly enjoyed practicing it with me. He invited me to a “climbing party” today, Domenica. Roberto is actually from the independent country San Marino, just north of us, and heads up the local climbing/mountaineering club. The occasion for the party– the club was also hosting a “teachers teaching teachers” session with a high-profile Italian climber named Roberto Caruso, who has put out some videos on his “Metodo Caruso” for training and climbing.
Had a lot of fun, met some nice folks, climbed a few routes, learned some of the “Metodo Caruso” on some boulder problems and had some great finocchio– a sausage from Umbria made with lots of garlic– that’s it being sliced on the reception desktop.
From the gym, or “il piramide,”
We went to Urbisaglia, an ancient walled town near us. The main structure, a military fortress, was built in the 1500s, near some Roman ruins that are now being excavated.
Urbisaglia, like many towns in the area, is a hilltop town, so from our perch on the spine of this hill, we saw the storm coming up to engulf us in rain.
The clouds got much, much darker than you see here. So we did what apparently most other locals do on a Sunday when snow is forecast for tomorrow evening: we went shopping. Stocked up a bit on prosciutto, cheese, fruits and veggies, a little vino… had a nice supper of antipasti and homemade vegetable soup and that brings me up to… now. I’m tired from a pretty good day of climbing and braving the shopping malls of Tolentino, so I bid you Buona Note.