For the next two weeks, Jim and I will be on an adventure to Italy. It should be quite an interesting trip, since we won’t be on a tour, and we’ll be driving a rental car in a country known for its crazy driving conditions–narrow streets, mountainous terrain, speed limits like we never see in the states, and drivers who want to get where they’re going in a hurry.
Over the past few years, Jim has been quite interested in his roots, and has been desirous of seeing the land from which all of his grandparents emigrated in the first half of the twentieth century. Since they all came from tiny villages, a conventional tour would not be appropriate.
Jim’s cousin, Virginia, is a travel agent who lives in Connecticut and works for a travel agency. She has also been to Italy almost a dozen times, so she was able to create an itinerary for us that takes us on the geneological circuit but also hits some of the traditional tourist spots that you really shouldn’t leave the country without seeing. You know, places like the Vatican, cathedrals, Tuscany, etc. In another post, I’ll go through the itinerary.
We should have some interesting experiences ahead which might make some interesting blog posts.
I’ve already mentioned the driving, but another big one is the language barrier, which creates a whole set of of sub challenges. For instance, if we have to ask for directions, how will we understand the answer that we’re given? I can barely get it when an American gives me directions. That being said, we do have a new GPS programmed for Italy.
The second concern is menus. We don’t know enough of the language to order intelligently, and since I don’t eat meat, how will I know what to order? Will I be able to ask the waiter for guidance?
I’ve heard that hand gestures work well and so does pointing. I just asked Jim if we brought our tiny Italian-American dictionary, and since we’re already on the plane to Philadelphia, I guess we’re not going back for it. We have a bit of a layover, so maybe we’ll find a nice Italian-American dictionary on the Philly airport.
To round out my concerns for the week, is the fear of the mountaneous roads we’ll encounter. If you get a chance to view my Route 66 blog, you’ll see how much I love switchbacks and S curves. Still, I am very much excited about the trip and excited and will blog as much as possible along the way.
Italy blog posts:
- We’re Off to Italy!
- Who Really Needs Luggage on a Transatlantic Adventure?
- Reunited, and it Feels so Good!
- The Vatican – Best Experienced by Adults!
- The Colosseum: Are You Afraid of Lions?
- Driving in Italy: Oh My!
- Florence/Firenze. Which is it?
- A Twelve-Hour Tuscany Tour
- Out of Florence and into Radda in Chianti
- Isle of Capri: Did I Ever tell You I’m Afraid of Heights?
- Relaxing Day on Capri
- Flat Tire! In Italy?
- A Walk through Troia and through Time
- Troia’s Procession for Patron Saints
- Relatives in Troia and a Tour of a Castle
- Another Festival Wraps Up Our Journey
- No Place Like Home
Suite 101 Articles:
- Preview Italy: Bare Facts
- Preview Italy: Avoid Accidents or Injury by Paying Attention
- Preview Italy: Keeping Children Safe During Visit
Ann Silverthorn (Twitter: @annsilverthorn) is a versatile blogger who also writes about a wide variety of topics in numerous genres, including technology, travel, creative, and grant writing.
We’re Off to Italy! (1-of-17)
Posted in Italy