Sixteen days is a long time, and yet it went by so quickly, literally like a dream. When we set out to planning this vacation, it was to be a vacation to Italy. We didn’t want to do a standard tour because they always feel so rushed. We wanted the perfect combination of seeing it all but with the opportunity to take time to take it all in. We wanted to see all of the iconic sights but also the little unknown places that only the locals know. At the end of it all, I’m proud at the planning we did because the execution was virtually seamless. What a way to celebrate our 50th birthdays and a belated 25th wedding anniversary. I think we were both a bit leary of spending 24/7 together for 16 days, but I think it says a lot about our relationship that we had a wonderful time from start to finish, in fact, I’d go as far to say that it was even better than our honeymoon. Anthony and I have a nice balance of “let’s get things done” and “let’s savour the moment.” What started out as our dream vacation to Italy, turned into let’s tack on Paris and London. I’m glad we did. It was interesting comparing the three cities: Rome, Paris and London. All very different but all special in their own way. It was equally interesting moving from one language to the next. One thing I really discovered about myself is that I’d like to learn more of the romance languages– and they really are very similar. It was nice to reach London and not have to think if I need to say Buongiorno or Bonjour. I was proud of how well I knew enough of the language in each locale to get us by; of course, it helped that Italians and the French are very fluent in English as well, for the most part. We left Italy realizing there were some things we need to get back to see: Florence, Pompeii and Sicily. We left Paris realizing we’d like to explore the city more and see other parts of France like Normandy and Nice. We left London feeling like we’d accomplished some things we hadn’t before but we still haven’t had enough of London, I know I never will.
- Traveling with Anthony (driving and navigating ) and finding our way together
- Experiencing Venice, at first, with wide eyes, just loving everything we saw there (the canals & the alley ways), and, yes, that Gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs
- The vineyard tour of Fattoria Fibbiano– the whole experience was interesting & everything about San Gimignano
- Finding our way to and eating @ Papaveri e papere– even almost running out of battery to navigate our way home
- Driving in Rome, though we’d never do it again, this will live long in my memory & eating @ Mattarello daily
- Everything about the island of Capri and our British friends we met
- Vincenzo touring us up the Amalfi Coast: the pottery factory, the Emerald Grotto & eating at Marina Grande
- Finding Antico Caffe Greco and the Keats house by the Spanish Steps, looking out the window to the Spanish Steps through Keats’ eyes
- Everything about Paris, especially our trek to Shakespeare & Company and the Cathedral of Notre Dame
- Spending time with the Drake/Smith family and feeling the familiarity of London, again
Arrivederci, Italia, giuro che non mi dimentichero di questo (Goodbye, Italy, I promise I will not forget this).