Wonderful, wonderful Italy. You opened your arms wide, embraced us like family and you didn’t even know who we were. You explained your love of all things ancient and modern. You shared with us food from sea, land and tree. You showed us amazing shades of green and clear blue. Your culture suited us. Your weather was fine. Your landscapes unbelievable! Your food, well…superb. But your people…your people…I don’t have the words to describe the warmth we encountered from those unforgettable Italian people. No wonder our Boys can’t wait to get home. No wonder the Trevi Fountain is so full of coin. No wonder those of you who have been there desire desperately to return. Haven’t been there? Go now so that you can begin to plan your return trip soon.
To tell all we did and all we saw would certainly fill a book. We went everywhere. We saw everything! We were tired yet ready. Overwhelmed yet willing. And most of all, we wish we could have brought it all home to you, our beloved Crew.
Jane, sitting next to the airplane window just as it was beginning to turn daylight drew my attention to funny looking clouds below. We were still about an hour out of Milan, Italy. Then Jane said, “wait, are those mountains?” Sure enough they were. It was just about then the sun decided to rise. It was orange and it turned the snow on those Swiss Alps a beautiful deep golden color. It took our breath away. We stared in stunned silence afraid to even look away long enough to grab a camera. We were truly transfixed by those snow capped peaks glistening in the gold of our first European sunrise. Oh, It would take a better writer than I to explain to you clearly what that looked like.
We landed in Milan and took the train directly to Venice. Later, dinner while facing the Grande Canal of Venice, we watched striped clad gondoliers at their work gliding down the canal and listened to locals greet each other in that romantic language. I fed bread to a tiny sparrow who jumped on our table to welcome us to beautiful bountiful Italy. Our first dinner was classic spaghetti with meat sauce and a glass of fine Merlot. Later Gelato while strolling narrow stone walkways along the canal. There were church bells outside our ancient brick apartment window at bedtime where we snuggled under down comforters. We have fallen in love with this country and it has taken less than one day.
Day two a stunning lingering breakfast beside the water. We walked along the canal and entered Saint Mark’s Basilica. Photos were banned. I can’t tell you what it looked like. Words fail me. Failed us. Even if I could somehow describe it you wouldn’t believe me. All I could think to do was cry. And so I did. Deep Inside it’s magnificence I lit a candle then cried some more. If God resides inside any church it’s that one.
We rode a gondola at sunset. Our gondolier sang parts of O’ Sole Mio and Volare.