Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Last Day

Friday, my last day, I got up early (to make up for oversleeping on Thursday) and, with Monica's help, took the bus to Ravenna.

Ravenna was once the capital of the Western Roman Empire, and home to some gorgeous mosaics from the Byzantine era. I visited four of the most famous: Battistero Neoniano, Basicial di S. Apollinare Nuovo, Basilica di S. Vitale and the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia. They were truly breathtaking!

After that, I walked around the city for awhile (ahem, ZARA) and grabbed a potato and mozarella piadina, a flatbread sandwich famous in the region. I caught the early bus back to Faenza, packed and then road Monica's bike out to the farm (6k through beautiful vineyards, in the DARK, which wasn't very smart). The days are cloudy, but even in the dank darkness of November, it's still picturesque.

As an endcap to a fabulous week and wonderful vacation, Monica and Michele, their friends and I, went out to her cousin's seafood restaurant, Titon.

Let me just say, if you can get a cousin/uncle/grandfather to own an restaurant in Italy - DO IT.
We had five different antipasti's (including fish carpaccio, a tomato/squid soup, and prawn and thistle (yes, thistle) stew). Then we had three different kinds of grilled fish, and a seafood "toss" - lightly fried squid, prawns, fish, zuchinni, etc. Plus, all the wine you could drink. (and a 'tween course palate refreshener with lemon and vodka- VODKA!)

Then, oh THEN, came the dessert, including ganache, pistacchio mousse, cannoli, something like a cointreau liquer flan and creme cartanaga (I'm not sure this is the right name but oh. my. god. gargagaahghghghg Homer Simpson noise) I literally rolled out of that restaurant at midnight.

....and was up again at 4 am to catch my flight.

But you know what? Pffft...I'll sleep when I'm dead. This has been the best vacation and worth every penny (paid in Euro and in sleep!) I am now sitting in the airport (back in Amsterdam) with a huge grin on my face, refreshed, renewed - and sober.

Yes, these are what vacations are FOR.

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