Saturday, November 17, 2012

Puilly Fuisse . . . gesundheit

Puilly Fuisse . . . gesundheit 

If I see no more of France than La Source des Fées, my body found in Fuisse, one hand clutching the cow-sheep cheese hybrid, the other my cholesterol medication, it will have been worth it. Two-and-a-half-euros buys us a good sized puck of local cheese. The interior of which looks like yellow cake batter and tastes even better. The cheese crumbles under the knife like I imagine yellow uranium cake would and it attacks my vasculature in much the same way.

I form a mental image of the pungently delicious cheese going directly from my stomach to my bloodstream, plastering itself along my coronary arteries.For around thirteen euros we got a bottle of a local red. I take large medicinal gulps, downing the delicious antioxidants by the mouthful, imagining it scrubbing away at the cholesterol plaques like varnish attacks lacquer (or, if you grew up in the 70s, like scrubbing bubbles on a dirty tub).

Our suite (we were given a free upgrade as the regular rooms were booked) is the original section of the establishment, built in the fourteenth century, not in the new addition (1656 new).

When Chris Columbus was  Jetting across the pacific on his Yacht in search of new digs, our room at  La source Des Fées had been occupied for over a hundred years. Someone likely having built it, lived in it, and died there before Chris even fired up the engine of the Nina, Pinta, or St. Maria. 

If you have a chance visit Fuisse (preferably in warmer weather), stay at the magnificent La Source Des Fees.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Our stint in Italy starts in Rome. Anyone who knows me, knows I be lovin' me some art. We've hit the jackpot — a Vermeer exhibit and the Villa Borghese. The Borghese is like the TJ Max of the Renaissance. There is crap everywhere. Everything is so good in the end it all seems the same. After all the perfection, I find I'm most drawn to the Leprosy Wing exit hall which holds statues that didn't make the cut for the main museum — missing toes, fingers, and noses (as well as other delicates).

A lot of the Art in Rome is found in the churches. Here is the ceiling at Cathedral de Liberace.

If you can't make it to Rome, head to Las Vegas. I image the ceiling above Sigfried and Roy's bed is very similar to this.
We make our way to a smaller, less known church that is purported to house a Carvaggio.
And voila there it is in all it chiaroscuro glory. It is magnificent —

but my gaze is diverted by the condom machine in the corner.

Why is there a condom machine in a church? A Catholic Church no less! A post-postmenopausal woman, whose grey hose gathered at her ankles matches her grey orthopedic shoes and grey legs, approaches with euro in hand? The plot thickens. What's the randy old bird up to? Clink, the coin drops and a light shines from the heavens. I take it as sign of approval for contraception, but the condom never materializes. The light dims. Another person, another euro, more light, still no rubber.  Doink!  Coin operated light.

We head to Arezzo for a half marathon.
I love this Arezzo cat. 

The poster, I'm sure, says lost. This cat isn't lost. Look at his face.

 This cat hates his owner and has hauled ass. (This by the way is how I imagine all cats feel about people. Sorry, cat lovers.)

Next stop Pompeii. The weather is bad, it's off season, and we're arrive early, so there are no crowds. 

This is a replica of a statue that was in Pompeii, but now is in a museum in Naples.

Come visit Pompei. We moved all the cool shit to a museum in Naples. No, the twelve euros you paid here doesn't cover admission, but you can cram back on to the rickety subway, be there in another hour, and fork over another 12 euros. Grazie.

We are on to the Pompeii shell game. So, with olives in tow (Dan's right hand),

we decide to move on to the most beautiful place on earth — Positano.


We run the Path of the Gods.

Positano to Bologna and Bologna to Verona.
In the hills outside of Verona we find and we find gold — un ristorante privato (we had to fill out paperwork to eat there) that specializes in pesce. Our gift from the kitchen is fried fish, the name of which doesn't translate. It only swims in the Baltic. It is the best fish I've ever had.  They'd anticipated that our main course would not be enough fish for two.

The meal is magical. And by magical, I mean both delicious and having supernatural qualities. As you can see, after having the Branzino, I grew to gigantic proportions, dwarfing cars and terrorizng the sleepy agriculture village of San Mattia. 

Run! E 'il gigante Americano.

The hot spiced wine causes my brain to swell to the point where it's trying to escape out through my eye sockets. But I have a moment and am able to head to downtown Verona. Moment is the italian brand name for Ibuprofen ( it has a delicious hard candy shell)

 First stop — Casa di Guileta. I guess Romeo and Juliet, were actual people, spinning a whole new light on the play for me. Romeo an Juliet weren't just characters in the most famous play ever written, they were some poor Italian's unruly teenagers.

No, Julliet. The Montagues are thugs.
But Mom, I love him.
You zip your mouth, young lady and go to your room.
I hate you. I'm going to kill myself.
You're going to wish you were dead, if you don't start marching.

Dozens of people fill Juliette's courtyard (that's not a euphemism, there's and actual courtyard) and line up to have photo wiht her bronze statue. Touching her right breast is reported to cure syphilis bring about love. The walls are graffitied with love notes from lascivious pervs hoping to get a piece hopeful love birds.

Casa di Romeo — nada. A simple sign, some brick walls, no drama, no crowd, likely just some dude inside, a modern day Romeo,  playing his X-box.


In the bathroom of our restaurant privato — a stereo, a jambox and some left over cooking utensils (hopefully not still being used)

two bastards in love

Italian signage —

 Come to Italy where people are busy shoveling shit

stealing stuff and sneaking away with it

& humping automated doors.



PS —
I don't want to give the wrong impression of Italy. I like it. I'll definitely come back, at least in 2029 to see Madge in Bologna.

 How could I not with her genitals all-aglow, restrained only by her arthritic fingers and cotton-poly blend, granny-panty couture. Madge. When did Madonna become Madge? I want to met the gay who was the first person to start calling her Madge (you know it was a gay)

We leave Italy and just in time. My pasta receptors are saturated. If I see one more pizza margheritaaaaa or one more Roman ruin, my heads going to explode. Explode! I tell you. Next stop Locarno, Switzerland for half marathon number three.