Straw Hats and Statues


Piazza Della Signoria in Florence

Gelato and Michelangelo.

IMG_0587Ok. So where have I been and where are my pictures? Last night I had planned to do a trip update, complete with pictures. Unfortunately, the wireless hotspot in my hotel was only available in the lobby and my vodafone connection was weak and kept shutting off. Must be because my room is in the very old section of a Tuscan villa that was originally a monastery. My room is an old monk’s quarters. I wonder how many lonely monk nights were spent in this room…. if only the walls could talk.

The view outside my room is of the Tuscan hillside and as I write this there is deafening silence. I hear nothing but the clock ticking. I have the window wide open and there is a gentle Tuscan breeze that is most welcome after the sweltering heat of yesterday.  Friday we spent in Cinque Terre trotting about the trails and hillsides between the five towns that hang on the sea cliffs on the Ligurian coastline. What a spectacular sight this was. There were many many steps up and down, to and fro the train that connect the towns to each other.

Here is where I tasted anchovies as they should taste. Fresh from the sea, soaked in lemon and fresh as springtime. Not at all like the nasty anchovies that live on pizza back home. I also had some wonderful strawberry gelato scooped up for me by this dashing Italian man that looked like he should have been featured on the pages of GQ. I told him in my limited Italian that I was hot today. He said. “Me too” with a great big smile. Later when we were on the bus, a friend and I were talking about the ice cream man and another tour companion mentioned she had seen him too. I think all the American women who come to Vernazza must already know about Gelato man.

On Saturday we did a walking tour of Florence. I stood in the main square and tears came to my eyes as I saw history unfolding in front of me. So many amazing things packed into Florence, hard to comprehend. I’ll write more on this tomorrow and share photos. Buona notte.

Time and Time Again

So I’ve now been flying over 10 hours and I have to say its really not been that bad thanks to my trusty iPad. I have spent many hours watching “The Good Wife”, a television series I hadn’t watched before. I don’t watch much television so these kinds of trips give me an opportunity to catch up. Last time I went to Europe I watched multiple episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. While waiting to board the plane at LAX, I met a young Italian woman from Venice, going home to visit her mother and grandmother. Interestingly she is attending Occidental College in Eagle Rock. This is the same college my grandmother attended. Time does stand still sometimes. Especially on airplanes.


On Your Mark. Get Ready Italy!

With just a week to go before my trip I’m scurrying around trying to get last minute details finished and tucked away.  So much to do.  Of course I’ve left all the disagreeable things about traveling to the last minute.  After all, who really likes to call the credit card companies to alert them you will be out of the country? I don’t really like talking to automated telephone systems and hate typing in my credit card number…. only to be asked for it when the next available operator takes my call.  Over the last week I’ve been getting the lists of “must do’s” and “want to do’s” put together….with the help of my marvelous Facebook friends.  One in particular, Judy Witts Francini, has been so helpful and has endured many of my question sessions.  Thank you Judy!!!  Last week I discovered that the Firenze Gelato Festival will be going on while I am there. Could anything be more perfect?  I think this makes up for the disagreeable things I’m taking care of this week.  Don’t you?