Yesterday, we left Venice and flew to Istanbul and then Kayseri, followed by a one-hour shuttle ride to Goreme, where we will be staying until this weekend, when one of the owners of the Fairy Chimney Inn returns from her time in Germany.
Even at the end of that long day of travel, even as we were unpacking our bags and amassing a three-foot heap of dirty clothes to wash, I still would have turned around and gotten back on a plane.
In short, I’m like the rest of humanity: smitten with Italy. Ancora!
Now that we’ve done an overview of some of the major cities in Italy, we have thoughts of future trips wherein we would rent a car and toodle around smaller villages, stopping and starting each day on our own schedule.
It’s fun to dream, inn’t?
My biggest suprise during the past eleven days was a discovery that gelato doesn’t do much for me (if that’s the shocker of the trip, then methinks we count the experience as a good one)–me, who worked for more than three years scooping ice cream in the mall and never once got to the point of “Yea, I’m kind of over ice cream. I’ve just had enough of it.” Rather, working with ice cream, stealing snitches of it during every shift, taking containers of it home at the end of the day…all of those things only increased my love of the stuff.
It seemed rational, thus, to expect I’d be wild about gelato and would require it twice a day, just to try all the flavors from melon to hazelnut to lemon to panna cotta. But hmmmm. Not so much, really. I tried it two or three times before admitting, “I dunno. It’s just kind of grainy. Nothing special. Kind of ho-hum.” This, of course, opened up a large slot in my schedule for chocolate eating. Ultimately, then, Gelato Crisis 2011 resulted in deep philosopical thinking, and I mused, chin-deep in dark chocolate, “With every door that closes, a new one opens.”
Other than Gelato Gate, the trip was a great success for everyone. The kids had to continue honing their coping skills, as we dragged them from church to museum to “famous art”–things that gain luster only when embedded into a larger knowledge of history and when one’s personal development has advanced beyond the stage called Things Are Interesting When They Pertain to Me. So they listened a bit at each place and then stared off into space, emitting long-suffering sighs. In other words, we officially became Those Parents, the ones who do what they want but make a case for it being “good for the children” on some level. For Allegra, this good manifested a bit in The Peggy Guggenheim and Ca’ Pesaro Museums in Venice, when she discovered that nearly every painting she responded to was by Kandinsky. For Paco, his favorite was Miro.
Another revelation occurred at The Duomo in Florence, as we hung out on a bench and watched people. Every few minutes, a recording would boom out across the marble tiles, urging visitors: “SHHHHHHHHHHHH. Silenzio. Silenzio, per favore. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Silence. Silence, please. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”
Turns out Allegra’s a really good mimic, and she continues to crack up her best audience, one Paco, with her impression of the recording.
See how travel enriches?
Anyhow, we all loved Venice…to the point that we didn’t know what to think of Florence…but then we were charmed by Florence…uncertain we’d be able to handle the noise and chaos of Rome…but then we got to Rome, and it was all about confident sprawl and lively energy…and we loved it there, too.
Turns out Italy can’t go wrong.
If you have some minutes to spare, you can catch some glimpses in the, er, extensive slideshow below: