Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Viva Italia

Back from Rome. Miss it already.

What an amazing place. A lot that impressed me is exactly what you'd expect: the art, the fountains, the churches, the ruins, the food and wine. This all was framed by trips that were very smooth in both directions and all-but-perfect weather. And it was brought to life and shared by the fantastic people: a friendly driver named Giuseppe who gave us an impromptu tour of the city on the way from the airport to the hotel; Tiziano, the concierge who gave us our first shove in the right direction; our Roman friends Claudia and Valter, who took a huge chunk of their holiday afternoon and evening to spend with us; the many hosts and waiters and cooks and barristas at the various restaurants, trattorias, gelaterias and pizzerias we visited; Jason Spiehler, who has a reputation for being the best tour guide in Rome that just might be deserved.

It was an astounding experience. You may have read about Agrippa and Augustus and Hadrian and Boniface IV, but none of that really prepares you for seeing the ceiling of the Pantheon.

I also had the benefit of traveling with someone who's done it a lot. Cory helped me negotiate the jet lag by encouraging sleep on the way out (allowing us to power through our arrival evening.) She was a great travel partner right through the airplane movie and the two times she kicked my ass in scrabble on the way back. I'll probably post a bunch more shots and hopefully some video in the next few days, but for now I just wanted to let you know that I'm back and very much savoring the trip.

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