Thursday, May 19, 2016

Italy Part 1: Our Agriturismo and Orvieto

I'm behind, behind, behind!  I've been procrastinating on the blog a bit because I have so much from our trip to Italy.  So here goes my effort to post nearly everyday to try to catch up as trips keep a pilin' on.  

After about a thirteen hour trip by van from Germany with only two short stops, someone was happy to get out of the car!

 Actually, we all were!  It was quite the trip.  The minute we crossed the Swiss/Italian border things got a little crazy.  Who knew it was common for them to drive in the middle of two lanes?  And, here's another fun fact.  Italian cars don't have blinkers.  Well, that may not be a fact, but they definitely don't use them if they do have them.  Truly, we knew this, but I had forgotten since our long trek down to Rome for Bobby's baptism back in November,

We drove twenty minutes on a bumpy, narrow, windy, dirt road to reach our agriturismo, where we were staying.  Our friends were already there.  We got unloaded and went to a late dinner at the restaurant at the "resort."  The kids all wanted to sleep with their friends so we mixed and matched the kiddos between the two apartments.  We had a two bedroom, in which Brian and I had one room, the girls had the other (plus Judah in his pack-n-play.)  The sofa in the living area folded out and the oldest two boys slept there.  Bobby slept in his pack-n-play in our bathroom.  The other apartment had only one bedroom and a sleeper sofa, so the other three boys slept there with Bobby's godparents.

We stayed here.

Our friends stayed here, just across the gravel path.

The pool was just outside.
The next day we headed to Orvieto as soon as we got packed up and breakfast in everyone.  It was about 1.5 hours away, and parking was super easy which is always a big concern of mine with our giant van that doesn't fit in parking garages because it is too tall.  We parked by the fortress and walked up a typical European street toward the cathedral.

There was some wandering and in and out of shops on the way up.  We grabbed a little bite to eat across from the cathedral and then headed over there to see the "Miracle of Bolsena."

Gothic style cathedral

If you think you may have seen this hoodie before, you'd be right.  This girl lives in it.  She's probably wearing it in more than half of our travel pictures.

A little selfie with my travelling companion
Pretty daughter and pretty cool reliefs on the front of the cathedral.

Don't be too jealous of our travels.  We have our moments and meltdowns.  He probably just didn't want to hold daddy's hand or something.  

The cathedral did cost money to get into which seemed odd, but that is not the first time I've paid to get into a church before.  At the front of the church there were two side chapels.  On the right transept, the circular chapel was completely filled with beautiful artwork telling the stories of the Apacolypse and the Last Judement painted by Fra Angelica and Luca Signorelli.

LOVE this picture of V having such a dramatic conversation about the art with Isaac.

My precious conked out in the church.  Nothing more adorable than a sleeping baby.

And here's the real draw to Orvieto's cathedral.  The Eucharistic "Miracle of Bolsena." (Bolsena's a short drive away from Orvieto.)  A priest, celebrating Mass in Bolsena was doubting the true presence in the Eucharist when the host started bleeding.  He abruptly stopped Mass and took the stained corporal (small cloth on the altar) to Orvieto's cathedral where Pope Urban the IV was staying.  This was investigated and recognized as a private , meaning you are free to believe it or not as you choose.  The corporal has brought many pilgrims to the cathedral since it was moved here and enshrined in a marble tabernacle to venerate.

In the big marble tabernacle is the blood stained corporal.  I was trying to pray while Drew peppered me with questions.

The corporal had been folded and the blood seeped through making a pattern on the corporal.

One last picture of the beautiful facade of the cathedral.
Next the kids needed some gelato in their system to keep them motivated to walk back to the fortress.  Bobby's a big fan of the gelato, just like his brothers and sisters.

This guy sticks with the non-dairy sorbets, usually lemon flavored.

Love this picture of my Homemades with his cutie dimple and his sorbet

I did not know about this amazing fortress until we arrived in Orvieto.  It was truly amazing.  The view was breathtaking, and gave me more than one panic attack when the kids got too close to the edge for my comfort.

These two are two peas in a pod.  They talk nonstop the whole time we were walking around about the strangest things.  Both are very into fantasy and making up stories and games.  Such good friends.

Who doesn't want a picture of this beautiful guy on top of a fortress!

In the fortress was a playground.  That made a couple little guys very happy (mainly the two year olds,) but Bobby got some enjoyment out of it too when he had his first swinging experience ever.  It's just been too cold for me to brave a park since we moved out of the temporary lodging and into our house in December.  Back then he was too little to sit in a swing, but not so anymore.  He was a fan.

My godson!

Genevieve has quite the imagination.  She's got her imaginary bow and arrow set on some target.

A big fan of the swing

The kids also found a koi pond in the fortress.
And another child, another melt down.  But no worries, it's time to go back to the resort.  Well...after a quick stop at the grocery store...and a shoe store.  Poor guy was exhausted, but I liked that he went to the tree to have a good cry.

Stop taking pictures of me, Daddy.

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