Traveling outside of Rome was also part of my time here and the several trips Rosa and I took were different and special in their own way. We traveled on a whirlwind overnight to Verona and Venice, both places I had been before, but with Rosa, it was different, seeing thing through her eyes. We traveled to Milan and the Cinque Terre and, for me, the best meal we had was in Manarola, at Trattoria Billy’s with a spectacular sunset and of course, being with Rosa. Seeing the Cinque Terre over 2 days gave me a better perspective on how to explore them. Of course, you can always spend more time, but for us, it was enough, and we definitely pounded the pavement and walked up and down many steps, but the views and the experiences were worth it. For Milan, and my only prior experience was transiting on a train, back in 1985 and it was not good as I shared in a previous post, but this time with Rosa and the day we had there was enough to get a nice feeling. We did not accomplish everything and that is fine as we can return there again in the future, but as with the Cinque Terre, I have a better idea and how to arrange the experience for clients. I am very glad we did this.
The driving experience to Molise with Rosa and the town of Bojano was absolutely one of my favorites. Enjoying some of the local foods, the archeological site outside of town, which is very impressive and not well known, but a must see. Driving with Rosa for the several hours each way, was also an experience, especially in traffic. She is comfortable in the city, but I know she was out of her comfort zone. I offered to drive, and I can drive a stick, but she declined. Thank you Mariantoinetta for being such a nice host for our stay. The views from the mountain were spectacular. This area of Italy is a hidden gem and when you are ready for this special place, I can arrange it for you. A totally different experience than others I have had and when we were there, a festival was going on. Imagine that festivals and holidays in Italy.
The last long trip, which we did recently was to Tuscany and staying in a very nice villa hosted by my friend and colleague Cinzia, grazie mille!!! It was also my turn to drive, and I opted for an automatic, but driving in Tuscany, once you get out of Florence, yes, we took the train there and back, is good. We went to many places while there including Lucca, San Gimignano and others over a wonderful 3-night, 4 -day weekend and a wonderful wine tasting afternoon at Tenuta, but also enjoyed the stay at the villa and spectacular sunsets and views of the Tuscan Hills, even though when we first arrived, we were greeted by rain. It was a wonderful weekend!!!
We also had wonderful day trips to Tivoli, Castelli Romani, Ostia, and others, too many to mention, but I know I had noted them along the way in previous blog posts. Of course, many a day, we would simply meet in the city and hang out together, but I still remember when I arrived very late and she was waiting there for me at the apartment, outside, and that image is indelibly etched in my heart and mind, as the start of this chapter in our lives and this is not the end, but another beginning for us. Lots was accomplished this summer, including completing my 20 hours of practicum tutoring English to three very nice Italians and I must do my write up to earn my certification, so I have another in to come back to be with Rosa. And, for the record, I have now been to all of the Hard Rock Cafes in Italy, so in total, 68 to date, some long closed and some recently opened like the one in Milan with three more to get to in the UK when I return there in a couple of weeks’ time.
It has been an amazing ride for this American in Rome. They say time flies when you are having fun; where have the 2 ½ months gone? Even though my time here in Rome is done, it is only for now, and I will be back very soon to be with Rosa, sharing more time and experiences with her as our story continues. As always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this. Thank you for your support of my crazy little world and of my small business. It is truly appreciated!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin