Lake Bolsena, a beautiful and surprisingly large volcanic lake, is a lovely 30-minute drive from Benano. On one of my first outings this week, I went to the largest town on the lake, conveniently – if not creatively – named Bolsena.
Jeff & Robin already had the GPS programmed to go to Bolsena, so I turned it on and let her guide me there. (Yes, Signora GPS speaks English.) She took me on a beautiful drive on country roads that provided occasional glimpses of the lake. I was taken aback, though, when Signora GPS directed me down what looked like a little driveway. I said, “oh, really?” and made the turn. I went down and down a small and windy road with the occasional home or church along the way. It was fascinating – a drive through Italy as is has been through the ages. I’m glad I didn’t miss it.
Pretty soon I was in a town, and when Signora GPS told me to make a particularly unlikely right turn, I said, “c’mon … no … REALLLY!?” As I paused to consider the turn, two other cars zipped onto the “road” in question from the other direction. So I did it and just kind of held my breath. It really wasn’t that bad, but it was a little exciting.
I found a good parking lot easily (and even remembered to buy my ticket and leave it on the dashboard), and headed into town.
This street boasts a fresh pasta store, two cheese and salami stores, and a stationery supply store that also sells the maps I wanted. There are also two butchers. But all these pale in comparison to the main event (for me) — the bakery that sells a delicious whole-wheat bread. May I be forgiven for complaining about any food in Italy, but the bread really doesn’t do much for me. So when our friend Jude turned us on to this bakery, I committed it to memory.
It was a very satisfying outing. I negotiated several transactions, and learned (for future reference) that my favorite bread is called “internale.” The best part of the morning was wandering that little street and absorbing the differences between life in Bolsena and what is so familiar to me.
Sugar Apple, one of my favorite blogs, has a terrific post about her trip to Bolsena: http://abigailblake.com/sugarapple/?p=1289. Don’t miss her photos of how the town comes alive as a resort in warmer weather. Very different from my morning there.
On the way home, I accidentally went a different way out of town, and the GPS accommodated my mistake. My return route, which took me through the very picturesque town of San Lorenzo Nuovo, was an even easier drive. It may have been just a tad longer, and it wasn’t nearly as exciting, but I never talked back to the GPS.