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Sorry to hear that Jim and fingers crossed for Diana, and indeed your Roman friends. Get well soon!

Zurers in Italy 2022: Monday: May 9
Day 14: Montepulciano: A BRIEF UPDATE​

Just to let you know that we are isolating in a beautiful setting near Montepulciano...


I tested positive this morning, Diana tested negative but she is coughing and this is a Covid symptom. My main symptom now is a very sore throat but our temperatures are normal and our blood oxygen levels are ideal. Now we are just waiting to feel better and test negative.

Our hosts are very accommodating and helpful and we are comfortable, save for our Covid symptoms.

Thanks for all your notes of support and concern.

More reports to come.

Jim and Diana
Sorry to hear this Jim. Tommaso tested positive a few days ago with mainly a sore throat. I'm glad you get to isolate in a beautiful setting and your hosts are accommodating. Cathy Nyhan
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Sorry to hear this Jim. Tommaso tested positive a few days ago with mainly a sore throat. I'm glad you get to isolate in a beautiful setting and your hosts are accommodating. Cathy Nyhan
Thanks Cathy...I hope we are on the mend.

Happy birthday and have a great trip to Sicily. Let me know if you need any recommendations. Where are you going to be?

Zurers in Italy 2022: Tuesday: May 10
Day 15: Montepulciano​

Another long day in isolation...the weather is beautiful again. This is a very lovely place. Here are some photos of our building (we have an upstairs apartment), the patio, and our "loggia"





We slept very well...this covid stuff really takes it out of you but we both think we feel a little better than we did yesterday. Before breakfast today, we self-tested again...I was positive for the third day in a row and Diana's test came up positive for the first time (but she had probably already been infected previously).

So here we sit....for breakfast, we had good toasted Tuscan bread with mozzarella for me and butter and jam for Diana. We spend some time outside on the lawn enjoying the sun--Diana working on her piecing and reading an Elmore Leonard book, me on the computer researching about covid and English-speaking doctors (just in case.)

We are spending a lot of time discussing whether to report ourselves to the local covid medical establishment and get into their system which would make us beholden to their mandatory quarantine regulations--at least seven days until you can submit a (hopefully) negative test and get sprung. Since we still have relatively mild symptoms and are double boosted, our internist at home has advised that we should wait it out and not try to seek treatment with antivirals (like paxlovid). This has provoked much lively discussion on the family What's App chat.

Our late lunch is delicious prosciutto paired with the excellent mozzarella on the good Tuscan bread. Then back out on our loggia and on the lawn for more reading, piecing, and interneting.



This tires us out so much that we decide we need a rest and lie down for a while...some sleeping, some reading, some internet surfing.

It's still beautiful outside at 6 pm so we are now back out on our loggia writing emails and reading the newspapers.

Tonight for dinner, we are ordering from a nearby trattoria and our hosts will go and pick up the meal. We can look forward to after dinner when we will watch some TV on the computer (no TV here). Now watching the new season of Bosch. How exciting does that sound...

Tomorrow, we will probably do exactly the same thing. Stay well everyone.

Jim and Diana
Tonight for dinner, we are ordering from a nearby trattoria and our hosts will go and pick up the meal.
Good idea! When we stayed nearby at Sant Antonio a few years ago, there was a good place to get prepared foods. It was in a small strip mall at an intersection east of Montepulciano where you turn for the road to the town. There was a fruit and vegetable place plus this prepared foods place next door, owned by the same family. We got dinner from there a few times.

Zurers in Italy 2022: Wednesday: May 11
Day 16: Montepulciano​

Another beautiful day in the Montepulciano countryside.....

I wanted to report on our dinner last night....after cooking two nights in row--pasta in tomato sauce one night, chicken thighs (bone-in but skinless from the supermarket)--our hosts suggested we get dinner from the local trattoria, Le Tre Stelle, and they offered to pick it up for us. It was a good idea but I don't think Italian food travels well, at least last night's didn't. The best dish was Diana's lamb chops and we had a nice white wine and we have lots of leftovers to use for upcoming meals. We didn't starve to death....

We slept pretty well last night and decided to take a day off from testing. I think we both felt a little better than we had yesterday so we hope that we are making progress.

After breakfast, we go out on the loggia to read and answer correspondence. Diana continues hand piecing the quilt blocks she is working on and we both enjoy the sun. Lunch is porchetta sandwiches that our hosts bring us from the local market--excellent. After lunch, our big activity is to do a laundry in the washing machine in the next-door (empty) apartment and hang the clothes out to dry on a rack on the loggia.

By then we need a rest.....

Late in the afternoon, we talk with the owner about the travel business and I start cooking the farro for dinner tonight.

At 7 pm, it is still extremely pleasant sitting on the loggia...we couldn't have asked for better weather.

