Now everybody just calm down. Don’t panic. Amy WILL be back with her always witty, always hilarious stories of our favorite world travelers. I am just adding a little something extra-may I say, some flair. But I guess you all will be the judge of that. (And for those of you who are gasping that I, the queen of procrastinators, finally got down to writing this, I forgive you.)
It would be impossible to relate all of the wonderful things I saw, foods I ate, and sounds I heard while in Italy. Words would fail to describe even just the views I got to experience from the windows of the train. That is why I am going to tell you about one city that most have probably not heard of, and the day that our traveling troupe did not plan in the least. Upon waking up that fateful morning, Matt, Amy, the kids, and I planned to take an excursion to the House of Petrarch. We wished to see the place where the love poem might first have been developed and where the frescoed walls were illustrated with sonnets depicting Petrarch’s love for Laura (the woman of his unrequited love). We took the bus and then the train to where we thought we would catch another bus and see the place we so longed for. But instead of finding another bus, we found a tourist hub where the man behind the counter explained that it would be quite a challenge reaching the house without pockets lined with euros. Instead of returning to the apartment defeated travelers, we allowed the courageous Amy to lead us onto the train where we took a ten minute ride to the city of Monselice- our knowledge of this place only coming from a brochure Amy had snagged in the tourist hub. None of us knew what to expect. Would there be anything to see, do, or if all else fails, eat? Would our spontaneity really pay off? (I’m imagining you all already know the answer.)
It did! Monselice was a quiet fortified city, set up on the side of the Eugean Hills. We took the walk on the Via del Santurario which led us uphill on a winding, cobbled street. Besides the hassle of pushing the stroller up the road, it was a quaint and old-world kind of experience. On the walk we saw parts of a castle and a Romanesque church, but the most memorable part was what we called the “Path of Healing.” Near the top the trek was a metal gate that opened to a row of seven small temple looking churches on the left and a view of the town below on the right. (A little wikipedia research told me that in the 1600s, pilgrims were allowed to visit these seven churches in place of the seven main churches of Rome.) A larger church at the end of the path was connected to a villa which was in turn connected to a large set of stairs. The view of the town from the stairs was nice, but the excitement of happening upon such an interesting place was the real fun. After spending some time up at the top, relishing in our find, we took the train and bus home. In celebration of our successful spontaneity and to top off our amazing day, we had “Movie Night With Aunt Lana.” Toy Story 2, Pizza, and snacks. What more could you ask of a single day?