Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a country shaped like a boot in a nutshell 2006

"Leaving for Italy in a couple days"
Sat, May 20, 2006 - 8:43 PM

Hey Everyone. This is the blog I am going to be blogging. I guess check back here periodically to see what I'm up to in Italy. Looks like I can post pictures on this site as well, so I'll upload them if I get the opportunity. Its been suggested that I watch the movie Hostel before embarking upon my journey, but I think I'm going to pass. Rick Steves is all the preparation I need. Adieu.

"castiglion fiorentino"
Wed, May 24, 2006 - 10:00 AM

Showed up in Rome yesterday (after being awake for quite a while)... slept intermittently for 12 hours to people talking and turning lights on. Got a hotel room for tonight and tomorrow night in castiglion fiorentino. try googling some images of this town. hard to describe. large hills. the town is held within an old medieval fortress, labyrinthin walls, ancient buildings, you get the idea. tomorrow i am going to wake up early and walk around the hill, write and read for a bit in the medieval fortress. more later...

"Brunellesci's Dome"
Mon, May 29, 2006 - 10:53 AM

since the last entry, i found a flat across from santa chiara for way cheap, 30 euro a night. it has 2 bedrooms, an attic, a secret attic, a kitchen, etc. im all by my lonesome there now, but aaron shows up on thursday. the building was probably built during the renaissance. the view is amazing, i can see the old medieval church outside the window. ive spent the last few days roaming the tuscan countryside, hanging out with some people at santa chiara. Tagged along on a trip to Florence the other day. went to see Brunellesci's Duome, hands down the most amazing architectural wonder ive encountered. theres a decent documentary on the Medici that gives a rundown of how it was built and its significance and all that. Everybody in Florence and Rome speak English and virtually nobody in this small town do. Its a fun challenge to order things and communicate as the minority. Surprisingly, they don't view us as unwanted foreigners. What else... so much, i can't remember everything. Google some pictures of Tuscany, you'll see what i mean. I'm off to read and write and watch the sunset and enjoy life as a funemployed world traveler....

"I'm like Rick Steves"
Thu, June 8, 2006 - 9:24 AM

Forget what I wrote last. Tonight is my last night at the flat I've been staying at with Aaron (old high school friend, phd student in Boulder). He's off at Rome now. Amanda's catching a train back from Pratalino (sp?). The flat was right across the street from Amanda's place at Santa Chiara (old nunnery), in fact our windows were facing each other three stories up over the narrow medieval road. I went w/ Amanda to an organic farm/winery yesterday. The wine here is amazing and cheap. like 3 euro for a bottle that tastes like a 25 dollar bottle in the states. probably has something to due with the fact that it is literally made less than a mile from where we're staying. At the tasting, Amanda's professors son (who is autistic) shouted "I'm like Rick Steves!" when they brought out the biscotti and were pouring wine. I thought to myself, you and me both compadre. you and me both. Also, went to Siena two days ago. Did wine tasting there also with some friends. Went to another church. Typical stuff. Hard to describe. These churches are all from like the 1200's. Pope heads, sculptures all along a top row. I hadn't realized there were that many popes. The sculptures were so high up they were indistinguishable. bust after bust after bust, all wearing the same pointy hat. I read the other day that one of the early popes who befriended the medici used to be a pirate. Pirated for a few years. Saved up enough money to attend university in Bologna, then bought a piece of popedom. not too shabby. I'm off to walk around now and not look at a computer screen. Tomorrow Aaron and I head to Milano and Amanda goes to fair Verona for her long weekend. Then in about a week we'll all meet up in Sorrento and go to Pompeii. I'm like Rick Steves.

"caselle landi"
Tue, June 13, 2006 - 7:40 AM

So, I've been staying in this tiny tiny farmtown outside of Milano for 5 days or so. Aaron was here up until yesterday. He's staying in a hostel now in Milan and he's going to head to Paris in a bit. I've never met people as friendly as Italians in small provincial towns; very kind and accommodating. Older people make you food. Younger people buy you drinks. There's no opportunity to refuse their kindness because they don't ask, they just give. The wine here is beyond compare. Same with the vegetables. When I tell people how much better the vegetables taste here, they can't understand why most vegetables in American are not organic and are full of pesticides. So much more to say. I leave for Naples in a couple days. From there, Sorrento for swimming and the island of capri. Also Pompeii....

Wed, June 21, 2006 - 1:42 AM

I've been to so many places over the last week, its hard to keep track. Right now I'm in Cortona. Much like Castiglion but a bit bigger. Walked to an old Franciscan monestary yesterday. Met up with some students from Athens, Georgia and went out for drinks. I'll be here for a couple days. Staying at the hostel. Spent the weekend with Amanda and 4 girls from her school in Sorrento. Took day trips out to Pompei, the island of Capri, and best of all Positano. That's about it for now. This weekend maybe I'll go to nearby Assissi, home to St. Francis - zen monk of catholocism as far as I can tell... ciao.

Wed, June 28, 2006 - 10:00 AM

I've been in Trento for a couple days. College town a lot like Eugene, OR or Boulder, CO. Only with bigger mountains. Its in the north of Italy. Apparently some small towns not far from here are 80 or 90% german-speaking. Very different from Naples or Tuscany. I'm staying with some graduate students. Today I took a bus to Molveno. Very exclusive and rich-touristy, but the lake and surrounding Dolomites (mountains where the rock comes from) were amazing. From here, I'm heading back to Tuscany to stay in the same flat I was in a few weeks ago for a couple days. Then its Rome and then back to the states. Apparently that Stallone movie, Cliffhanger, was filmed here. When I leave, instead of saying goodbye or ciao, I'll probably just quote the Italian stallion from the end of that movie and just say "I'm outta he-yuh"

"Off to Rome"
Tue, July 4, 2006 - 4:08 AM

This trip has come full circle; I've been back in the same flat I was staying at in Castiglion Fiorentino at the beginning of the trip. One of Amanda's classmates and his girlfriend were staying in the room next to ours in the same flat for a few days. Spent the last few days drinking more Tuscan wine and swimming at the local pool. Tonight's our last night before heading off to Rome for a few days. We'll be staying at a campsite a bit outside of town then its back to the states this weekend. I guess that's about it. To recap this 6 week trip in terms of English names of Italian locations: Castiglion Fiorentino, Cortona, Arezzo, Siena, Pienza, Sorrento, Naples, Positano, Capri, Pompeii, Milan, Casselle Landi, Trento, Andalo, Molveno. Just a spontaneous itinerary.

2052 years ago this Saturday Caesar was stabbed by many knives..

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008