Tag Archives: tuscany

sleepwalking from tuscany to rome

we pulled into a gravel lot adjoining a bed & breakfast in the small town of chianti in the region of tuscany just as dusk was setting in.  we had rented a car in florence and i had eagerly taken to the narrow, winding roads of the italian countryside, whipping our tiny black fiat to and fro, this way and that, far exceeding the speed limits and making my copilot, dave, nervous on more than one occasion.  periodically i would feel guilty, but those feelings usually only lasted as long as the next adrenaline rush.

tuscan gardenswe checked into the bed and breakfast, a charmingly decorated place called the hotel salivolpi. it had a style i could never replicate in my own home even if i had stolen all the furniture and accoutrements straight from the lobby.  the woman operating the place appeared to be the owner/operator, and she had a kind but direct and efficient manner about her.  i inquired if anyone else happened to be staying at the b&b,  aware that it was christmastime, and was semi-disappointed when she informed us there was only one other couple, newlyweds, at the inn. tuscan winter i then laughed to myself when i began to pick up on the fact that she believed that dave and i were some sort of granola-y, bearded gay couple looking for a romantic getaway in quiet tuscany.  this amused me, and i did nothing to dispel her assumptions.  i don’t think dave had picked up on it, but once we got settled into the single-king-bed room that we were sharing, i told him and we had a good laugh over it. Continue reading sleepwalking from tuscany to rome

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an existential crisis in florence, italy

i arrived in florence the next afternoon amid a contemplative daze.  so many questions about my past and my future had been raised, and it was too easy to take the bait and wander down tangents of useless what-ifs and might-haves.  i wanted to sit down, focus, lock myself in a room somewhere and hash everything out like it was some kind of math problem, but i was old enough to know now that this was not how it works.  there was no quadratic equation to one’s problems or happiness.  there was only awareness and progress, and every life, no matter how short or long, was just a process of evolution or devolution.  i needed to focus on the present and keep moving.  besides, i had exited the train and wandered directionless while my thoughts had run free in an oblivious daydream.  now i had no idea where i was.

i was indeed in florence, one of the artistic and cultural icons of the world, home to the powerful medici family (so powerful they were able to get two of their family members to be elected pope), birthplace of the italian rennaissance, and home of such historic titans like machiavelli, the poet dante, galileo, michaelangelo, raphael, donatello, leonardo da vinci, and master splinter (ninja turtle joke ftw!!!!). as soon as i was paying attention again, it didn’t take long for the ghosts of greatness to begin lingering in every shadow and corner of this magnificent city. Continue reading an existential crisis in florence, italy