1. There is no such thing as a single “ciao!” When leaving, ciao’s come in groups of anywhere between two and ten.
2. At first glance, the driving is chaotic and terrifying. Once you immerse yourself into the fray, beautiful patterns emerge and it all makes sense. Unfortunately some of the patterns are puzzling and haven’t yet been decoded.
3. Coffee is king here. I now drink unsweetened cappuccino. My next goal is espresso.
4. Drinking in public is perfectly acceptable. Italians don’t drink to get drunk (normally) so drinking at any time is perfectly acceptable, so long as you mind your manners.
5. I’m back. I apologize for being so quiet. My husband went on a six month trip to the Middle East and I took that time for introspection and aggressive self-improvement. Now he’s back and life is coming back together and I’m ready to start writing again. We are all so happy to be back together and we are ready to really discover and fall in love with Italy. If you stuck around, thank you! I promise I’m going to write more. I just really needed some time alone with myself.
It’s been about a month since I posted last. I apologize. Life has been the best kind of busy.
For you now- a reverse bucket list: Things I’ve Done Recently.
Almost certain death
(we really thought the hail in this cloud was going to come through the roof of the car)
I will be back from the dead. I won’t say when since I’m not quite good at deadlines yet, but I will be back.
Watch this space!
(And thanks for sticking around!)
A question: You’re driving down the roads in Europe and you come to one of these. Which direction should you go? Should you be coming toward the camera or moving away?
Toward the camera, right?
If you came to this arrow you would drive away from the camera. As far as we can figure, you’re supposed to consider it like a flashlight. The light starts as a tiny little bulb and diverges out as the distance from the source increases.
So, should you ever drive in Europe, now you know. I still have to take a moment to think when I find one of these. They fly in the face of reason, but I find them to be charming.
By the way, the blue sign with the white arrow is a one-way sign, and the blue circle with the red slash is a no-parking zone. The more you know.
One beautiful thing about Italy is that the internet can be very finicky. At this point our house has been without phone or internet since Thursday. I have a bunch of great pictures to post but I really can’t post these from my phone. Eventually I’ll get to it, hopefully.
Here’s a teaser.
Here is my favorite picture from our Rome trip back in May.
We were stuck in an instant 8-lane traffic stop. I think the road was supposed to have only four lanes, but truthfully, lanes are sort of implied in Italy and positively nonexistent in Rome. This bus, driven by an incredibly brave soul with iron-clad intestinal fortitude, just happened to pull out in front of us. (Don’t worry, grandmothers of ours, we were all creeping. There was no danger.) The sun hit just right, and I just happened to have my camera in hand, and, well, you can see the rest.
P.S. I should mention, just for sanity’s sake, that I was not the driver. The thought of being in a car in Rome scares me enough. Putting me behind the wheel would probably induce a mild panic attack and some hysterics. That said, once the wave of apprehension passed, I would get behind the wheel and own those tiny little roads. But, really, if I don’t have to, I won’t. I’ll take the passenger seat and the camera, per favore. Grazie!
I’m going to tell you a secret. It’s a little-known secret of Vicenza. Are you ready?
It looks like this. All the time.
Ok, sorry. That’s not a secret, and it’s not quite true. Vicenza doesn’t look like this all the time. It does, however, look like this a lot. Tutti giorni. Molto tiempo. Nel cielo manca un angelo? (Sorry, I’m learning to flirt in Italian. Is heaven missing an angel? You tell me…)
I could look at days like this as being buzzkills. They rain on my parade. Ha.
I actually do enjoy days like today, and here’s why:
The rain drops on the hibiscus.
The snails in the ivy.
The moody lighting.
Really the best part about
days like today, this week, Vicenza is that nobody goes outside so I can photograph snails without people wondering why I’m not squashing them.
Also the rain leads to these. Everywhere. There’s not much better than food you harvest yourself.