Reflections of Italy…Roger
Trip Start May 27, 2011
31Trip End Jun 23, 2011
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How often do you get to help someone fulfill one of their dreams (aka #1 on Sara's "bucket list") much less share that dream with them? Besides the emotions connected with experiencing the sights and sounds of Italy for the first but probably not the last time, we were able to share a memorable portion of that experience with our small family, with whom we celebrated a birthday (Jessica's) and an anniversary (our’s- 52nd!) during the trip
We saw so many glorious and wonderful antiquities, engaged so many friendly Italians with greater or lesser success, and learned a lot about Italy- its present and its past. Our 28-day sojourn in Italy was truly an educational experience in history, art, religion, anthropology, sociology, architecture, engineering, … We managed to experience a small window of the geographical diversity of Italy including the environments of a resort area (Amalfi Coast); major cities (Rome and Florence); small hill-towns of Tuscany and Umbria (including an actual live-in experience in Montalcino); and Umbrian farms. In conversations with Wanda, Catherina, and Ettore, we learned about many of our similarities-the economy, the cost of gas, the cost of groceries, the latter two we experienced first-hand and some of our differences.
My take away is a new understanding and admiration for the Italian people- past and present. Both their monumental and residential structures demonstrate care, ingenuity, attention to detail, concern for longevity and a historical perspective. Being an engineer myself, I was thoroughly impressed by the art and skill of their “engineers” and architects and the ingenuity and industriousness of their “constructors” (understanding of course that some were slaves)
I close with a few of my favorite things: gelato- coconut; Italian cappuccino; Contucci Nobile de Montepulciano (a luscious red wine- unfortunately expensive); pecorino; Italian tomatoes; outdoor cafes; Sara’s Italian-style cooking; church bells (I bet that one fooled you!); the Autostrada (it’s four lanes); stairs (I’m actually lying about this one); Ristorante Trattoria La Carabaccia, Florence- the food and the wait staff; a particular pasta the size and shape of a small rope; one young artist in Spello; …and…