Yes. La Dolce Vita. This is Italian for “the sweet life”. My “sweet life” begins tomorrow evening, when I board a plane destined for Rome, Italy. I have spent the past few years conquering South America, now I’m beginning my European takeover.
For the record, this trip is by no means the start of an Eat, Pray, Love journey. 🙂
The juicy details …
I’ll arrive in Rome Friday morning and head straight to my hotel, which is steps from the Villa Borghese park. If I’m really lucky (fingers crossed), I’ll get a room with view overlooking the park.
I’ll spend Friday afternoon through Sunday evening exploring Rome, armed only with my trusty Lonely Planet phrasebook to help me through the awkward conversations that will surely ensue. I’ll be speaking in broken Italian (the level of a 3 year local) and they’ll be laughing at me and plotting ways to rip me off somehow.
I’ll also be doing my best to avoid getting robbed or mugged. I have heard entire families will stage elaborate situations where they will attempt to pluck you of your money and other valuables.
I plan on dining at some yummy restaurants (trying to avoid eating animal intestines at all costs), shopping (of course), and taking in infamous tourist attractions like Vatican City, Pantheon, Coliseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain etc.
On Monday morning, my Roman dream will end and I’ll be headed to a small town called Soriano nel Cimino, for a “Four-Day Cooking & Tuscany Wine Getaway“, with Culture Discovery. (Click on the link to see the detailed itinerary. Seriously, it’s going to be heaven!)
Monday to Thursday will be filled with winery tours, cooking lessons, shopping in village food markets, and sightseeing through some of Tuscany’s small villages.
Really awesome is where I’ll be laying my head at night. As outlined on the Culture Discovery web site:
Italian for ‘Old Bakery’, Vecchio Forno is full of history. In the 13th century, this was the actual village bakery that served the Pope. While smaller than the others, this is the most charming of our homes, with a bedroom completely carved out of rock. It offers full air conditioning, satellite television and wireless internet. The window of Vecchio Forno looks out to the medieval streets of this ancient section of town. Vecchio Forno sleeps two, and is somewhat lower than most of the other homes (about 300 feet from town center), so there is easier to get to.
After having sufficiently fattened myself up on all that food and wine, I’ll drunkenly make my way to Positano late Thursday afternoon, a small town on the Amalfi Coast. Positano will be my home from Thursday to Monday. I’ve booked myself into a hotel room with a view of the sea.
While there, I hope to take day trips to Pompei and Capri, take in a September music festival in Ravello, hike along the coastline (to help reduce the pounds I will have gained), and chill on the beach.
On Monday, I’ll (reluctantly) head back to Rome to begin the journey home to Toronto.
There is a good chance that I may not return. If my love of the country proves too great, I may have to romance an incredibly good looking (and possibly quite hairy) local and convince him to marry me so I can stay forever. 😛
I promise that lots of pictures and blog posts to follow! Ciao for now. (See, I’m speaking like a pro already … )