Travelogue

Leaving Italy: Photos From My Last Few Days.

It’s been a week since I left Italy and I am taking it surprisingly well.  I thought I was going to be really sad all the time, but I’m actually not.  Just the opposite in fact:  I am happy, excited for what the future will bring, and happy to be starting a new chapter in my life.  The world is so big… Why should we be confined to living in one place for our whole lives?  I want to live in as many places as I can, the same way I want to try every single flavor of ice cream at my favorite gelateria.  Of course, it helps that the first week spent here in Ireland has been full of beautiful weather, fun and amazing people, parties and good times. 🙂

As today is a peaceful day, it’s been full of nostalgia and memories 🙂  So I decided to post some photos of our last few days that we had in Italy, before I start blogging about living in Ireland.

I did a lot more walking than biking around Florence my last few weeks so that I could really pause to take things in a bit more…

Whenever I walked through the Piazza della Signoria, I always paused to look up at this replica of Michelangelo's David.  No matter how big of a hurry I was in, I always stopped, even for just a second.

Whenever I walked through the Piazza della Signoria, I always paused to look up at this replica of Michelangelo’s David. No matter how big of a hurry I was in, I always stopped, even for just a second.

Unfortunately they have been doing a lot of work in the Uffizi Corridor where a lot of the statues of Italy's great artisitc and literary minds look down on you from their pedestals.  But thankfully my favorite one was still visible:  Dante Alighieri.

Unfortunately they have been doing a lot of construction and restoration work in the Uffizi Corridor where a lot of the statues of Italy’s great artistic and literary minds look down on you from their pedestals. But thankfully my favorite one was still visible: Dante Alighieri.

Glad I got a shot of this guy finally.  This street artist always hangs out in the piazza's pretending to be blown away by a strong wind while hoards of tourists take pictures of him.

Glad I got a shot of this guy finally. This street artist always hangs out in the piazza’s pretending to be blown away by a strong wind while hoards of tourists take pictures of him.

 

Then there was the point where we also had to start selling/ giving away/ getting rid of a lot of our stuff…

I hosted a girly night at my house with food and drinks and lots of clothes swapping.  Everyone brought some clothes they didn't want anymore and swapped it out for clothes they did want.  It was a success!  I got rid of a TON of stuff and it was a bit more satisfying giving clothes away to people I know than donating it into an anonymous bin.

I hosted a girly night at my house with food and drinks and lots of clothes swapping. Everyone brought some clothes they didn’t want anymore and swapped it out for clothes they did want. It was a success! I got rid of a TON of stuff and it was a bit more satisfying giving clothes away to people I know than donating it into an anonymous bin.

We shipped 7 boxes from Mail Boxes Etc and were stunned to see it all arrive intact and altogether 3 days after our arrival in Dublin.

We shipped 7 boxes from Mail Boxes Etc and were stunned to see it all arrive intact and altogether 3 days after our arrival in Dublin.

My super generous boss let me use one of our tour cars, a Vintage 1967 Fiat 500, to drive into the traffic-restricted zone in Florence so that we could get to Mail Boxes Etc.  Amazingly, all 7 boxes fit.  You can't see me in the driver's seat though...

My super generous boss let me use one of our tour cars, a Vintage 1967 Fiat 500, to drive into the traffic-restricted zone in Florence so that we could get to Mail Boxes Etc. Amazingly, all 7 boxes fit. You can’t see me in the driver’s seat though…

This was taken on our very last day... all our suitcases (6 of them!) in the back of a van, on the way to the Rome airport.  sigh.

This was taken on our very last day… all our suitcases (6 of them!) in the back of a van, on the way to the Rome airport. sigh.

One thing I was able to do, which I am so grateful for, is to take one last trip up to Camogli to visit my aunt.  Last year, my aunt became a widow and needless to say, she has been having a hard time dealing with the extraordinary loss.  She and my uncle had been together since they were just kids.  I can’t even imagine what that must feel like, but I hope for her sake she finds the peace she needs in her life to go on.  She’s such a great lady.  Losing my Uncle also meant that in my family, we lost the last link to my Italian grandfather.  They lived in the house where my grandfather was born and have managed to keep the beautiful house in their family.  I took the train up, had an amazing seafood lunch and then hiked up to the house to meet my aunt for a coffee and some conversation. Leaving Italy meant leaving this link to this really lovely and mysterious branch of my family tree.

photo 2 photo 1

Walking up the the house on the ancient stairway connected to the Via Aurelia, the ancient road to Rome.  The yellow-orange house with brown shutters is on Via San Giacomo.  I love seeing our last name on the buzzer (even though my immediate family doesn't live there).

Walking up the the house on the ancient stairway connected to the Via Aurelia, the ancient road to Rome. The yellow-orange house with brown shutters is on Via San Giacomo. I love seeing our last name on the buzzer (even though my immediate family doesn’t live there).

 

There came a time to say good-bye to our friends… that was of course the hardest part.  I am absolutely KICKING myself because I didn’t take enough pictures with people!  So if you are reading this and don’t see your picture, please send me one so I can add it!  As they say here in Ireland, I feel like a right fookin eejit.

We would have been lost without Brian and Laura!  Thanks for spending so many lovely dinners and holidays with us.  We miss you lots.

We would have been lost without Brian and Laura! Thanks for spending so many lovely dinners and holidays with us. We miss you lots.

You know when you meet someone and you just click right away?  That's how it was with Olivia, my work colleague and friend from Hungary who now lives in Florence.  We come from such different places and have such a similar story it's uncanny.  Miss you Oli!

You know when you meet someone and you just click right away? That’s how it was with Olivia, my work colleague and friend from Hungary who now lives in Florence. We come from such different places and have such a similar story it’s uncanny. Miss you Oli!

Typical.  In the same week that I leave Florence, two of my best good friends move to Florence.  Carlos and Simone from my Backroads days.  Enjoy Florence ragazzi.  Bacione.

Typical. In the same week that I leave Florence, two of my best good friends move to Florence. Carlos and Simone from my Backroads days. Enjoy Florence ragazzi. Bacione.

I really enjoyed my last few days at work.  Now that I have lead my last tour, possibly ever, I don’t know if I could ever lead another one.  Then again, never say never.  I had so much fun.

The view of San Gimignano from Fattoria Poggio Alloro.  The highlight of one of our tours.

The view of San Gimignano from Fattoria Poggio Alloro. The highlight of one of our tours.

I took a selfie (with flash... oops) of me on the bus with one of my last groups ever. :)

I took a selfie (with flash… oops) of me on the bus with one of my last groups ever. 🙂

 

Thanks for the good times Italy.  Although I don’t feel sad or devastated, if I close my eyes I can picture it perfectly:  Biking through the narrow streets of Florence, running out my front door and up to Piazzale Michelangelo, the smells (or stench) of the city, the sounds outisde my bedroom window…  all of it is really vivid in my head and I hope it stays that way.

So, what’s next?  Watch this space!  Ar dtì an eachtra seo chugainn!

(My iHandy translator insists that is Irish for “On to the next adventure!”) 🙂

 

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    misterk3
    April 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Nice photo! 🙂

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