Adventures in Italy
We arrived at 7:42am with the sun rising over Rome, navigated the airport and car rental and set out towards Ripabottoni, birthplace of my paternal grandparents. The scenery along the autoroute looked like Wisconsin with hills and mountains for a backdrop.
Lunch was a stop at a Mini Market in a tiny town, San Vittore del Lazio, with melt in your mouth prosciutto di Parma and mortadella. It was my first ah ha moment! Yes, I am really in Italy!
Continued driving through the mountains, under the mountains and through picturesque hillside towns.
It was starting to take much longer than we expected to reach Ripabottoni and we were beginning to think that only those with a death wish should be driving in Italy. The velocity of the drivers is so great that they swerved over the center line barely missing us on numerous occasions.
After a six hour journey, we did finally arrive at our Art and Breakfast B&B. Janine showed Anne and Tom to their Asiatic Room and Bob and I to the Garden Room which is entered from her beautiful garden sanctuary.
We met with some locals and with much difficulty, tried to explain our genealogy. We trudged up the vertical street where my grandmother once lived on the way to the cemetery while popping some luscious wild grapes in our mouths. The cemetery adventure failed to provide us with any new information, but the marble gravestones containing pictures of their deceased were beautiful and impressive.
I am now sitting and listening to chirping birds, water falling from the city center memorial fountain and church bells ringing while the sun is casting its setting glow on this beautiful retreat.
Sent from my iPod
In just over a week, we will be saying "Buongiorno Italia". My suitcase has been in the process of being packed and unpacked for about three months. Each article of clothing has been evaluated for its weight and versatility, only to be replaced shortly with another deemed more worthy of the space. Only one carry-on has been dictated by my daughter Anne for our eighteen day trip, which is agreeably, much more convenient for catching planes, trains and buses. However, the many maps and copied pages of cafés, delis, gelaterias, supermarkets, unique boutiques, and back door sights which we will most likely never have the time or money to appreciate, are being carefully hidden in Bob's yellow suitcase. It is, after all, at least a half of a cubic foot larger than mine.