Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Posts Tagged ‘2009

Tipping Tip

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Had a great meal of spaghetti alla carbonara e coda (oxtail) at family owned and operated Locanda di Marcanzia in Castiglione di Lago Tuesday night. Bill was 21 euros each. We just divvied total five ways – Bev, Barb, Mariolina, Riccardo and me – regardless of who had what. Then Riccardo explained you don’t tip the owner. When you tip help, it’s loose change . No tips reach 5 percent anywhere in Italy. So I can start saving a few euros here and there.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 19, 2009 at 5:27 am

O Sole Mio

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Had a shoe problem almost immediately on our departure. I spent time and effort settling on an old pair of thick-rubber-soled Clarks that would be wear-on-the-airplane-and-walk-around-the-village-and-perhaps-leave-here pair. But didn’t want the following to happen.  The rubber apparently has been rotting over the years and the sole on the right shoe split open crossways in Las Vegas. So I went to the little all-kinds-of-stuff store off the Mandalay Bay lobby and bought some Krazy Glue. Jammed some of that stuff into the crack and it worked. As have subsequent applications to chunks of rubber trying to chip themselves off other parts of the sole and heel. So a quick lesson here: never leave home without duct tape and Krazy Glue

Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 19, 2009 at 5:26 am

Posted in Europe, Travel

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Still Catching Up

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Got our porchette (salty roast-pork sandwiches) Monday morning at the Tavernelle market, picked up some victuals and then over to Riccardo’s for cards — scoppone – all p.m. He gave me his WEP for wi-fi connection and finally got a chance to clean out e-mail but no time to get to bloggin’ and respondin’. Gonna do that.a.s.a.p. Did pick up on latest gossip about Riccardo-Mariolina split from Margaret Leon on Sunday and Riccardo Monday. Poked our heads into the osteria opened by Aldo’s son in the apartment we stayed in our first time here. Prices are outrageous. As are the prices at Aldo’s. Tatin restaurants open Tuesday – the one on the hill at the edge of the piazza and the former French café they bought recently on the piazza – but their prices are also over the top. Based on seeing non-Panicalese milling about the piazza and staring at the church and their discussions between oohing and aaahing, I opined that Aldo and the rest of the town are aiming their business at the tourists, with tourist prices. Riccardo agreed. “No one from Panicale goes there any more.” The wintertime card tournaments Aldo used to stage at his Bar Gallo to not only maintain his business but to keep the town entertained are a thing of the past.  There is a drop in rentals and the bulk of folks returning to the castle are from Australia and New Zealand.

Riccardo knew we were going to Rome at some time so he gave me something I can wear in Rome – a laurel wreath. Heh!

Weather’s been mild and gentle so far and today was gorgeous featuring Il sol d’Italia feasting on the Umbrian colors.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 19, 2009 at 5:23 am

Posted in Europe, Travel

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Bologna Bit

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Bologna Airport is small and busy but customs and immigration weren’t open. Got into Hotel Mercure about  22:30. Cab driver said it would cost about 16 or 17 euros. The meter read 13.40, so we gave him 18. Had a note from Barbara in 448. Our room was 412 for 65 euros a night. The rate card above the desk said double rooms cost 160 euros a night. We got the internet rate. Bev and Barb not impressed with Bologna; people not as friendly as Panicale, and Rome, etc. Food’s good, tho. Prices have gone up in this country. Bologna is expensive and we saw higher prices in Panicale, too.

Picked up our rental. We asked for a compact and they upgraded us. That’s all they had. Good for us because of all the freakin’ luggage. No problems on streets and roads. Italians drive like I do. : “Get the f— outta the way.”

Left the hotel at 11 and, after some rain, fog, a couple of dozen tunnels through the Appenines, a coffee stop, and picking up some essential groceries, we walked into Aldo’s bar at 14:30. Don’t know how the heck we’re going to make it back to our hotel when we go back to Bologna. Aldo’s barista Camilla called Riccardo and Mariolina came to the bar. Had coffee and emptied car and headed to Riccardo’s for wine and chat. And met his son Lucca. Both M and R look peaked and worn. They’ve had a bad year. One of their long-time dogs died in their car and Riccardo broke his hip and is still on crutches. And, when you stand back and look, there’s more but we’ll have to wait and let the tale unfold.

Headed for Maselino’s for dinner BUT THE PLACE IS CLOSED – until Dec. 3.  Bev’s initial prod to come was to celebrate the restaurant’s 50th anniversary Nov. 20, my birthday, Christmas, New Year’s, and Little Christmas (Jan. 6).. We learned just before we came that Maselino’s is going to celebrate in the spring, “when there are more people.” And Bev also had planned to have a nice dinner there on my birthday Dec. 2. So we had some great cold cuts at Aldo’s. At a great price – 45 euros. If someone charged us that in PB for cold cuts, we’d call the cops. Got to Chiusi station at noon Sunday and checked times to and from Naples. It’s about a 4 hr train trip and round trip costs about 59 euros. Don’t save money with roundtrip ticket so buy one way and pick your train. Think we’ll go next Sunday because parking lot looked like it had plenty of spaces today. To Margaret Leon’s in Paciano, after lunch at La Brucciatta l’Oca, and delivered her peanut butter and voltage converter.  She had a “pre-holiday” sale of her photos and we met some of the local ex-pats. Interesting people but not the type who would enjoy a beer with me – and, more importantly, vice versa. MTK….

Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 17, 2009 at 6:24 am

Posted in Europe, Travel

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