The condensed version is that I was about 800 words into a Pulitzer-worthy piece, when the site crashed. All my words fell away and there may have been some tears.
Words are like gardens - they never grow the same way twice.
Unfortunately, I was quite attached to that first lot of words and so, I needed a little distance from the whole thing....
When I last checked in, I had just arrived in Italy. I had a single afternoon of Venice under my belt and was completely in love.
8 days and 4 stops later....
Sometimes, the weight of expectation can be too much to bare. I had such high hopes for Italy, based on years of romanticising the entire culture.
It is rare for expectations to be not only met, but surpassed. That’s what has happened for me.
From Venice to Florence, Siena to Rome, this country is all that I dreamed it would be.
I have witnessed the sapphire blue seashores of Cyprus and the endlessly green hills of England. I marveled at the golden rooftops of Paris and was blinded by the extreme whiteness of the Swiss Alps!
Each country, another colour in my mind’s eye.
Italy is an entire palette. A brilliantly dazzling array of hues, working together to beautify this world. There is something for everyone here and I cannot look away!
Venice was a perfectly constructed myriad of laneways and canals. Getting lost in Venezia is easy. The bridges that link the entire network are there to lead you astray. Laundry has never looked so good, strung up like Christmas lights, adding to the city’s charm.
The pizza was perfect, the Prosseco divine - my Italian initiation was well underway!
Florence was all about the art and history. The gelato ran a close third though.
I found it difficult to comprehend the sheer size of il Duomo - what a structure! We climbed the 400+ stairs required to get to the top and the view of Firenze was truly breathtaking....or maybe it was all the steps! Either way, the effort paid dividends.
After the hectic vibe of 2 major Italian cities, it was time for a change of gears. We took ourselves out to a little Tuscan village - Brenna. Outside of Siena, this little town was a speck in comparison, but much like Whoville, this speck was worthy of our attention....a place is a place, no matter how small!
Nestled high in the hills, we thought it made sense to go on a bike ride. Perhaps not our brightest idea! Somehow, we made it up and down, and up and down.... the hills of Tuscany are no joke!
Casole d’Elsa gave us one of our greatest meals to date, with the views to match.
Then there was Rome....
When you see this magnificent city up close, it is easy to understand how they ran an empire! Such majesty and genius in each structure. The purely decorative, yet always symbolic nature of the sculptures, that are looking down on you from everywhere.
The place is so rich with history - I couldn’t possibly uncover it all in one visit.
With that in mind, I found myself running along the cobblestoned streets, desperately trying to get to the steps of the Vatican, in time for our tour.
Running on even ground is an extreme sport for me. Disaster was inevitable....
As my feet betrayed me, I felt the cobblestones reach up to ruin me. The sound of my landing, was matched by the reaction of the crowd. Pain was immediate, but my only concern was getting to the Vatican.
I’m fairly certain I sprained my wrist - the bruising is not wonderful. I have a graze down my other arm and a nice new bump on my knee.
None of it matters, because I got to see the Sistine chapel!
Michelangelo truly was a Master and it was an absolute privilege to see his greatest achievement.
I’m in Positano now. The Amalfi Coast is our final stop on this unbelievable adventure. I will relax into la dolce vita....no more running/falling for me.