Torre Delle Saline & Orbetello

One of my favorite things about working in Italy (actually there are many favorite things but I am going to talk about one)is the chance to visit cities and places that are off the beaten track. That is what I am going to talk about today. The summary of it will be: Italy is full of beautiful places and too many to visit when you come for just a cruise or week long trip.

We live in Albinia, a frazione of Orbetello north of Cosa (frazione is like a neighborhood of a city- like Hyde Park is to Boston or Congress Park is to Denver, although there really is no good equivalent in the US). Anyway, we live here and it is about 3,000 people so there are several supermarkets, stores, and restaurants in the town. It is a small town but a nice one to live in.

Actually to be specific we live just a ten minute walk from the centro in the Torre delle Saline, a fort built in the 15th century as part of a defensive network for the State of the Presidi to help guard the Via Aurelia and the coast in this area. In was converted into a museum and offices for the Soprindentenza when they are working in this area. The top floor of the offices has a small apartment with two rooms and a shower. We fit 11 people in here (with 3 in the giant common room, myself included in those numbers). There is a battlement with two towers and an awesome courtyard, luckily because Italy is so warm the courtyard becomes another room for us to use. It also never gets really hot in the Torre because of the giant stone walls.

It is also nice to live in a ton with a railroad running through it and buses that run more often than Vescovado. Because of that yesterday after helping Jay clean out the Curia and Mithraeum for his project, I was able to travel to Orbetello in the afternoon with Nora and Ann. Orbetello is a town out on the center spit of land that was built up in modern times to make it easier to get to the city. While it has some evidence of Etruscan habitation, it lost its importance when Rome built Cosa. We got there around Seista time so not much was open but there was an amazing outdoor market that spread through the town. They had mostly antique stands (one of which had an awesome Birra Moretti sign) and they also had some local artists, one of them, Cat, painted animals on ceramic cups and key holders.

We mostly just relaxed and wandered around the city (the one museum was closed). We looked at the lagoon and watched fishermen. It was a very nice stroll. We also got cocktail at an awesome bar, Bar del Corso. Italians really do aperitivo well. It is a pre-dinner cocktail (I got a aperol spritz), where you have a drink and some snacks (which they give you for free cause you shouldn’t drink without eating in Italian culture). It is very relaxing and we got to people watch. I don’t know if it is a summer only thing but it is nice to take part it in.

It was a great Saturday and today I spent mostly doing chores and about an hour on the beach. We left the beach when we heard thunder. That is all for now, I really should stop typing and start making porcini mushroom risotto (supposedly a local recipe I found on an Italian food blog).

 

Ciao.

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About handyatmurlo

I am a Latin teacher at Regis Jesuit High School. I earned my MA at CU Boulder and my BA at UMass Amherst. I have spent my summers working in Italy as an archaeologist at three different sites. One I have worked at for 10 years at Poggio Civitate at Vescovado di Murlo. I have worked at the Villa of Maxentius in Rome for 2 years, before the project ended. I also spent 2 summers at the FSU excavations in Cosa.
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