Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I was the first one up this morning, Richard was awake a little later and then he woke Dennie. Good thing because Emanuele arrived 15 minutes early for our Rome apartment checkout. Thankfully, Richard had realized that I made a 2 hour mistake as to when our train to Florence was. I called Emanuele yesterday afternoon and he was able to rearrange his schedule. He did a quick check through the apartment and finding nothing amiss, he returned our Security Deposit. Woo hoo.. a little extra cash to spend on the rest of the trip. It was a cloudy day and looked like rain with it being the same forecast in Florence. Our little elevator was stuck for the first time since we arrived. Richard carried his suitcase down the stairs and Emanuele carried mine. Dennie waited for us to get downstairs and send the elevator back up for him and his suitcase. We were going to walk over to the Piazza and catch a cab, but decided to just have Emanuele call a cab for us and we were on our way to Termini Train Station. We had 90 minutes before our train would leave for Florence.
Categories: Florence, Italy, Italy Updates, Travel
Tags: Arno River, Florence, Florence Cathedral, Italy, Oltrarno, Palazzo Pitti, Piazza della Passera, Piazzale Michelangelo, Pitti Palace, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Maria Novella, Santo Spirtio, The Accademia, The David, The Duomo, Travel, Uffizi Gallery
While Rome was not my first choice of places to visit in Italy, I tended to agree with the sentiment; ‘If you are going to Italy, you should see Rome’. So see Rome I did. Well, some of it anyway. One of the reasons that I wasn’t real interested in the city was I knew that it was going to be very busy, congested, loud, crowded, lots of traffic, did I mention lots of people?!? I am not a crowd type of person. I don’t have the patience for it. Nor do I like feeling as though I am part of a herd of cattle. I don’t like the ‘every man for himself’ concept of pushing and shoving. I don’t like the rudeness that it brings out in myself as a result of this. I just plain don’t like crowds.
I started planning the trip a little over a year before we were to leave. Considering the cost of airfare, it seemed that to only travel to Venice for a week wouldn’t be cost effective. Why not include another stop as well and make it a 2 week trip? But where to go? Of course the Big Three are Rome, Florence and Venice. But I started looking at other locations like Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Salerno, and The Italian Riviera. Yes, I was all over the map until common sense, logistics and cost won out and it was decided that the Big Three would be the perfect trip. However, I really wasn’t too excited about Rome. It seemed so spread out, so busy, so much traffic, but I would concede to the idea ‘It would be silly to go to Italy and not see Rome.’ I had a feeling that Florence would be more my style but, the real interest for me was Venice.
8 Days. In just 8 days I will be on my way to Roma, Italy. I am having a difficult time believing it is actually happening. I mean, after all these years, is it really and truly almost time to leave? Although the dream was of course, to visit Venice, that will be in 16 days. Continue reading
When I watch a program about places such as the Vatican, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon, how Rome was built as well as places like Saint Mark’s Square or the Doge’s Palace, I certainly appreciate the grandeur, the beauty and the history. I am taken aback by the power and wealth that built them. I marvel at the engineering that went into these places so long ago. I am amazed that despite being 2000 years old, their ideas are the basis for structures still today with all of our advances. And there it ends. It leaves me cold. I don’t think about it much after that.
On the other hand, last year I watched a special filmed in the (what was)forgotten town of Matera, I watched the slow reincarnation of this ancient town by some of its young inhabitants whose ancestors once lived in these cave dwellings. I have watched women in the Umbria region walking through a field picking the tiny Saffron flower. I watched a woman work a loom hundreds of years old, the same loom her ancestors used. I watched artisans repairing mosaic pieces from local churches in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence, one tiny piece by tiny piece. I watched a proprietor cut huge pieces of beef, cook each one himself and serve it with such pride in his tiny dining room. These things made me feel. They move me. They speak to me. They create a warmth in my soul. They make me misty eyed. They make me have to experience Italy.
I mentioned in my last post that I am feeling a bit unprepared for my trip, despite my having had a very long time to prepare. I am an experienced traveler as a my friend Deb pointed out, so why am I feeling like this? Why do I feel like I am not ready, and unorganized? Continue reading