Monday, May 25, 2015

Italia

". . . So then, yours is truly a journey through memory!" The Great Khan, his ears always sharp, sat up in his hammock every time he caught the hint of a sigh in Marco's speech. "It was to slough off a burden of nostalgia that you went so far away!" he exclaimed.
-Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

And thus Marco Paulo returns to Italia.  It has been many moons since I found myself in fair Italy.  The last time when on my first backing adventure through Europa.

Italy was the last stop after sojourns in Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary.  I knew Italy was special when we arrived in Firenze, and I had my first cappuccino in the train station--I had never had anything like it.  I can still remember the velvety smooth foam on my lips.

My friends and I met some Portuguese girls and hung out at the Ponte Vecchio and visited the Duomo.

From Firenze, we made our way to Roma for our last stop on the adventure.  We decided to rent motorscooters to ride around Roma for our last day.  My friend Ben almost crashed, so he and Joe gave up; I was in love with the city, and wasn't getting off the bike until you forced me.

I drove around Roma all night long, past fountains and piazzas until the sun rose over the celestial city and its many hills.

I don't think I was ever the same.

Leo Africanus said of Rome: "Holy city, but full of impieties; idle city, but one which gives the world a masterpiece everyday."

I would agree.

So after almost 16 years I return to Italia.  To Milano, which is new to me. 

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