Halfway through the walk, busy Piazza del Comune and those promised tourists came into view. By then we were ready for lunch so I scouted around for a fitting restaurant. Not wanting to eat right on the square (usually more crowded, more expensive, and less value), I checked out several adjacent alleys. I found a perfect looking trattoria in a small alley just off the piazza: Taverna dei Consoli.
A few steps led up through the entrance. Inside the door, we found we were eye-level to an open window into the kitchen; heads of busy chefs bobbed in and out of view. Over the window was posted a sign that translated loosely as, “Beware of the war zone.” Laughing with the cooks, we followed the waiter up and out onto a lovely terrace that –surprise! — overlooked the piazza. We were eating on the piazza after all, but from above.
The food and wine were excellent and our bird’s-eye view of the fountain and lively action swirling below was an unexpected treat.
Continuing on, we were now in the thick of souvenir heaven; we readily succumbed to the shopping frenzy and made a few purchases ourselves. A woman sitting at a sewing machine in front of a shop called me over by asking my name. Zip zip zip — in a flash she presented me with a paper on which she had sewn “Melinda” in pretty red thread. This almost drew me inside to buy a personalized apron or towel until I remembered — I don’t cook!