Thursday, May 28, 2015

Italy Revisited (Day One—Civita)

We boarded an airplane to Chicago. I swore I wouldn't take a trip this year—especially during peony-blooming season (and the girls are missing their last two days of school). But here we are, going to Rome. My friend at work was planning a trip and found some cheap tickets to Rome. So I just did it; I bought four tickets for $700 each.

We went to Italy two years ago, but we spent our time on the coast near France, near the Cinque Terre. We loved it! This time, we're flying in to Rome, and I know it's going to be a much different experience. Mom came with us again. We're meeting up in Chicago and will be on the same airplane. She loves traveling, and we love having her come with us.

We decided to do this trip, carry-on only. So each of us have a backpack and that's it. It was easier than I thought!

When we arrived in Rome, we didn't get a ton of sleep on the plane (as usual). We couldn't check in to our apartment yet, so we were stuck in the same clothes we'd been wearing yesterday (yep, we're a little rumpled). We rented a car (the only time we planned on having a car this trip) right from the airport and drove to Civita.

We walked from the surrounding city, all the way up the bridge to get to the old (OLD) city—that sits on a mountain peek surround by nothing by sky and birds.

It's hot in Italy! And we needed to stop for water. But we made it. Civita is a small, stone village filled with feral "gatti" (cats) that my kids couldn't stop trying to get their hands on. Bianca was thinking about making a "Cats of Italy" calendar. Here's a glimpse of some of the gatti Civita:

We stopped for lunch at an outdoor cafe in Civita. There weren't a ton of options and I thought the food was just okay—nothing remarkable. We walked back down after a couple hours of exploring and then drove back to Rome. We checked in to our flat in Rome, near the Vatican. It's a small apartment on the 2nd floor, with a kind of scary bathroom. But most Italian bathrooms scare me. There's even a piano in the main room so the girls can even practice! (There's a really busy street below us so Bianca opens the window when she's practicing either piano or viola and feels like a performance.) Portia's practicing her cello on her arm again. 

Tonight, Eric left after we checked in to return the rental car and then was going to take the train back here. It took him a full 3 hours to get back. We started to worry and then couldn't even get out of the apartment to go to the grocery we could see from the window. I'm pretty sure Eric locked us in from the outside. Good thing we had brought snacks along. We were super tired so slept well, but there's a ton of noise--cars honking, drunk people singing, polizia sirens and the trash pickup. Have I mentioned I don't love big cities? Still, sleeping felt good.

Doors of the Day:
The honeysuckle was SO potent!

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