Day 17: No more sciopero for me


This post was written on the plane coming home… to America. To my family. And Eleanor, my cat.

I guess it’s fitting that my last day in Italy it rained.  That means it’s time to go home right?

Since it was a travel day, there wasn’t really much that happened except the following:
  •       watched a rainy sunrise over Rome
  •        got picked up in a Mercedes
  •        used the last of my euros to pay for said Mercedes
  •        sprinted around the Amsterdam airport
Before you start to think I was splurging on the Mercedes, it's pretty much the standard over here when you request a car in advance. I love the Waldorf but when they told me the cab to the airport would be fifty euros, I knew I could do a bit better. A little googling revealed this one service that said it was 40 flat rate. DEAL. I was slightly convinced they were going to blow me off, show up on a tricycle, or make me share with a smelly family. None of that happened. 

After all the airport hassles, I was finally on my flights home. I used the plane flight to try and think of what the trip meant to me… and about all the places that 17 days in Italy can take a person.

I have a killer spreadsheet in process that will tell me exactly how much the trip cost me, what my greatest expense category was, the number of trains taken … but it can’t add color to all the places that I’ve been. That is only complete with words and descriptions, not receipts.

So in the crudest and quickest way possible, here are some quick thoughts on where I visited.
  • Venice – the city of canals. More navegable and approachable than I thought. Also much more beautiful than I expected.
  • Florence – High on my list of favorites. I could easily spend a week here or more. This seems like a place to live.
  • Cinque Terre – Reminiscent of Maine. The hiking and views reminded me a lot of Monhegan Island. The views are amazing, but I would never want to visit this place during its “peak season”.
  • Siena – a great town that is good for a day …. And a jumping off point. It seems like a city balancing its old world charm and structure with the fact that it is easily a central point of activity. It also had about a million pigeons. I never thought I would complain about being woken up by birds.
  • Montepulciano – Storybook charming. Well worth the effort to get there and the cost. If your camera doesn’t have a panorama setting, buy one before coming here.
  • Cortona – I wanted to like Cortona more. It has amazing views and is cute – maybe my expectations were too high. This is a place for sitting and relaxing, not for activity and walking… because fundamentally, there isn’t much to walk to. But, views for days and days and days … and isn’t that what its all about really?
  • Sorrento – I’m going back soon. I feel like I could live and breathe the Amalfi Coast (and Sorrento). I want to stare at the ocean, take boat rides, and eat croissants watching Mount Vesuvius.
  • Capri – In one word… heaven. I’ll never forget being on top of Capri and seeing boats slowly (but relatistically quickly) zipping around below.
  • Amalfi – Great day trip and I’d love to rent a villa and spend a week gawking at ceramics, eating gelato, and drinking lemoncello.
  • Rome – A place you have to go because it is what it is. But, I think out of all the places I went, Rome is a place that can be perceived as too busy, too crowded, and easily go from activity to activity – so be sure to take a step aside and walk down some quiet streets and to a new neighborhood. 
After one connecting flight in Amsterdam, I arrived back in Boston and headed straight for my parents' house by the beach. I had these visions of sitting in the yard reading in the sun, walking the beach, and eating BLTs. But, the weather for the next day or so is rain ... and so I might have to recalibrate.

Can't believe my time in Italy is over... but it left me wanting more and that's what matters most. 

I'll spend the next year or so, convincing friends to rent a villa in Amalfi. 

Until then, I'll miss old Italian people that find me charming, endless amounts of prosciutto, gelato that tastes like candy bars, and carrying myself on my own two feet around a foreign country. I will not miss my backpack. at. all. ever. again.

Ciao.

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