Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ciao from Italia!

We're here!! I can't quite figure out the european keyboards, so please excuse my lack of proper punctuation. I didn't think I'd be posting this soon. In fact, I wanted to stay away from the computer for at least 24 hours but alas, not possible, since I had to reprint our itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances...

Mollie and I woke up at 11pm Boston time, which was really 5am Roma time, and got ready to fly to Rome, exhausted but excited. We got off the plane and quickly realized my italian wasn't quite as sharp as I wished. However, I did my best and we attempted to make our way to the train station that would lead us to the bus to Sora, the small village we're staying in for the next few days. We followed the directions I had to Sora, but apparently the internet *my source of information* has not updated the changes to the transportation system. So, a bit confused, Mollie and I took about 5 trains to various parts of the city, and finally ended up on a train back to our starting point. When at last headed in the right direction, I settled into my seat with a suspicion that my bag was lighter than when I had started. Sure enough, in the scuffle to get on the train, my entire wallet was stolen. It had my license, a large quantity of euros, credit cards, marriage certificate, birth certificate, itinerary with directions and important phone numbers, and more. We both took it really well though. I remained calm and think I can count the tears I shed on one hand. I'm in Italy, after all, and we're safe. Still, our entire day was spent trying to figure out how to remedy the situation. Mark and Evie were a huge help, especially considering we called them at 5am. Thank you!!!

We sorted things out, and miraculously, through a mix of Spanish, English, and Italian, we were back on track. We had a humorous three and a half hour train ride which included a very angry Italian man yelling at us because we bought the wrong tickets. Although I knew what he was saying, which was that we owed him $200! for a wrong ticket fee, I gave him my big sad eyes, and shook my American curls in a gesture of not understanding, hoping he would forgive us. A fellow passenger was able to translate our circumstance far more accurately than I ever could, and the conductor not only waived the fee, but found us a local who carried my bags to the connecting train to ensure that we got there safely and on time. Shortly after 6pm local time, we arrived in Sora. It's breathtaking. The tiny train station opened up to the smallest rotary I've ever seen, with a working fountain in the middle. The cobblestone streets are incredibly narrow, and the houses are tall and colorful. The village is set in a valley bordered by magnificent green mountains. And Frankie's pizza shop had the best pizza on the planet - $.25 a slice!! Maria, the owner of the farm, came to ferry us from the pizza shop to the farm. When we arrived at the farm, which sits near the top of one of the mountains, we were welcomed by some Australians, Hawaiians, a couple of spit fire Mid-Westerners, and a crackling fire. Maria immediately served us bread and wine with olive oil. Every single ingredient came from the farm. Heavenly. Mollie's still feeling sick, so she didn't partake in the wine, but I indulged and may be changing my mind about wine after all...

Dinner was homemade pasta with lentils and some kind of egg torte. It was all so good, and the company was fantastic - funny, intelligent, tolerant, curious. We all sat around the table and talked over a drawn out meal. At the end of the meal, one of the Australians, who prefers to be called Stephano, brought out Rambutan that he snuck into the country from Thailand, where he had just come from.

And so it goes. Tomorrow, if the weather lets up, we're going paragliding in Abruzzi National Park.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

oh my goodness.... i can't believe your wallet was stolen!! kudos for taking it in stride. i hope you and mollie have a fabulous few weeks in italy-- i can't wait to hear more about your adventure!
xo, steph c.