May 26. Claudia

Thursday, May 26.  Walked through the nearby Duomo and noticed that the city officials and the Police Officers were all dressed up for a ceremony: must have been to say goodbye to us. I can’t believe I waited this long to see the most spectacular Duomo inside anywhere. I know I am not the world’s greatest Duomo collector, but the photos will give you a taste of what it felt like viewing every wall and corner of the magnificent structure. We looked in the small gift shop, and $125 later, we had some beautiful gifts and momentous. They were so happy for our business (mostly all John’s purchases) the sales clerk gave me a pair of small earrings.

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Claudia invited us to have coffee with her one last time today. She loves practicing her English, which is quite good. We met her at ourfavorite caffe where we all decided to have a little alcohol to mellow our day. We don’t have much stress but her day was a little stressful. A Spritz for me and a couple of gin and tonics for John and Claudia. Evidently, she does not drink much and certainly not at lunch. She ordered a sandwich and when lunch was over, because she had to go back to work, her little cheeks were red. She is such a sweetie – she brought us two bottles of my favorite white wine called Toscano and to John & I each, 2 bars of the most famous, wonderful chocolate in Italy.

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Prior to lunch, I was walking past a jewelry store belonging to a friend of Paola’s and guess who was there – of course, Paola. She seems to beeverywhere in Arezzo. I stopped in to try on some cute hats. The owner needed some photos for Facebook so I was the model. Once I saw Sharon Sills in one of these cutie hats. Looked really good on her.

We have already started packing for Rome and home. John has been here for 2-1/2 months and brought way too many clothes and now has all his stuff (electronics, laptop, iPad, Apple TV hookup and camera equipment) to pack in 3 medium cases. I, of course, have to do the same with the clothes I purchased. No gifts for friends or family this trip – sorry!

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In the evening, when we start out for dinner, we never know where the evening will take us. We ate at a restaurant, Mest, very near our apartment that Paola and Claudia both said was fantastic – and that was no exaggeration. When we were finished eating, we noticed men dressed in red felt robes, walking up the hill towards the Duomo. We walked past the apartment to the Duomo and there was a religious ceremony in progress. We snapped some photos. The Duomo ceiling was magnificent with all the lights on. We are now sitting in the apartment, the door is open, and the outside speakers are filling this area with the Catholic choir singing. It is now 10:40, way past my regular bedtime. Last night I fell asleep about 11:15 to the sounds of drums playing in the streets. At first it sounded like someone practicing but it soon became a marching band. We are so starved for musical entertainment, we are happy to listen to the singing of a choir. This was an incredibly full day – it took a full page to tell all the stories.

Dian

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