The MidLife Adventuress

Seeking Breathless Wonder in the World

Arrival in Orvieto is Uncomplicated

December 17th, 2015


The gentleman at the exit of the train station

with the big smile

is our hostess’s father in law, Luca, 

who does not speak much English,

But with body language

we understand everything he is telling us.

And he understands

the curvy one way streets of Orvieto where he is from.

He parks, we get out of the carIMG_3981

…and before us is the spectacular vista

-our reason for choosing this B&B-

we all go to the rim and take in the beauty.

B&B Ripa is much better in person.


This apartment, on the edge of town is so very quiet at night, but only a short stroll away from the center of town.

It is the perfect layout for privacy

as each bedroom has its’ own bathroom,

and lovely view…

 ~love that view~

Once inside, the foyer is charming,

 a still life of a writers’ desk with books,

an old black typewriter,

 a coat stand which soon holds our scarves, hats

& brings an inside smile to me each time I come in.

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The living room & dining room separate the two bedrooms

 and is a comfortable space to come together in.

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There is also a small kitchen with everything one should need to make a meal or just hold a few snacks and drinks.

Straight ahead from the foyer is the room that G&T will call home for the next 3 days.


I am across the living room

in my own beautiful blue room.

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With its own beautiful view.

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 Sabrina, our hostess, will not return home

until tomorrow afternoon from her unavoidable business which keeps her in Rome.

Luca, after a brief introduction to the apartment,

 spreads out maps on the dining room table & marks them up with the highlights of his town.

We are given coupons for tomorrow mornings coffee & pastries at the Blue Bar café

 around the corner

 as Sabrina will not be home in time for breakfast at her home, but will call us to meet when she returns.

We spend some time in the apartment

marveling where we are & how wonderful this apt is;

Until we decide to go explore the town,

get some money, and eat lunch

before we sit down and never want to leave.

So back on our feet…


We head round the corner

& find an ATM

-which gives us money without any trouble-

next stops are a small grocer where the old woman

stands with patience as we pick our fruits and things,


the studio of a young man

who is carrying on the tradition of Salvatore Ferragamo by

-making works of art which disguise themselves as shoes.

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Going to and from our apartment

we pass his studio

 and are so enamored by his workshop

 we can’t help but go beyond peering in the window

& step in to see his process and the tools of his creations close up.


We find a restaurant filled with locals that we return to more than once in the coming days,

– it is that good-

Grandpa is the chef, daughter is the waitress & the patrons are from the neighborhood.

 The mural on the wall is not the most peaceful depiction of mankind,

but I suppose that reflects the societies that Orvieto has seen.

Trattoria la Grotta on Via Luca Signorelli 5.

Each time we go I crave the same thing as my 1st meal here

~fresh tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms~

This becomes my go to meal for the rest of this trip if I see it on the menu.

Sometimes they bring it with parmigiano sometimes not.

Either way, I am never disappointed.


We walk the town going in and out of shops.


Before I was a shopper-

a collector of things- souvenirs & stuff.

And to a degree I still am,

But now in much smaller doses and much smaller things.

A bookmark, a pair of earnings

-things easy to carry-

– chocolate bonbons that I can consume before they have time to get heavy in my bag.

While browsing on Via Duomo I head into Chocostore, 

if you know me you are not surprised by this,

a store filled with chocolate and a bunch of cute things-


I’m in.


I find a wonderfully illustrated book about Pinocchio

-who was born in this region-

the young man shopkeeper tells me that

it is his & his uncle’s book.

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Well now, I have to buy it.

 And the icing on the cake- would I like him to autograph it and  go next door to his uncle’s shop and meet him too, he asked?

 Books are my downfall, my thing.

And exactly the kind of heavy thing I should resist buying on a trip,

-but can never.

His uncle is the artist.

I can see why I am drawn to his illustrations;

they are colorful and happy, just as he is.


I find that now, unlike before,

shopping for me is  sort of like a cultural outing to see beautiful things I cannot see at home.

But for me,

just like at art museums,

when I am done-I’m done.

It becomes too much of being inside

Of being tempted by things I don’t need,

don’t fit in my life,

nor don’t want to carry for the remainder of my journey.


 I need to move on to having experiences, not things.

Like  climbing up Torre del Moro,


 Huffing and puffing to get to the top, loosing layers as I climb higher.

~And then Magic~

reaching the top at exactly 5pm,

the bells begin to ring

Pay attention,

you are here now,

  being rewarded

with this beautiful view of the Duomo,

where her black & white marble exterior,

 appears soft and smooth,


 the feeling of the freshness of the brisk air of the countryside

 hits my skin,

All of this is happening here & now

under puffy, cotton candy clouds.


Wow…ok, this is what I am talking about!

This is why I travel.

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