As per usual, I haven't been keeping up with this thing. There are a number of exciting adventures to write about but lets just skip to the most recent one. My mom just dubbed them the 'Prosecco Ladies.'
We are in the middle of wedding planning. No, not the middle. Approaching the finish line, at least with regards to time, but with way too much left to do! Yesterday Gianluca dropped me in town (he was doing other errands) and I was going to get photos developed, go to the organic food coop, check in on the progress of my wedding dress alterations, and stop by the ring maker's shop. Conveniently, all of these things are on the same street.
I went and made my order for the photos, and it would be about a 15 minute wait. Next stop was going to be seamstress. However, I noticed I was only across the street from the ring maker, and I thought that while I was waiting for the photos, I can stop in and talk with him (he's the same guy who Gianluca had make my gorgeous engagement ring). Two birds with one stone! At least with regards to time. Oh, little did I know what would happen next.
So, I went into the little crooked ancient ally way where the ring maker's shop was. You wouldn't know it was there, well, unless you knew it was there. But luckily I did, so all's well. I had a nice chat with Giancarlo (ring maker) about wedding rings, and told him what we were thinking, and he said that would be no problem. I told him that before he made them, maybe double checking with Gianluca would be good, just to make sure we are all on the same page. But I didn't know how long he would be, so maybe another day. Well Giancarlo decided that we should wait for him, and drink a glass of wine until he arrived. Hm. A little strange, right? At least by American standards. Maybe in Italy it is perfectly normal to drink wine with Giancarlo the goldsmith while waiting for your fiance to call.
He led me into the back room where he makes the rings, and there were two ladies in there with a bottle of prosecco. I guess he had some other customers to deal with, so I introduced myself to these Italian Prosecco Ladies, they poured me a big glass, sat me down with them, and instantly were my best friends. They didn't speak a lick of English, which is fine, because when the wine flows so does my tongue in Italian! They are the hootin' and hollerin', talking about dirty things with everyone kind of women. In their fifties but don't look a day over 40. Dressed much more stylish than me, with hair (and haircuts) and figures that I was envious of. Giancarlo the ring maker wandered in and out, and at one point he dialed a number on his phone and handed it to me. Apparently I was supposed to talk in English with the random Italian guy on the phone. However, at that moment, Gianluca called to say he was done, and was coming to the ring shop. Everyone then made a toast at that. Oh, and they were making toasts to everything in the world about every five minutes before that. Gianluca showed up and the Prosecco Ladies were very excited to meet him. Giancarlo the ring maker then brought out several more bottles of prosecco and opened them up, and then a older, round man walked in and sat down with us for the drinkin' and whatever else kind of ruckus was going on in that back room where we were. He seemed quite fascinated that I was American, and asked me about the house prices in Miami, Florida. I of course don't know a lick about Miami, but asked him if he wanted a house there. He said that he was too poor for that, and was also afraid of flying.
I found out later that while his fear of flying and travel might be true, he ain't poor. Apparently he is the richest guy in the region, and very well known. He owns most of the land, and whole mountains even! So that was was kind of amusing to find out.
Then a pie got brought out. Rather, a crostata, because they don't have pie here. A crostata is more like a tart, with a crust that is more cookie like, and they are always open faced. It had a creamy base, with strawberries on top. we licked the tasty crostata off paper towels, passed around the continuously full glasses of prosecco, and the Prosecco ladies kept the party alive!
By this point, the whole afternoon had passed, all the shops that I intended to go to were closed, and we had a hard time walking in a straight line. So, time to get down to business, obviously, with the rings. And so we did.
And apparently I've promised to make pie for all, for another backroom prosecco and pie party in the back room of Giancarlo the ring maker, in three weeks.
Oh, and The Prosecco Ladies said they'd be my Italian mommas if I need them!
This is why life in Italy is great. You never know, when you stop by a respected goldsmith's shop, when you will end up drinking away the afternoon and eating crostata with new friends in the back room where rings are made.