Thursday, March 21, 2013

Italy, Day 5

03 Apr 06

The Vatican today, then on to the agriturismo outside of Tavernalle.  At first, while we were in line at the Vatican, I was thinking about how I'd love to bring Grandma Mary here and take her to this Holy place.

We got there early enough we were toward the front-ish of the line.
Then I got inside and we were herded like cattle through all the exhibits and I was glad Grandma wasn't with us.  It's sad that such a Holy place that so many people make a pilgrimage to has become way too commercial.  It is an absolutely beautiful place, but it's just now another commercialized tourist attraction.

Saint Peter's Square

Once we got inside, the artwork was stunning.

Orion holds a special place in my heart.

We weren't allowed to take pictures while in the Sistine Chapel, so I didn't get any.  (However, within a day or so of our visit, someone did take pictures and practically caused a riot, which caused the chapel to be closed to tourist for the remainder of the day.)

On our walk back to the hotel to pick up our bags to move on, we passed a gun shop.  It made me smile.

The hotel had a cute little elevator that we didn't often use (remember, 102 stairs to our floor), but on our last day, we got the guts to trust it.

It was almost big enough for both me and Robs.
Packing up to move on was pretty easy for the two of us, we still didn't have any luggage.  Brandy and Justin have been diligent about calling on our luggage and they finally got some good news ~ their luggage was found, but no one had any idea where Rob's and mine were.  They made the decision to stay in Rome long enough to pick up their luggage and then catch a train to Siena , where we would pick them up on our way to Sovigliano (the agriturismo).

The rest of us loaded up into the two rental cars - Imports! Ford Focus station wagons - and headed north.

Squid and Mrs Squid

Travel halfway across to world to ride in a FORD!
The countryside here is amazing and I love it!  Rome was very cool, but it's a big city.  Once you get out of the city, Italy gets absolutely gorgeous.  There were a couple of stops that we wanted to make, in Orvieto and Pienza.  We didn't have a lot of time to stop, so we spent most of our time in Pienza.  I can't even begin to describe how beautiful the Tuscany area is.

See that long crack in the building?  It's shifting and falling.

Mrs Squid is like Dr. Doolittle, she can find animals anywhere and they love her!

Can you believe views like this actually exist?!

The group wanted to stop in a cheese shop.  I was game, but after a few minutes, the smell of the curing sausages and cheese was almost too much for me to bear.  But those folks I travel with?  Yeah, they'll put anything in their mouths.

None for me, thank you.
I'm speechless about Sovigliano ~ it's exactly how I imagined the Italian country to be.  We rented all four rooms of the apartment, so we have the run of our side of the building.  Robs and I chose the Olmo Room, which is the only room (we found out later) that has its own full bathroom.  The others have shared bathrooms.

Can you believe this beautiful place was our HOME for a few days?

Since we traveled during shoulder season, we had the place to ourselves.

We had dinner scheduled for 7:30 pm, but had to push it back because the train wasn't due in until 8:20.  So Squid and Mrs Squid ran to the train station in Siena to pick up Brandy and Justin and came back without them.  For some reason they weren't there.  We sat down to eat at 9:00 and got a call not 15 minutes later that they would be in at 11:30 pm.  Yikes!  Needless to say, no one was very happy about having to drive another hour round trip to pick them up.  Squid and a co-pilot made the trip after dinner and came back with not only Brandi and Justin, but ALL OF OUR BAGS!  Justin found ours as a fluke ~ they were walking through a terminal and saw our bags in an "unclaimed" pile.  The terminal wasn't even where they were supposed to be delivered!  No wonder no one could find them.

I had convinced myself that I wouldn't see my bag for the rest of the trip and was okay with that.  But ... it felt so good to climb into my own machine-washed clothes.  I'd never been so happy to see a 50# backpack in my life!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Glad your luggage showed up!

And this may be my favorite part of your trip... that Tuscany countryside is just unbelievable. WOW.