Dogs go everywhere in Italy…on local trains and busses, stores, vacation hotels of course. Should have anticipated this when crying babies vied with small barking dogs for attention on the trans Atlantic flight!
I could easily travel with less than the 20 pounds Rick Steves recommends. Not a big deal to wash a few things every few days with large bathroom sinks and courtesy liquid soaps hotels provide. Really, who needs more than 3 bras at home or away?
I am well past the age for youth hostels and “Europe on $20 a day!” It’s a bargain at any price to sit and enjoy a bruschetta or a plate of local seafood with a bottle of local wine, just to gather thoughts and process impressions for an hour or two before the next venture.
Dinner in Italy is a four course meal at 8 or 9 or 10pm. At that hour there will be families, young poets and others not the least impressed by this dining hour or two. It is still quite possible to eat at typical “American” dining times. Small ethnic eateries with Greek, Chinese and North African specialties are always open. And very affordable.
Those travel bags that roll in all directions are a godsend and work well as a sturdy prop for walking and resting.
You can buy a water or espresso to get access to a bathroom on the go, or find a village town hall for free facilities.
I always thought it would be the height of elegance to take a break from wandering a fine art museum to enjoy an overpriced snack or drink in the museum cafe. It is!
The people I have met who understand and speak little English have been so apologetic. Apologies go both ways for travelers with such hubris to expect the world revolves only in English. Thank goodness the Italian I studied in college does resurface with constant reminders of grammar, syntax and vocabulary.
My college history professor deserves my gratitude. Years ago I wrote letters of appreciation to professors of Anthropology, German and Italian. I loathed the Austrian history professor who made me read Benvenuto Cellini’s diary about Renaissance art and insisted we learn all the family battles that passed for political history. I get it now!
People around the world love Natalie Cole. And Michael Jackson!
The sea has many personalities. At Monterosso –calm, expansive, infinite. From Genova’s bay–industrious, calm but busy and bustling with all those uses coming together in one place. Working fishing boats, huge mega ocean liners, antique galleons and yachts from around the Mediterranean. At Riomaggiore an angry sea crashes over the sea wall and is very threatening! My host at Rio Bistrot says it’s not usually so crushingly angry. A toe in the water would be just the thing to drag me out to sea! I better understand why all those old maps depict angry Neptune and scary sea creatures.
In all the places I have had seafood from Genova to Florence and the villages of Cinque Terre…shrimp is served unpeeled. Just saying. I am glad of my own background growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, learning to peel and scale all types of sea creatures with ease. I still have my father’s fish gutting/scaling knife. Sorry Kenny! You got the rods and reels.
Thank goodness for skills one never forgets, like scaling fish and venturing far from home to find kindred spirits regardless of differences in language and upbringing.
All images are from my day and night at Riomaggiore.