Sunday, August 6, 2006 (DAY 12)
Today, being our last day officially on the road, was bitter sweet. On one hand I’m ready to unpack my suitcase for good. Living out of a bag for two weeks can be a bear. But at the same time I’m really beginning to love my “family” that I’ve gotten to know on this trip. It’s just weird to think that two weeks ago we were all strangers from different universities scattered across the United States. Time works in tricky ways. Two weeks has almost felt like an eternity. I feel like I’ve known these people my whole life, but I also feel like if I blink this European Excursion will be nothing more than a daydream.
But anyway, today we entered the imperial city of Rome – home to Caesar, the Colosseum and the Catholic Church. We were welcomed into the city with two walking tours, one from a local guide and one from our beloved Petey Pablo. We saw all the major must-sees: the Colosseum (among other ancient ruins), the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. My physical and mental exhaustion is beginning to wear on me, so I’m really pushing myself to truly appreciate these world wonders and magnificent pieces of art and architecture because they are utterly amazing.
For dinner, Kelly Clover, Kelly Bacon, Kathryn and I stopped at an outdoor café named Pizzeria Ristorante. I had gnocci, potato filled pasta with clams and a yummy sauce. As usual it lived up to the expectations of this country’s food.
Earlier today we stopped in a quaint Tuscan village in the Chianti region called San Gimignano. This place is quintessential Italy, complete with narrow cobblestone streets, apartments with window boxes and laundry airing to dry – and best of all, porcelain holes in the ground otherwise known as toilettes. Today was really a gorgeous day for this stop. Under a clear blue sky we were able to gaze over the Tuscan farmland out toward the mountains. It was refreshing to get out of the city for a bit and soak up the fresh air and authentic culture. I even ran into a little of a challenge when my debit card wouldn’t work and the cashier didn’t speak a bit of English. But really the lifestyle here is worthy of immersing yourself in – so laidback and peaceful and rich.
Not quite ready to go home, but still got another full day ahead.