Arriving At Maridiana (Umbertide)

The weather here today was simply gorgeous. The further away we got from Florence, the cooler and breezier it became.

We made several stops on our way to Maridiana, the alpaca farm. Our first was the Prada outlet.

The Prada Entrance

This is the best I can do with this – the front door! No photos allowed inside. It would have been fun to have had images to show the flashy goods and the ridiculous prices – I came across a women’s simple leather jacket for €2500 (we saw beautiful leather clothing in the market yesterday for €150-€400!) I didn’t last long – a key fob for €100 was way beyond anything I was prepared to spend for a Prada trinket. I retired to the cafe to wait for the others.

Our next stop was the town of Arezzo – a typical old Italian town with a large Duomo which we stepped into. We wandered about town for a bit before stopping for lunch in the Piazza Grande. The town was mobbed since April 25 is an Italian national holiday of some sort; people everywhere enjoying the day.

Piazza Grande in Arezzo

By the time we’d finished lunch at 3:00 we decided to head straight to Maridiana. The farm is situated in the Umbrian hills. The photo flattens the countryside which in reality consists of well defined slopes.

At Maridiana

Green, green, green! The landscape has turned verdant this past week we were told, with red poppies in bloom along the highways, and lots of other vegetation in flower.

This is one of the two houses on the farm. This one is large – it houses Giani and Marissa the owners as well 3-4 guests in a separate half of the building. Another building close by has space for another 3-4 guests so the place accommodates our party easily. Each building has a kitchen, dining room, living/sitting room on the main floor and two bedrooms on the second each with its own bathrooms. Definitely more than comfortable for our stay.

The Back Side Of The Farmhouse

The star of the establishment is the newborn alpaca. The animals were lingering near the house to welcome us.

Alpaca

Marissa had prepared us a welcome dinner of fresh local cheese, salami, a barley salad and pizza, finished off with fresh fruit tarts, and of course white wine. Here we are eating on the patio under the wisteria which had bloomed in the past two days. Quite lovely.

Dining Under The Wisteria

Tomorrow we venture further south to a hemp museum which houses a largish collection of hemp artifacts gathered from local residents who have had these curtains, tablecloths, garments in their families for multiple generations.

We will have an early-ish start in the morning in order to arrive by ten or so. Should be very interesting.

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