On the Road in Italy

Well, we arrived in Rome in the rain, got in a rental car and hightailed it out of town to a marvelous B&B (more on that in a minute). We had taken a red-eye from Baltimore to London and I could not get more than a hour of very disturbed sleep (how can anyone sleep in Economy Plus, let alone Economy!?). Then our next flight to Rome was delayed, so by the time I arrived I was bleary-eyed and bushed. Knowing this would be a possibility, I had booked our first night at a B&B in Civitella San Paolo, about an hour out of Rome. Turns out that was a smart decision.

Our hosts at Le Tre Querce B&B, Louisa and Riccardo, were simply awesome. One look at us and Louisa insisted on making us dinner.In 30 minutes she put on the table a dinner better than many an Italian restaurant in the States. Firm spaghetti with a delicate sauce (homemade, of course), fresh salad, hearty bread, black olives from their property, and the absolute best Romano-Parmesan cheese my wife and I have ever tasted. It was creamy, not crumbly, and oh so flavorful. The meal was topped with a bowl of fresh cut strawberries. And red wine, naturally. Bellisimo!!

After a relaxing night in an immaculately clean room, and a hot shower, we were ready to tackle our drive to Siena for my first photo shoot. But first, a hearty breakfast, courtesy of Louisa’s kitchen. Now I was ready for a nap, but instead we headed for the road, saying arrivederci to Louisa and Riccardo. We could not have hoped to stay in a warmer, more home-like, friendly place.

Just a quick aside about Italian drivers. They are not near so crazy as a lot of people say. Yes, they do ride your tail when you’re doing 120 kph. But they don’t beep or act rude. They sit there patiently, literally 12 inches from your rear bumper, giving you fits, until you pull over, which in my case took about 1.3 seconds every time it happened. They also drive down one lane cobblestone streets that amazingly have two-way traffic at insane speeds. Okay, ‘nuf said (for now).

Here’s a quick shot of the Duomo in Siena, in one of the rare non-rainy moments we had on our first few days. The architecture, of course mostly church related, is breathtaking.

 

More on Siena and Florence later in the week. Still trying to catch up with the sleep deprivation.

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