This is the third full day of our self-isolation...it's hard to predict how many more we will have.

We are not expecting much of a change in tomorrow's schedule but we are grateful to be able to ride out our covid experience in relative comfort.

Jim and Diana

Zurers in Italy 2022: Friday: May 13
Day 18: Montepulciano: A QUICK UPDATE​

It's Friday morning...another beautiful day. Yesterday played out about the same as the day before and the day before, though I did go out for a short walk on the road.

We both tested positive this morning...not surprising but disappointing. We are still exhibiting mild symptoms but definitely milder than three or four days ago.

We continue to be grateful to be able to self-isolate in such beautiful surroundings with such wonderful support from our hosts.

But we would rather test negative and get on with our trip.

Thanks also to everyone who has sent messages and notes. We really appreciate reading them.

Jim and Diana

Zurers in Italy 2022: Saturday: May 14
Day 19: Montepulciano: UPDATE​

Today is Diana's birthday and to celebrate the day while in self-isolation, our hosts--Pamela Sheldon Johns and her husband Johnny Johns--have gone all out to make a festive birthday lunch. The lunch is served on their patio which has until now been out of bounds ... they have set the table beautifully and set up the traditional birthday flowers sent by our family to mark the day. (Since we always travel to Italy in May, Diana has celebrated her birthday here almost every year since 1993 and the flowers are an annual occurrence.)

Birthday lunch table.jpg

Diana at birthday lunch table.jpeg

There are some Covid-related procedures. We're to be masked whenever they come out to bring the food or chat, we clean our plates off into a specified garbage can and then put all the dishes and utensils into another soapy water-filled container.

The meal is amazing ... starting with prosecco and two kinds of crostini with chicken liver spread and beans, and raw vegetable strips in an olive oil bath (pinzimonio). This is followed by some delicate deep-fried leaves and flowers (from the trees around the patio) and fried dough wrapped in prosciutto. Next asparagus in an asparagus puree topped with a soft boiled egg. We then move to tagliatelle cacio e pepe and some local red wine. Pamela made the pasta this morning. Next, we are served roast chicken drizzled with fine balsamic vinegar, excellent roasted potatoes, sauteed artichokes, and a small salad. Dessert is a torta della nonna accompanied by homemade strawberry gelato. A feast .. we can't thank Pamela and Johnny enough for making the day so very special.

Birthday lunch toast cropped.jpg

A nap was definitely in order after the meal and then we do another self-test. To make the day even more special, after a nerve-wracking twenty minutes, my test shows negative .... amazing!!! Diana's is still positive but she was a day or two behind me in symptoms and her positive test. Maybe tomorrow.....

We then zoom with our sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren in the late afternoon ... it is great to see and talk with all of them.

Tomorrow I may go fill up the gas tank and go to the store. What a concept ... and we will hope for a negative test for Diana. Thanks for all the birthday wishes.

Jim and Diana
Fingers crossed for Diana's test tomorrow, and that sounds like a wonderful meal.

Zurers in Italy 2022: Sunday: May 15​

Day 20: Montepulciano​

The day after the birthday extravaganza has been a very quiet and very long day. We are definitely ready to get out of limbo. The weather was gorgeous today but we really did nothing but read, piece a quilt block, and do computer stuff.

The only thing we have to report is that Diana tested positive again which didn't lessen our antsiness.

We did want to tell you that the beautiful place where we are staying is called Poggio Etrusco, located between Montepulciano and Chianciano Terme.


We wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to stay in a lovely location with extremely welcoming hosts. We can't thank Pamela Sheldon Johns and Johnny Johns enough for their gracious hospitality towards us during a very difficult time.

We are reluctantly going to cancel our upcoming stay in Florence (it was to start on Tuesday) and we will stay here until Friday when we head for Rome.

Looking forward to a negative test for Diana tomorrow...

Jim and Diana
That sounds like a very sensible change of plan.

Zurers in Italy 2022: Monday: May 16

Sadly, we both tested positive today...so my negative test the other day was presumably a "false" negative. Our symptoms are definitely much improved from when we arrived last Sunday but we are not quite well yet. We were both more wiped out today than on previous days--perhaps the result of fighting the virus for more than a week. We did do a laundry.

(I think I have gotten the hang of this positive/negative terminology.)

We are disappointed but hope for better results tomorrow. It was another beautiful day....we could not have asked for better weather for our trip, but unfortunately, we haven't been able to take advantage of it.

Jim and Diana
(I think I have gotten the hang of this positive/negative terminology.)
Jim has been emailing me his trip reports and I post them. Twice he has said positive test when he meant negative and I corrected it. It is confusing!

This is all so frustrating! First to have this happen when on vacation. Second to not be at home. When I am unwell, I just want to be at home!

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