We’ve arrived in Italia! And oh, it’s pretty here.
Spent a few days in Roma as an early birthday present! Had an amazing time.
J and a truck. Yes, folks, that’s a truck. It only has 3 wheels.
Also on transportation: The public transport system here is extensive, but unfortunately non-user friendly. We progress through the stay with a series of wrong trains, missed trains, trains closed for the night, trams up, trams down, and some pretty serious hopping on and off of busses which may or may not take us where we want to go. Asking old ladies on the street does not always help!!
We still manage to see the sights – Chiesa did San Ignazia de Loyola (above), hiding from the rain in the Pantheon (where lies a famous ninja turtle!), the Colloseum lit up at night, and many many tiny little streets we spent our days wandering.
Roma exceeds all our expectations, although we choose to avoid the walking tour when we encountered this at the Spanish Steps:
Aye! When we’d had enough o the tourists, we took the train out to Umbria (the wilder version of Tuscany, we hear) and arrived at Gudiolo, the beautiful home of Madeleine, a wonderful, vibrant Chilean woman who talks a mile a minute in several different languages about art, politics, films, education, and everything in between. Here less than an hour and were invited to tag along to a book opening at a local castle-turned-art-colony. But it gets better. Said book turned out to be about local produce, farming, and traditional foods, and was followed by a reception in the castle garden featuring tables set up by local producers – honey, wine, truffles, cheese, sausages, deliciousness. . . We have died and gone to heaven. We help clean up the yard/garden/olive trees after a terribly dry summer, play in the kitchen, and I put my Beadazzled skills to use fixing up some of her jewelry! In return, she introduces us to her friends and family – a lively, artistic, intellectual bunch from all over the world (including our meeting some of the art fellows currently at the castle!) and feeds us like only Italy knows how.
Lunchtime at Gudiolo and Back alley jam strikes again! Gudiolo fig with ginger spice.
More on Gudiolo in a future post. For now, thank you to everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes! Celebrated here with a film/photography presentation at the castle followed by a delicious dinner of fresh ravioli with a group of friends. Molto buono!