I didn't expect to be so moved by Italy, to leave bits of my soul scattered over the countryside. Certainly it was overwhelming and beautiful and sacred, knowing everything that had sprouted from what we were seeing. But I wasn't just seeing the foundations of Western civilization — I was seeing the foundations of my sweetie, my wife, the love of my life. This is what she chose to devote her life to; this is what she came to Swarthmore to study (and thus why we met); this is why we moved together to Ann Arbor, and why we're here in Boston now. It was a privilege touring Italy with her, and while I recommend Rome and Florence and Ravenna to all of you, I selfishly feel your experience could never live up to mine: walking through the Forum Romanum with my giddy wife, her Blue Guide tucked under her arm and her brain bubbling over with True Facts of Antiquity.
Each night, when we got back to the hotel, I jotted down notes for the day. I've been using them to write the last six months of posts, but not everything got in. Below the cut are the out-of-context trimmings, because I thought it might be amusing to see just how much gelato we ate. Enjoy!
- Navigated pubtrans with ease, despite it being "4:30AM"
- Tasty pizza and bruschetta at Da Francesco, then overlong walk home along Tiber (due to running out of stairs up).
- Now, been up for 31 consecutive hours. Oh, sleep.
- Stumbled home exhausted, having failed to complete our other tasks: San Clemente and the catacombs. Soon! Successfully rode bus, only taking it the wrong direction for 2 stops.
- Staggered like drunks through night life of Trastevere, to find gelato and head back to sleep.
- Gelati for dessert (After Eight and deeply darkly glossy bilberry), gran monachella for caffè.
- Lunch at Luzzi, wedged beneath awnings on sidewalk — probably shouldn't've let waiter talk us into ravioli, but K did ask him how to find shakeratos in Italian, and they were perfetto. (Espresso drinks so cheap! Refreshing and quick at bar.)
- Very pleasant train ride through rolling hills and farmland. Altercation with snack car woman when I didn't have coins.
- Hot & crabby at hotel in Florence, but met Curleys for dinner and guided tour 'round Florence.
- Gecko on the Arno. Faboo gelati — mandarin & bilberry (mirtillo) for me.
- Train ride through limestone mountains; second half tense because a) crowded regional rail and b) not sure it would stop at Ravenna.
- Dinner again at Le Gardela; K. chose better than me (I got scalloppini al limone), but our antipasto was faboo (creamy cheese, sausage, piadini wedges). Gelati again (dark chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate mint). Home for postcard writing.