i LOVED italy.
the views, of course, were stunning and gorgeous. (even the rainy days were glorious. i mean they were the kind of days that made you want to throw open your windows, lean out and belt an aria. you don't get days like that in Chicago.)
the wine, natch, was unbelievably good (even the cheap farmers' wine we guzzled at the villa. all 50 bottles of it.)
the roads were treacherous and the italian style of 'driving' terrifying. (yet energizing in a 'you're going to meet your Maker very soon' kind of way.)
but you know what i really liked about italy?
their pace was my pace - slow.
i don't think i saw anyone actually 'hurry.' you really could sit and drink and eat all day and no one looked at you like you were a wastrel.
sure, i could have stuffed my days with shopping and touring and running from this museum to that old church. instead, in siena, i sat on my butt in the main piazza and read my book; in volterra, i eye-flirted with a hot syrian alabaster sculptor and then ate a load of gelato that gave me gas. (hello, lactaid.) in florence, i sat with friends off the Duomo and ate lunch and ordered liter after liter of wine, smoked at least two packs of cigarettes, wandered to another cafe for several glasses of prosecco, had a round of drinks bought by the kind old israeli vendor who liked Obama (and our friend K-), then stumbled across the street to the restaurant and stuffed myself full of rabbit, beans and more wine.
i LOVE italy!
photos will be posted when they're all downloaded so patience, all 5 of my readers.
i'll be buzzing off this italian high for a while.
PS: Incidentally, the best bathroom in Florence is inside the Ferragamo Show Museum. it's worth the 5 euro to pee in it.
Oh, and where can you find the most unnecessarily snooty perfume spritz girls? the overrated profumo-farmaceutica di santa maria novella. yeah, i said it: it's OVERRATED. sure, it's beautiful but it's still just a place to buy old soap and old perfume. the older woman in the soap room is much nicer so go throw your euro at her.