My journey back to France today involved, in the following sequence, a taxi, a train, a bus, a flight, another bus and then a final train for good measure. All due to Ryan Air’s out of the way airports and less than convenient flight times. Granted, for a 9 euro flight from Italy to France, I shouldn’t be complaining. So I won’t.
Moving on, I am now back in Montpellier after an amazing ten days exploring incredible Italy. When walking through the Place de la Comédie tonight, I welled with sadness and nostalgia. It’s the last time I will return here after a short trip, that is, the next train trip doesn’t have a return ticket. No matter how many times I say it over in my head, it remains difficult to believe I’ll be on that plane in less days than the fingers on one hand.
I have imagined that beautiful moment when I will walk through the gates and all the beautiful people in my life (or the few who will get up at 7am for me) will be standing. I’m torn between happiness and sadness about leaving.
But back to Italy – it was glorious.
Rome is such a juxtaposed city of past and present, with hectic, modern life playing out amongst marvelous ancient ruins (and skipping heartbeats worthy paper shops).
Florence stole my heart – I think I lost it somewhere between the cobbled, lantern lit streets by night, Brunelleschi’s Duomo and the pink sunset skies. Or maybe it got wedged in a mound of raspberry gelati, I can’t really be sure. The rhythm of Florence is beautiful – calm but buzzing, alive but not overbearing. And cliché tourist or not, strolling the Ponte Vecchio was magic.
I day tripped through the Tuscan countryside, visiting idyllic Siena (the Duomo must be one of the most elaborate interiors on earth), San Gimignano (referred affectionately as ‘SanG’ by me because the ~imignano part is ridiculous, but more commonly known as ‘Medieval Manhattan’ due to the tower houses that were built for better protection back in the middle ages. And it’s true – from a distance it does resemble the New York skyline), enjoyed a beautiful lunch and wine tasting with lovely Americans at an organic winery on the outskirts, before making it to Pisa to climb the (impressively wonky) leaning tower by sunset, overlooking the Field of Miracles. Yes, it is really called that, and yes, it was really that miraculous.
Then I moved on to Treviso, to stay with beautiful friends Bri and Chris. Bri and I had the perfect day in Venice – involving a gondola ride (worth every cent), climbing (taking the lift up) the St Mark’s Campanile bell tower to see a breathtaking view of Venice (but surprisingly, not the labyrinth of canals), a fizzing spritz on a Piazza, my first glass of Prosecco wine (it’s delicious) followed by a delicious dinner at La Zucca (that means ‘the pumpkin’) and after that, a bar to see live music.
I also had a tour of the infamous Fabrica and got to see an amazing documentary screening about Antipodes + the Q&A afterwards with its Russian film director, and Bri gave me a crash course in bookbinding (thank you!)
My final stop was Verona for a chilled day and a half wandering the gorgeous streets and taking a peek at Juliet’s house/the famous balcony (which was painfully touristy, but I guess still worth seeing). And a final cup of gelati just because.
In other significant news, I discovered what ‘Cibo‘ means in Italian (‘Food‘). How unremarkable… here I was thinking it meant something a little more fancy and essencish of coffee.
Love x x
PS – some photos from Venice.