North America, Europe · 2 Days · 14 Moments · September 2017

A Wendy Wandering -- Italy 2017

5 September 2017

the lunch bunch. My missed opportunity is the one in the dapper blue jacket. According to the waitress (with an eye roll), they're attorneys.
Well, then...Marco, the senior member of the local version of the Corleones (& shortest and oldest - just my luck) just came to my table to introduce himself and ask (more like, demand) my phone number. Alas, we are not meant to be - he leaves town for a business trip (to Sicily, perhaps?) until Friday - I leave for Siena on Thursday. Amore! And, just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder... Frank Sinata is now crooning "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". Prefer the Verdi opera (a native son) blaring thru the speakers in the alley.
OMG! I am eating lunch near four extras in "The Godfather"! Beautifully tailored suits, expensive loafers, distinguished haircuts... right out of Central Casting. And, these boys take their food seriously at their Parma power lunch - they had to speak to the chef before ordering. Expect nothing less in this UNESCO City of Gastronomy (BTW, Tuscon is also one - the only one in the U.S.).
Appetivo - a selection of local Parma meats.
Church Collage - Part 2
Church Collage - Part 1

4 September 2017

Dinner in on my first night, thanks to a fantastic produce market around the corner. The purveyor went out back to cut a bunch of fresh basil for me.
Planes, trains, and soon automobiles (a taxi from Parma train station to my home for the next four days). No major glitches so far - just a rescheduled connection that arrived early so I am now on the express train to Parma. Lessons learned so far: 1) I really shouldn't have skipped any Italian classes, 2) don't buy a train ticket from the place just inside the station (it's a travel agency that charges more), 3) Italian trains have reserved seats - you can't just sit anywhere (oops!), and 4) pack some food in case the in-flight offerings are yucky (they were). Not exactly hardships - just things a savvier traveler knows. Looking out the window, I really can't believe that I am here. More guts than sense? Regardless, this experience should make for a great story- and, an opportunity to learn some things about the world - and, myself.
Prosit! at 9:30 AM in the Dusseldorf airport
Arrivederci, America!
So, the Italian Adventure begins... A bit late, so I had to rebook my connection from Düsseldorf to Milan, but all is good. I'm a bit outta my comfort zone right now for numerous reasons: it's weird to have no definite plans - I'm just going to "go local", exploring three places (Parma, Siena & Orvieto) without any itinerary. And, this next two weeks is truly "all about me" - traveling solo till I connect with the rowing crowd for camp on 17 Sept. That's a rather unique, therefore unsettling, situation for me - wonder if I'll get lonely. Definitely it will be interesting...
my home for the next 7 hours - not too shabby.