Gradara Castle and Food, Food, Food

Our first real day began in Gradara at the castle from Dante’s Inferno’s story of  Paolo and Francesca. (a true story re-told by Dante)

Because of the amazing night we’d had before, and because we had no idea what the names were of the singing couple from the bar, we decided to name them Paolo and Francesca. Their story was, they were hiding from their families in Rimini. We’ll never forget them. They could be the soundtrack to our lives.

As we were waiting for the tour guide, we wandered the top of the castle wall. The view from up there was gorgeous.

So here’s a funny story. Thinking that it would be quicker to eat at a little sandwich stand would be faster than a sit-down restaurant, we  stopped here to have piadinas. A piadina is basically a tortilla (or a flat bread) with ham and cheese. They’re really popular in these regions, Emilia-Romagna especially. With all of us there, this old lady was having such a hard time. Turns out, she was not the owner, but she was in charge this day. For one sandwich, it took 5 minutes. Problem was, she made all of them individually, cleaning up everything after each one. What we thought would be a quick 10 minute thing turned into a 30 minute fiasco of trying to get food. She was sweet as could be, though. Thankfully Tyler spoke to her in Italian, or it would have been even more of a mess.

That evening, we arrived in Castelraimondo. There were tree branches hanging out into the road too low, so the bus stopped a little way down from where we needed to be, and we grabbed our bags and walked to the bed and breakfast where we would be staying for a few nights. This time, they put two group together for the rooms because of the cooking we would be doing on Thursday night. Our room joined together with Stephanie and Vivian. We settled into our rooms and got ready for our nice dinner at “I due angeli.” It was a cozy, yet elegant place, reminding me a lot of the feel of a cabin. I felt like snow should have been falling outside the windows as we ate. Personally, I thought the dinner was fantastic. The first course, I was able to try meats that I’ve never seen before or even heard of before. The only down side to the dinner was that I had a salmon pin bone which was temporarily stuck in my throat. It was uncomfortable, but it all worked out.

After getting back to the room, Tyler, Makoto, and Rebecca came over and we played Mafia for an hour or so. Makoto was either the killer or was killed off quickly, it seemed. After Rebecca left, the 6 of us (Stephanie, Vivian, Tyler, Makoto, Katie, and I) played Mao. I couldn’t count how many rounds we had, making up more and more rules and the night grew later and later. It was a night full of proposals, laughter, penalties, and dancing the Cotton-Eyed Joe. Eventually, Makoto was tired, but thinking nothing of the time, we didn’t want the night to end. We did, however, stop the game. Soon, we were all back in our rooms. As Katie and I were beginning to blog, she looked at the time. 3:30. We checked a few clocks, and yes indeed, it was 3:30 in the morning.

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