Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 8, Piacenza, Italy

October 29th

- I woke up around 10am and crept out to the courtyard outside it was sunny and brisk outside.  I took in the countryside scenery.   Very serene.  I headed out the breakfast room. 
- John and Silvatorre were already there.   The table was exquisitely laid out as I poured some coffee and made myself a bowl of cereal with yoghourt.  A dish of eggs and bacon was also served.  The proprietor of the mansion took us on a tour of the grounds and the basement. The building used to be a convenant back in the day and was built in the 1400's -  around the same time Montreal was most likely just a camp site in the St.Lawrence river.
- The rest of the band woke up and we all piled into the van.   We had the entire day free so Silvatorre wanted to take us to see some historic sites of the region. 
 - Our first stop was an old look out point/ building at the top of a large hill.   Historically it was the middle point at which merchants and such would know that they were exactly halfway between the ocean and France.  I guess it was strategic for wars as well as you could see over the town and the entire lay of the land. 
- Our next stop was an ancient castle but it took us a while to get there as we had to circumnavigate blocked roads and got lost and such.  We were driving along the hill where one side was the hill and the other side was a sheer drop and then we came across a road block for some construction work.  There was no warning until we came upon it, and we had to do a precarious U-turn on the narrow roads. 
- We arrived at a large stone castle complete with a small village within the castle walls.  We checked out the village and then had lunch at the village restaurant (antipasti: prosciutto, primo: 3 types of pasta, dolci: 3 types of local cheeses [soft rind brie, parmigianna, pecorino], a citrus mousse and tiramisu).
- We had this ongoing joke where you would mime upturning the table we were sitting at in complete disgust of either a)the quality of food or b) the type of service.  Of course it was all facetious because the food and service ANYWHERE was exceptional. 
- Satisfied, we headed out to another ancient castle.  This one was on a bit of a slope and we had walk up a long brick road.  Inside the castle walls there was an art gallery featuring a collection of historic paintings and religious items.  We also checked out this old church, where aside from the main chapel, there was a little one off to the side with pearl white walls.  John was in there checking it out:  "man, the acoustics in here are pretty good!"  And farted loudly. 
- I noticed in the courtyard that there was a restaurant that specialized in local mushrooms.  Unfortunately it was only open during the peak tourist seasons.  Otherwise I would have totally been in there.
- We headed back to the castle and loaded up our gear.  As we were in the city, we stopped by a pharmacy because John was running low on his sleeping pills and wanted to go hustle some prescription stuff from the pharmacist. 
- With no success, we drove off to the venue called Baciccia.  It was quite large and in addition to the bar area, there was a dining area and a small living room/ reading room.  We loaded in and sat down for supper. 
- After some prosciutto and ham for antipasti, gnoccchi with beans for the main, we had time to kill before the show.  People were steadily entering the venue and it was filling up.  This was a popular place to go for Friday nights but as it was a 60's frat-rock night featuring yours truly, it was quite busy.
- We decided to get into our outfits outside as there was no backstage and made an entrance, fezzes on heads, winding through the crowd.  The show was probably our best as the crowd quickly warmed up to us.  It certainly helped to see a line of girls in the front, dancing away and cheering as we played. 
- Afterward our set and while we packed our gear ,  the DJ came on and started playing out some classic frat rock tunes.  The crowd continued partying and dancing.  Bobby was happy to hear his favorite tunes being played out, so with Averil, he hit the dance floor and mashed out his twister moves.  We all had great fun, as it was the first that we could hang out and party with the crowd and enjoy ourselves after playing for the first time.
- Though the fun didn't last too long, as Chris didn't want to stick around too long and people were getting tired so  our departure from our best night came to a quick end. 
- We trooped back to our mansion and quickly fell asleep.  We knew we had to get up early the next morning.
Italian countryside

... seen from where this building is

Again, we eat and we are satisfied.

What was that crap? This restaurant sucks!

Dude, do you really have to do that in the fountain?

Some pretty old stuff

How could you not love this?

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