Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Five weeks and we're gone, out of this part of the world and heading to Italy for an extended break from the bizarre antics of at least half the population of the United States, and to study Italian for two months in one of the most comfortable places in the world, Siena. I know what you're thinking that we're running away from the fear and stupidity fostered by our present administration but actually we're trying to get away from their efforts to dull our souls.

Eight weeks living in an apartment in Siena, where we will find peace of mind, renewal of our spirits and plunge ever deeper into that remarkable, beautiful thing that many have come to call Italy but for us has become paradise.

And then it's off to Sicily, driving the boot down, over the Straits of Messina, and a week in Scopello, west of Palermo, before we head back across the straits then up across Calabria and Basilicata to the Tampone family in Puglia for a night or two and then to northern Italy, where we will stay in an agriturismo just south of Lake Garda and a bit west of Verona (ya know, Romeo wherefore art though?) for a week before spending our last couple of nights on the shores of little Lake Orta just a bit west and north of Milan's airport where we will catch a Delta flight for JFK. Whew. Take a breath, Steve.

So did you notice I don't say take a flight for home? Home is where the heart is. Ours is in Italy.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

And God said

in the beginning there was Italy.

And so we are going for nearly three months, actually 11 weeks, some 78 days. Much of that time we'll be studying Italian in Siena, a city which was essentially the place of our "birth' as Italianophiles. That's such an clumsy word for something so graceful, so rounded, so perfect as our feeling of comfort when we are on those streets, almost as if we are home. We have no family there, nor are we from Tuscany or even Italian in our recorded genealogy. Anyway, I think you get the point.

So this is the journal of that trip, beginning before it begins. Starting with all those little (and some not so little) details which must take precedence before we are actually, well, on the road.