After a fun-filled weekend at the seaside with t-mans cousin & his awesome German girlfriend we headed back to Firenze on Sunday morning so that we could attend a classical-guitar concert later that evening. It could have been Christmas as far as my boyfriend was concerned, he is extremely passionate – almost too much so, about playing the classical guitar so this was definitely not something we were going to miss. We brought along his parents and a few of my friends, Nico, Rob & Kate to partake in a musical night under the stars lost in the Tuscan countryside.
The location was about 40 minutes away from our house, in the localita Vaglia which might as well have been on Mars, even the GPS was confused. The last kilometer and a half was a strada sterrata or unpaved street which proved for a very silent 10 minutes in the car as we all prayed t-mans small Peugeot would make it. Keeping in mind that my friend Katey is pregnant meant that even an atheist would have been one of god’s faithful in that moment. The climax was when t-man’s mom jumped out of the car and started yelling in the air at no’one in particular about how none of us knew where we were going even after I stopped several cars to ask if they were on the same path to the concert and was confirmed. One Italian mamma freak-out later, we somehow managed to arrive in one piece.
We were quite surprised to see such a nice turnout despite the very hidden location and were greeted by this table of kids accepting payment for the concert. They were absolutely adorable and even one the little boys happily wished us buon appetito and a great night. Cute! Included before the concert was aperitivo so in true Italian style, we acted fast and grabbed plates to dig into delcious salt-cake, roasted peppers, eggplant on bruschetta and washed down with white sangria. It was perfect. Being that we were in up in the countryside the weather was actually quite cold, we were all very thankful to have brought sweaters even though it was smack dab in the middle of July. Even so, I got a fun lecture from t-mans mom about why I should leave sweaters & blankets in the trunk of the car. Just in case.
There were mis-matched chairs set up for us and all sorts of pets roaming around during the concert – including cats with tails, cats without tails, ugly puppies, cute puppies and from the distance we even thought we saw a fox. Then the person with the sharpest vision pointed out that it was not a fox but rather a deer. Woops! T-mans parents enjoyed chatting with my friends and fawning over Katey’s unborn baby. We learned that apparently there is an Italian saying that the more protruding your belly is during pregnancy, the less likely it will be that your future child will go off to war. Good news and a great way to make a woman feel less self conscious. After sitting down, our ears were treated to such gorgeous melodies that I honestly had to admit t-man does have a point. Alexander plays with such passion and you can immediately tell this a man who’s life exists around classical guitar, thus everyone was entranced. A little back-story- he grew up in Russia and got his diploma in Moscow and taught music there before moving to Italy in 2000 and eventually becoming t-mans idol. Why is it that Russians seem to always make such amazing classical musicians?
The music performed was a mix of classical – Bach & Russian folk music (amazing). After the concert came dinner – which consisted of a delicious pasta al forno with fragrant sausage, an avena & onion soup which was magnificant and a sformatino ( zucchini & cheese with a hint of mint) and oven-cooked veggies with spices. Wine was plentiful and for dessert we had a scrumptious rice-pudding with peaches and a sesame-cake. Everything was top notch and the only one to eat more than t-man was possibly his dad. Like father like son. We somehow made it back down the dirt-road with Rob’s help – and we had to admit, it was truly the perfect end to a relaxing weekend. I can finally understand why t-man spends so much free time practicing his music and will make a point of harassing him less about it, maybe. It actually makes me wish that I myself was musically talented, in another lifetime perhaps.
The program of the concert (and menu) is pictured below. I also included my favorite video of Alexander playing on youtube. Enjoy!