Living (and writing about) the Law of Attraction!

Posts tagged ‘Rome’

Insights From Italy – Day 3: Off to our Tuscan Villa

Sunrise over the Colosseum

We did it! According to plan, we got up at 5:00 AM and got ready for early morning sightseeing. It’s a great way to beat the tourists and experience Rome’s local flavor—men and women waiting at the street corners, rushing for transit, picking up the morning paper or standing at the coffee bar tipping back thimbles full of thick, dark expresso.

Since we were in the famed city, we decided to do as Romans do and walked into one of the many coffee-bars open at six in the morning. Standing at the long marble bar, we each ordered croissants and Ron, a cappuccino.

There are no tables or chairs inside, but several outside sat empty waiting for the tourists. Local patrons are in and out of those small establishments very quickly, making room for a new rush. There’s some light conversation and polite greetings, but no one’s there for a lengthy visit. Coffee is served lukewarm and consumed quickly. “Buongiorno” “ciao” (pronounced chow) and “arriviederci” echo endlessly.

The croissants were delicious, sliced in half and filled with a creamy custard. The cappuccino was, in Ron’s opinion, one of the best he’s ever had. The best part…the whole experience was surprisingly inexpensive—€2.60 was the total bill.

Speaking of good surprises, on our way to Tuscany, we stopped at a little pizzeria in the Monti Sabatini area and thought we were ordering a slice or small individual pizza (considering the prices on the menu ranged from €3.00 – €7.00) We were shocked when the waitress brought us each our own 14 inch pizza.

Groceries are cheap in Italy, too, it you know where to shop. We found a grocery store on our way to our villa in Tuscany and stocked up on bread, cheese, 2 bottles of wine, a six pack of water, fresh tomatoes and fruit. It all came to just over €15.00.

Our Tuscan villa is charming. Called the “Libraria,” it has a sitting room with books flanking a marble fireplace, a cute kitchen, separate bedroom, and our own very private balcony, overlooking rolling hills dotted with Cyprus trees. Shortly after arriving, we met Riccardo and Sherry, the owners, and a cat named Mowgli.

Mowgli

Mowgli’s back to visit us again. We had to open the windows to clear the smoke after lighting the fire and the lithe black cat with bright yellow eyes jumped right in and made himself at home, purring on the sofa beside us as we relax, listen to music and enjoy the crackling fire.

rental car

I can’t sign off without mentioning our mode of transportation. Our rental is a cute little Chevy Spark—without a doubt the smallest car I’ve ever been in. We fit right in with all the little Fiats and Smart cars on the roads. In fact, every car manufacturer is represented on the streets of Italy’s towns and cities—just in smaller models than we are used to seeing in Canada. And despite the warnings about drivers in Italy, we braved the streets and freeways and toll highways and found our way out of Rome and into the much quieter countryside of Tuscany. We’re looking forward to a day of sightseeing tomorrow around Siena.

Internet connection is not as common as you’d think here, so these posts may be coming irregularly. Even so, I’m still writing, documenting this amazing trip.

Ciao!

Insights From Italy—Day 2: Following the crowds in Rome

The Colosseum in Rome

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Rome, wandering how, in the blink of an eye, I find myself halfway around the world. Wasn’t it just this morning I sat, waiting, in the Calgary Airport? No, that was yesterday already. We’ve crossed datelines and covered continents. A night passed—although it wasn’t marked by closing my eyes and waking up rested seven or eight hours later. I did sleep at one point, but was wakened by someone asking me to move so they could get past me to get to the washroom. Oh well, I did get to watch the new Robin Hood movie, with Russell Crow. I’ve been wanting to see that.  I also watched Letters to Juliet (for the third time) and managed to get in part of The Blind Side, before we touched down in the bumpiest landing I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was getting my first taste of Italian driving!

Despite all the warnings about travel in Europe, we made it through the airport, easily and effortlessly and were soon experiencing our first taxi-ride in Italy. Yes, they do drive bumper to bumper at 140 kms per hour.

Even though we were both tired, we disregarded our bodies cries for just a little cat-nap and took off sight-seeing with bottles of water,  jackets (not sure why; it was warm and very humid) and a small map of central Rome I’d printed off the computer.

Finding the sights in Rome, we quickly discovered, is easy: just follow the crowds. Today they led us to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and, of course, the Colosseum.

Our plan is to get up before sunrise tomorrow morning and head down to the Colosseum again to capture some pictures at sunrise. Stay tuned…I hope to upload the pics with tomorrow’s blog.

Now, finally, I get to close my eyes and sleep!!!!

Spanish Steps

Ron at Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Insights from Italy—Day 1: I was meant to fly!

Waiting…I don’t mind really. It’s relaxing and I can let my mind wander as opposed to the business of packing and preparing…endlessly searching my mind to try to ensure I’ve remembered everything we need for the trip.

Now I sit with a steaming latte in a comfy chair, watching the planes come and go. It’s interesting. As I pull my gaze from the still-pink morning sky, I notice the other passengers—some chatting enthusiastically, eager to get going on an adventure with friends or family; others, filling the chasm of time alone with their laptop or newspaper.

Then there’s the…fast forward…we’re on board now, the plane has reached cruising altitude and the seat-belt sign is off. I pull my journal out again and continue writing.

I was meant to fly!! I love the sensations—all of them, even the turbulence we’re now experiencing—but the take-off is my favorite part. We taxi endlessly, it seems, and then it happens. Sometimes there’s a pause, but today just a turn of the big bird as we align with the take-off strip. The engines roar (we’re sitting over the left wing, so it’s particularly loud) and suddenly my chest is sucked back into my seat. It’s an effort to tilt my head, even slightly, to look out the window. Even a deep breath takes a concerted effort. I think most people simply forget to breathe in those magical (or scary—depending on your views of flying) few seconds.

I love the power. I feel it all around and through me. I’m one with the aircraft—heavy and earthbound one minute, then suddenly light and free. I will never understand the science behind it; it’s enough for me just to be a part. Yes, I was meant to fly.

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