It is my last day in this beautiful vinyard and charming town. I was told that I must not leave before trying the gelato in the towns square-Gelateria Dondoli-also known as “the best gelato in the world”.

Admittedly, I am not much of an ice cream or gelato lover. I am the savoury type. But, alas, how can one deny the “best in the world” of anything. People swarm in this little shop, pictures of famous people who have visited hang on the walls to exhibit their fame. The varieties are vast and complex.

After some deliberation and nudges from those behind me I choose two kinds: pistachio and the saffron of San Gimignano with cream. I find a seat on the large stone well right in the middle of the square and begin. It’s a contradiction of subtle richness. My scoops become more rapid, I’m giddy and insatiable.  It reminds me of when I used to put my fingers in the butter dish as a child, and I realize I look as similar now as I did then. Gelato drips from my hair and leaves a sticky stamp on my chin and on my hands. Let it be known that on this  sunny day in the heart of a Tuscan village, I became a lover of gelato. Delizioso ?

I then make my way back to the vinyard. Tonight I have made arrangements to intrude on chef Carolina’s dinner preparation. Given that neither of us understand one another’s language we rely mostly on facial expressions and gestures. Today, with sweet chef Carolina, I learn to make more types of pasta than I knew even existed, as well as learn how to make an authentic Italian pizza (whatever that means-Ernest informed me over beer tasting that pizza may have actually originated in Egypt-go figure). And then finally..tiramisu!

I cannot stress that, in my opinion, the key to authentic delicious Italian food is fresh product. Carolina fetches fresh basil and orageno from the garden and uses oil which she has produced here herself. The oil here is as impressive to me as the wine! I mean really,  who can say “oops getting low on oil better harvest some more olives”.

Finally I sit to enjoy some wine tasting local to this vinyard. Marco then serves me the dishes I made today.

I wanted to gloat to those who sat near to my table. “Yes that’s right! I made that ravioli and cappelletti, tortellini,fagottini pappardelle, tagliatelle!!”  “Yes me I did that!”?. It was a proud moment for this Canadian girl who has struggled for years to make good pasta! My chest quickly went from boastful to inverted. I couldn’t finish. Similar to the night I enjoyed 8 courses,  I slumped in my chair. I felt like, I myself, was a stuffed ravioli. And all that wine made me light in the head. It was indeed the longest, slowest walk between the hedges back to my little chamber.

I will miss this place. I always get a little sad with goodbyes of any type-the sensitive soul I am. But this melancholy is temporary because I know there is much more to come. So I put a bookmark between these chapters and let myself fall into a nice heavy slumber.