Viterbo, Italy

Trip Start Jun 28, 2007
Trip End Oct 01, 2007

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Viterbo, Italy

From LISA:
We picked this place from the map, really not having any idea what to expect. A very small Italian village inland just North of Rome. We've been exploring the labyrinth of tiny twisting streets and discovering so many unique features. It's hard for me to imagine that many of these walls were built in the year 1000 and some of the frescos in the churches - painted in the 1400's -- look as brilliant and fresh as if they had been done yesterday.

A real Medieval Village -- very cool! And they have some great customs here, too. EVERY DAY from 1:30 until 4:30, the stores all close so everyone can go home, eat lunch with their families and take a SIESTA! Wow!  Dinner here usually doesn't start until 9, so the nights are much later here. We had a little difficulty last night trying to read the menu in Italian when none of the wait staff spoke any English, but luckily an American conductor and his daughter saved us from having to eat frog legs!

Tomorrow afternoon we're sailing on a "last-minute" 7 day Costa Cruise that Cheryl found on the Internet VERY, VERY cheap. In fact, keeping our budget intact was easier on this than actually staying in hotels or hostels and paying for meals! Go figure! It leaves from Civitavecchia (near Rome) and visits Catania, Patmos, Mykonos, Izmir, and Santorini, coming back next Monday, August 6th.


Viterbo truly is a village (notice I did not say town!) the size of a pin point on a map.  It is such a quaint and quiet little place that when you walk down the streets you can not only hear the birds singing, you can hear the flaps of their wings as they sail by you.  The Siesta time is pretty unique.  One thing Lisa did not mention is the after Siesta drink to aid digestion that is also a custom here.  People will walk into a bar (about the only thing open between 1:30 - 4:30) and order a shot of what we were told is a digestive..  Uh huh..  It was whiskey, Jaegermeister, etc..  They took their "digestive aid" drank it up, paid and went back on to work.  Somehow I do not see this ever becoming an American custom!!

We met some really nice people in a traveling Orchestra and Choir.  As Lisa mentioned last night at dinner we were a bit panicked when we got the menu.  Typically things look familiar enough, but this was completely different.  I was about to take my third culinary venture (so far mussels, lamb pate are the top two) but decided to ask a stranger if he spoke English.  He said "of course I do, I am from the States"!  YES!!  He not only gave a GREAT suggestion, but ordered it for us too (all in Italian..)  He was traveling with his daughter.  We spoke with them for some time, then they had to head for the Opera where he typically conducts.  Too cool!

Another amazing sensory experience was noon time on Sunday.  This little village probably has as many churches as people.  Right before noon the church bells ring to call the noon mass.  Well, it seems that not every church is exactly on the same time clock because we heard bells all over town from 11:58 until probably 12:10 or so.  It was an amazing cacophony of sounds that I had to just sit and listen in awe as they played their tunes...

Time to go Cruisin!!   
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nancypg on

Cheryl & Lisa,
Cruisin' is right up my alley! In fact, I worked on cruise ships for nearly 6 years - you guys are gonna have a ball!! You'll be traveling the Mediterranean and it will be no doubt one of the BEST things you've done on this trip. I'm jealous & wish I was with you.
Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy! The views will be spectacular and you will really be in 7th heaven with the food & service. You will meet some marvelous people aboard - both passengers & crew and you will get their perspective on how they live & why they chose to go to sea. 'Toast' to calm waters and beautiful sunsets. Thanks for keeping us updated - we love to follow your journey.
Nancy & Angelo @ FishHawk Storage

dtweetyrph on

cruisin the blue waters
Lisa & Cheryl; Yes! Lots of lions!! I could hear those bells myself-Cheryl you made it sound inviting. Lisa, are you sure those were not yours on the line drying out for your cruise coming up? LOL. So, by the time you both get this, your cruise will either be over or just about over. How was it? Gosh! Travelling is soooo much fun!!! I love it!! Thanks for the invite, or being the stowaway? Keep enjoying. Debbie :-)

dtweetyrph on

Hello again
Hey, just curious. How's Priscilla enjoying the journey? Haven't seen him/her/it since way back. :)

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