Friday, June 6, 2008

Sightseeing Before I Begin Working My Stage

Buon giorno tutti,
OK – let’s pick up where I left off last week … last Sunday night I was shown my future living accommodations. Not at all what I thought it would be. My housing is now in a hotel (, long gone is my appartamento. They showed me a small hotel room that would basically fit two twin beds, a desk and closet; snugly, for two. However they also had a bunk bed in the room, with the plan to make it a room for four. Maybe if I was 21 and just out of college it would have worked – but if I am going to be sleeping close enough to reach out and touch someone, it’s only going to be Larry! Well, everything in life has a price – am I sounding a bit jaded? (Probably!) So let’s just say we came to an “understanding.” I could have a single room, if I paid extra. We rationalized the resolution as being what happened during my first nine weeks in Colorno. The difference: more money in Abruzzo and living in a hotel – not an apartment. Oh well .. So on the eve of my birthday we moved my things to my very tiny room, and packed our bags for Roma!

So off we went on Wednesday morning. The train ride is about 3 hours from Roccaraso to Roma. Larry remarked at how nice it was to not have to drive. (Poor thing – every time he comes to Italy I have him shuttling me here and there! Mostly across wide expanses of land!) We landed in a lovely hotel called Hotel Forte on a sleepy street near the Piazza di Spagna (base of the Spanish Steps). It was perfect. They even put us in room 116 – appropriate for the day! We dropped our bags and zipped over to the Borghese Gallery for a couple of hours. Larry’s favorite was Correggio’s painting Danaë, (he’s so naughty!) and mine was a Bernini sculpture Apollo and Daphne. (I’ll let you do the research!) We left there and headed back to the restaurant to change for dinner. Dinner was loads of fun! We ate with Larry’s cousin Nicole from Abruzzo. She is a very cute college student living in Rome. After dinner we made arrangements to go and visit the village of Larry’s maternal great grandparents – and visit the relatives – on Saturday. The village, Sella di Corno, is about a two hour drive from Roccaraso.

On Thursday we spent most of the day touring around the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. We had to zip back to the hotel so Larry could be on a conference call. (I napped!) A last minute email from my JL friend Mary Cooper changed our minds for dinner. It was great! We went to a tiny Sardinian restaurant called La Caletta, near the Porta Pia. When we told the waiter she sent us he promptly took our menu away and said they would do the ordering! We had a fabulous tasting of Sardinian delicacies, and a little celebratory apple strudel, complete with a candle, for my b-day.

We had to leave on Friday at 4:30 to head back to Roccaraso, so we headed down to the old Roman city early. When we stepped out of the subway station we were overwhelmed by the Colosseum. It was a beautiful day and the sun was streaming through the space. (It just knocked my socks off!) Because we were short on time, we opted to not go in, and just head over to the Roman Forum and walk through the ruins. The weather was totally perfect and we had a blast trying to imagine life in Cesear’s time. Larry is a big fan of the HBO series Rome and was trying to figure out where things were. (It was kind of funny!) Time was ticking so we grabbed a quick bite to eat, ran over to the Pantheon, and then the Trevi Fountain, before getting our bags at the hotel. (I know I drive my husband crazy sometimes “power-sightseeing” … haha)

On Saturday we headed up to visit the relatives. These are cousins from his mother’s side. We saw the home of his great grandparents, Massimo and Maddalena Iuppi (changed to Chiuppi when they came to America in 1912). It was very cool. The house was originally built in the mid-1800’s and when he and Maddalena lived there it was small bar and mercantile of sorts. Above the front door there is a faint marking that says “Vino.” Various family members live in the house from time to time, but it’s essentially empty right now. We spent most of the day there eating and reminiscing, and then drove back in the late evening.

Larry took off for the airport yesterday and is now home safe and sound. I was pretty much a watershed all day, the reality of being alone set in quickly. None of my fellow students are nearby. The closest is in Bari, and that’s a pretty big hike down the coast. It’s really weird because we have all been together since August. In the States it wouldn’t be so bad – it’s the added strangeness of being in a foreign country. So this is it … just nine weeks and I’m done. (Larry keeps telling me to focus on that …)

Wednesday is my first day of work, so I’m headed for a new routine. Someone will be picking me up at 9:00 in the morning and I’m frankly not sure when I will be getting home. The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday, so I have Monday and Tuesdays off. (This is a huge weekend ski area.) We scoped out a little café down the street from the restaurant that has internet access. My access in the hotel is a big fat zero – unfortunately. We’re trying to figure something out but of you have an idea, please send Larry an email and let him know. (His blackberry seemed to work just fine – so maybe something to connect to my computer that works like a satellite receiver?) Today I walked from Roccaraso to Rivisondoli to the café (where I’m sitting right now.) It took me about 45 min to get here. The weather is beautiful and so is the location. I think all will be well … 9 weeks – right?

Arrivederchi e avrete buona una settimana!
(Good bye and have a good week!)


No comments: