But, since it’s looking less and less like I’ll have the time to do a good moosen-esque side project with these pics, (for those of you just joining us, Lisa and I are picking up and moving to Albany this Sunday – not a whole heckuvalotta packing time) I feel like I want to get at least some of our itinerary down for the history books. While the coffee’s a-brewin’, maybe I’ll do that.
I. We flew into Rome (notice the roman numerals) on the 12th, bright-eyed, bushytailed and ready to dive right into our touristy goodness. Instead, we had to catch a train. Which brought us to
II. Florence a few hours, and one train transfer, later. Flo was to be our home for five nights, and the Globus Hotel was to be our hat hook. From our window, you could look strait out to the bell tower of Santa Maria Novella, or you could look down onto the San Lorenzo Piazza, where the world gets its necessary supply of Pinocchio toys and naked David boxer shorts.
In one day in Florence, we just about killed ourselves by first climbing 436 steps to the top of the Duomo, and then getting lost in the Boboli Gardens. We found our way back by following the smell of gelato. On one of our last days, we took a day trip to Pisa, where I looked everywhere for a souvenir tower that had been pushed straight by the evil Superman.
III. I don’t think anyone can doubt the influence Lisa’s grandfather had on her family and community, but during the succeeding two days, it became apparent how globally that influence stretched. In a distant suburb of Milan, Lisa and I were lucky enough to stay with old family friends and former patients of the late Dr. Leberer. Our 90+ year old hosts pulled no punches in their praise of lisa and her family, and had even erected a monument in her grandfather’s memory. We only found it at the end of a long and misquito-ey walk, but it was worth it, and I think her grandmother will appreciate the stalks of lavender we pulled along the way.
IV. Siena, friends, is my kind of tiny, ancient, wine-laden, European town. We agreed with each other, She and I. And though I think that had we stayed another two or three days there, we would have found ourselves somewhat restless (even bored), our two nights there were among my favorite throughout the entire trip. We even took a wine tour.
We spent one morning at the Cantina in Piazza, an area enoteca, among people who know more about wine than I do about anything. Turns out ’97 was an excellent year for the Chianti region, by the way. Now you’ve learned something too.
V. On to Rome, the Disneyland of Italy. The last five days of our trip were awesome, not only because we were in FREAKIN’ ROME, but because by then, we’d found our speed. Yes, that’s right; we’d adopted the afternoon nap. See, in Italy, everything shuts down between 3 and 6 or so. Dinner is eaten late, usually around 9pm, but that’s fine because the intelligent people took advantage of their hotel room balconies, where they’d read and snooze and get buzzed on prosecco before the evening came. Man, I love America, but a country where there’s an instituted nap time, and topless women in the TV commercials is doing something right.