When I think of Pienza...I think of penne alla vodka. I think of the smell of cheese wafting through the brown-walled streets. I think of quietness and bright Tuscan sunshine over the most beautiful vistas. Quintessential Tuscany. When I was in Pienza, I was studying abroad and I remember not being able to get over the view of the rolling hills of the countryside - the screeching birds that were flying in and out of eyesight. We had a once-in-a-lifetime lunch of penne alla vodka, among other things that I can't remember, made by monks in a monastery.
It was something that I think back on now and wonder, how did I not write down the name of the place? Maybe all that matters is somehow I finagled the recipe out of someone who spoke to someone - and I can make the penne alla vodka all by myself here! I doubt it will be anything close to that experience though. We watched a mid afternoon thunderstorm roll by through the windows, and ate our lunches happily - "we" being some of the best friends I have ever made in my life.