My recollection of my trip to Italy , at least as much as I can remember
Italy Travel Blog› entry 10 of 10 › view all entries
I was stationed in Quantico, VA and knew I had not yet traveled outside the United States. I asked my mother if she wanted to take a trip with me and we talked about going to Israel. My mother had been to Israel numerous times and thought it would be special and invigorating for us to take a trip there. I asked my 'chain of command' keeping in mind that Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm were already a fading memory to us, but..... my 'chain of command ' disapproved my request. So we agreed we would take a journey to Italy. My aunt on my fathers side was a travel agent for many years so we went thru her to make all of our reservations and such.
Mom's spouse took us to Baltimore and our flight was nearly 26 hours long. It was the first time I had been on a gigantic international plane too. It is not very comfortable sleeping and 'living' on a plane for that long, but it surely was worth it.
We flew into Milan where we met up with our tour guide. Our tour consisted of a bus trip thru the country. Our tour guide's name was Giovanni. He was just full of knowledge. The places we ate at tried to accomodate us Americans by serving 'American fare' mostly even though we wanted "real Italian" food. We did have fresh bread with every meal though. When we were not on the tour bus and got to break from the group we had to fend for ourselves for food and of course me not knowing much Italian I couldn't just ask someone where is a good place to eat. My mother trusted my Spanish for us to get by to ask questions to the locals to assist us when we were not with our group.
We saw Pompeii, Vatican City, whence we missed seeing Pope John Paul II speak by 12 hours. I remember the odd nostalgic feeling when we walked where the tombs displayed 'frozen/stuffed/moments in time' We enjoyed Rome, the Tivoli Gardens , where I took a lot of photos of the fountains and the many flowers that were there to see. I enjoyed Pompeii and the ruins which the historical value is something that one can think about for a lifetime. Sorrento is where the open markets sold all the fresh fruits and vegetables. In Capri I remember one night I told mom I would be back in a bit and I ended up meeting a local who took me on his little motor scooter to the Mediterranean Sea. I didn't get back until 1am and my mother was not happy at all about that. She thought I was nuts going off on my own in a foreign country late at night, whereas anything could have happened to me. She doesn't realize that I have been doing that sort of thing for many years as you will see in my short adventure to Juarez Mexico in 2006.
Venice was beautiful but was very expensive. It didn't smell as beautiful as it looked. One may contemplate how romantic Venice may be, but....... it just didn't do it for me. I love waterways, and boat rides and swimming in open water, but I was not too keen of Venice.
Pisa was fun and the history of Pisa was interesting, knowing that over the years it continues to 'sink/lean' ever so slightly more. Florence was memorable. We did most of our shopping there where I bought a beautiful leather jacket with my initials engraved on the left side near the bottom of the zipper, a linen blouse, an engraved handmade leather belt for my father some Shirts for some of my friends and some homemade yarmulka's for my friends sons.
I maintained a written journal while there and annotated all the photos with dates and places. I enjoyed the boat ride from Sorrento to Switzerland where we saw the original site of Romeo and Juliet and were told to sign our names wherever we could find space so as to make a good luck memory of the site. My mother wanted to buy a Rolex which in Switzerland is where they originate from. But...... she was uncertain about the price and transporting it home. So she never did. Eventually for her 60th Birthday, her spouse and I bought her one, which wasn't an original from Switzerland, but she loves wearing it to this day.
It was a very memorable trip, and one day I will go back.