Fred and I got up at the ungodly hour of 530 AM on Wednesday morning after going to bed quite late to
pick Josh up at the airport.  If I
am lucky, I got a few hours of sleep. 
Josh’s plane landed on time and he didn’t look to worse for the
wear.  He couldn’t be happier to
see us.  We all got in the car and
began our drive to Spoleto. 

One of our dearest friends, actually the best man at our wedding, decided to
spend his 50th birthday in Tuscany.  Him and his wife rented a house and invited some of their
friends to come and stay for as long or as little as they liked.  We were meeting them in Spoleto for

The traffic around Rome was unbearable.  A ride that should have taken two hours
at most ended up to be a journey from hell.  It took us 5 hours, easily.  We finally got to Spoleto, parked the car and took the escalator up the mountain.  It is amazing the size of this
escalator.  It is the best way up
from the bottom of the northern part of Spoleto.  We originally drove around the Southern area realizing we
were in the wrong location. 

Tuna salad
The drive up the hill is quite a white knuckle drive.  Actually all driving in Italy is a bit
white knuckle.  Dense green trees
and incredible views.  Once we got
to the top, we had lunch in a small café. 
I am attempting to eat a tuna salad at lunch everyday until I find the
perfect one. 

We walked down to the viaduct and took a look.  The viaduct has provided fresh water for this area for
a very long time.  This bridge is not a place you want to fall off of. 

Then we strolled through town.  The church is a main focal point, as every town in Tuscany
has one and although they all seem to look a like, they don’t. 

Outside the church, my friend loves this particular statue of the lion because it has been rubbed
so many times over the years, the mane is basically gone.  What is still amazing to me, is that
the town literally shuts down between 1-4 like it has for centuries. 

Strolling through the town, we stumbled upon the Academy of
Olive Oil.  I might have to return
and take a class there.  Only in

Dinner was at 5 and a few stores opened at 4 which we checked out.  This particular store was amazing.  The woman had jars of products that she
made.  There were tastes, of
course.  Grains from the region in
small bags.  I picked up faro and
orzo to bring home.  She also had
bottles of mushrooms and herbs with truffles in olive oil that were outrageous
and bottles of duck fat.  Very
Italian and like heaven in a jar. 
Brought some of them home too.

This particular area of Italy, Umbria, is best known for
truffles.  She brought out a bag of
truffles for us to smell or of course buy.  A total wow.

Spoleto street
We walked through the streets over to dinner which was put together just for
us.  Years ago, our friends had
come over to Spoleto for a week long cooking class.  They came back twice. 
The chef who taught the class, had prepared a special dinner for the
birthday boy.