Sunday, August 10, 2014. Greti, Italy—Moving In

A shop just off the Greve main square specializing in wines and products of Chianti including olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
A shop just off the Greve main square specializing in wines and products of Chianti including olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

In the grocery store, they require you to wear a plastic glove when fondling the fruits and vegetables while making your selection.

Rita demonstrating her compliance with local rules regarding the wearing of plastic gloves when squeezing the melons and handling other fruits and vegetables.  All the fashionable women are wearing plastic gloves this season in Italy.
Rita demonstrating her compliance with local rules regarding the wearing of plastic gloves when squeezing the melons and handling other fruits and vegetables. All the fashionable women are wearing plastic gloves this season in Italy.

See Rita obeying the local rules.  

We understand they yell at foreigners who do not get it.

We also found a make of motorbikes known as NRG, which caught my eye since those are my initials.

Motorbike with my initials on it.
Motorbike with my initials on it.

Rita and I tried our hands at making a pizza over a wood fire at the villa. I built a great fire. Rita made a great pizza. We placed it on the hearth and voila a beautiful pizza emerged. Well, we actually only got the pizza half right. The bottom was not so beautiful. See our photos. Do you think more practice is needed? Yesterday the landlord stopped by and we told him about our pizza. He took at look at our method and said something in Italian like “Dumbasses! You tried to make the pizza on the grill not in the pizza oven!” Apparently, we used the outdoor grill, which looks like a pizza oven, instead of the actual pizza oven, which is located in the lower level kitchen. (Yes, we have two kitchens. I call them “his” and “hers”). It is a nice compromise.

This is the fire I built to make a wood pizza. I later learned from our landlord that this was not a pizza oven, BUT A GRILL.  I am sure he thought "dumbass" when he explained it to me.
This is the fire I built to make a wood pizza. I later learned from our landlord that this was not a pizza oven, BUT A GRILL. I am sure he thought “dumbass” when he explained it to me.
Voila!!  Our very first wood grilled pizza!  How did we do?
Voila!! Our very first wood grilled pizza! How did we do?
Well, we got it half right.  Does that count?  Next time, we plan to use the pizza oven instead of the grill and see if we can get the bottom of the pizza to turn out like the top of the pizza.
Well, we got it half right. Does that count? Next time, we plan to use the pizza oven instead of the grill and see if we can get the bottom of the pizza to turn out like the top of the pizza.

We have only eaten out twice since we arrived in Greve. It has been a bit of a shock. There is no macaroni, spaghetti and meatballs, or baked ziti on the menus. We have not heard of a lot of the pastas and those we have heard of come with strange things on them that we do not like. Our first outing was not good at all. Our second outing at Gallo Nero was much better. We recognized the pasta and its wild boar sauce. We also had a nice salad with toasted bread, tomatoes and greens. The main course was grilled beef. (They did not recommend the fish or the “baby chicken”. We were surprised to find so much beef in Tuscany because we have not seen the first beef farm.

It is our understanding that only the Americans think there is Italian food. The Italians do not believe there is any Italian food. They think all Italian food is regional food. So, when they think of food, they think of Umbria, Tuscany, Piedmont, etc.

Last night, we made another gelato run. When we walked to the town square, there was a beautiful full moon illuminating Greve. We had to take a photo for you.

Another gelato run and another full moon over the Greve main square with St. Croce in the background and the Statue of Veranzzano faintly visible on the right.
Another gelato run and another full moon over the Greve main square with St. Croce in the background and the Statue of Veranzzano faintly visible on the right.

In addition to playing tennis, we have been riding bikes. The first day I rode to Greve in Chianti and I took a spill on the main street, during rush hour, and really hurt my ego as crowds gathered to see the idiot 66 year old American without a helmet pick up his bike and ride off into the sunset…. Actually it was sunrise…busy time of the day there. Of course, it also happened when there was a bike tour of 8 riders in full bike gear, clothes, gloves and helmets riding by me at the time of the incident.   I was not hurt, but my ego was bruised severely. Thankfully, I was alone on this ride and no photos exist to record my humiliation.

Yesterday we went to the town market. It is not at all like the French town markets. It was mostly clothes and shoes and kitchen items. Although we think one merchant was selling his dog,

Greve market day.  Mostly clothes and non-food items.
Greve market day. Mostly clothes and non-food items.
I don't read Italian, but I think the sign says the dog is for sale at the Greve market.
I don’t read Italian, but I think the sign says the dog is for sale at the Greve market.

5 thoughts on “Sunday, August 10, 2014. Greti, Italy—Moving In

  1. dear norm and rita – we love hearing from you, and of course, have nothing as exciting to tell you. but, ric just asked me to tell you that john bruch passed away last week, was cremated and his ashes were spread on a lake in Minnesota, and a lovely catered wake was given at his home last Saturday which we attended. other than that all is well here, the gardens are doing well, and as soon as I can reorganize my work area i’ll begin painting again. the children are all in school again, and the summer here is over. we love you both and are happy for your happiness in Italy. chaio! Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 19:44:55 +0000 To: ricmahaffey@hotmail.com

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    • Ric and Rose, thanks for your comment. I am happy you are onboard for this trip. Ric, I was sorry to hear about the passing of John Bruch. I know how very close you were to him. I heard his wake was well attended. Rose, glad to hear you will be painting again. It is important to keep this thread going in your life.. Ric, you would have loved Dario. A master “entertainer”. See you when we return. –Norm & Rita

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  2. It looks absolutely amazing – I don’t think I would ever leave!! Sounds like a wonderful adventure!!! Enjoy every momento!!

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