We have been in Montepulciano for three weeks. Due to COVID and cooler weather, we go out sparingly. We go to the supermercato and some other stores for food. We have tried two pizza places for “fast food” to take home. I did not come to Italy for pizza, but we have found a place close to the apartment for a quick take home. There is also a nearby bakery with wonderfully crusty and flavorful bread.
In the distance to the east, we can see snowcapped mountains. Between the mountains and our location is Assisi and Perugia. Next week we will have a car and begin to consider day trips – Siena, Assist, Perugia, Montalcino, and other towns of interest are an easy drive. Having been tourists, and in Italy during tourist season, there are some locations that we want to visit before the crowds arrive. We are hoping that the great surge of COVID will abate and we will be able to move about without great worry of exposure.
We find shopping to be an adjustment, because Italian quantities are smaller. This may be in part to smaller storage and smaller refrigeration options. We generally do not buy more than three days ahead, if that. Making the conversion to metric is also a shift that takes some thought. Fresh milk needs to be drank quickly, but there is also milk that until it is open that may stay in the container without refrigeration. The farmer’s market continues in the winter, with several meat and fish stands, bread and bakery offerings, cheeses, and a fair variety of vegetables. It is nice to have ready access to fennel (finocchio). We have not found a great variety of spices, which has been a surprise.
We have a washer but not a dryer, so we join with our neighbors and hang our clothes and sheets on a line off our balcony. While a bit more effort, there is a freshness of those clothes. It also causes one to watch the weather and predictions of rain, especially if one needs to have sheets and towels to be dry for use by the end of the day.