Cortona - Here We Come

Trip Start Nov 16, 2010
Trip End Nov 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
Villa Bruni

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The film crew has already left for Italy and had reached safely. The weather was great, I was told. The last time I travelled by train in Europe, it was 2005 I was fitter and I didn't need reading glasses. I hate to admit but I was a bit nervous. Travelling by train in Europe was always fun for me so I was set for another adventure.

Well, got into Rome Aeroporto. Tha last time I was here was in 1999 . No major changes though. Took my bags and began to walk towards the train station to take the train to Rome treno station. But trains are a lot more complicated than before. I find out that Eurorail cannot be used for the Leonardo Express and I have to pay extra. I am given different instructions by different people and in the end , just bought the ticket and got into the train into Rome.

The platform for the train to Cortona had to be right the opposite end and I am lugging the luggage across the train station. The new blue bag I bought with its 6 rollers is making a squeaky sound. Clarissa rolls her eyes and keeps complaining that she cant seem to control the bag ( whiny teenagers!!!)

We get on the train and settle down. I am excited. I am in my favourite country.... As the train pulls off from the train slowly and builds its momentum into the countryside, I see the lovely Autumn colors on the right and left. I love train rides..

Because the trains to Camucia ( which is nearer to Cortona) are fewer, I decided to stop at Terontola and take a bus to Camucia. The train station as expected is quite deserted with mainly senior citizens who probably can't speak English. I managed to find a lady with a young daughter who was taking a bus to Camucia as well. The blue bag ( let me call it Doris) is heavy and I barely squeeze it between the seats. I tell myself before the trip that I am no longer a young girl back packing but a film producer but somehow the glitzy lifestyle is nowhere in sight especially when I have to lug Doris clumsily into the bus.
We get down at Camucia and hey immediately the bus to Terontola is there. We climbed up the bus dragging Doris and we are on a bus ride to Terontola. The sun is setting and hey we have to take this narrow windy road up to Cortona. Its a rustic provincial town overlooking the Tuscany sunset.

The bus stops at Piazza Garibaldi. I absolutely love the view from there but its dark now and deserted. Its November, not the tourist season, so its really quiet. I see a nice litte hotel which has a lovely view but its all closed up. The bar is empty except for Clarissa and myself. I order a nice hot chocolate for her and myself a nice lovely white italian wine while waiting for the boys to come pick us up.

the boys came 45 minutes later and they are complaining that the villa is in the middle of nowhere. It is their first outing to town since they arrive and they look cooped up, waiting to fly out and the first place they head for - the butcher shop where they buy sausages, bacon, eggs - no food at the villa?

We set off for the villa, the road is winding and after nearly 30 minutes, we take a sharp turn right into the woods. Its a bumpy dirt road for a few minutes and then we arrive. Typically European, its dimly litted ( in KL , everything is brightly litted up ), dark and the big huge villa looks pretty eerie. I am greeted by Yana , one of our lead actress, and as I walk in , the villa uncarpeted has a chilly draft. I walked down the narrow stairs and am greeted by a nice warm fireplace and the rest of the crew who heavily clothed is desperately trying to keep the fire going.

In the middle of nowhere, the centre of activity is the kitchen. Mama , ( the owner's Mother is a wonderful cook) is busy preparing dinner for a group of hungry Malaysians who is waiting with full anticipation. As we settle in for dinner which was typically Tuscan, homemade pasta, wonderful salad, I tucked in listening to the rest tell me of their time spent so far.
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