After traveling for the past five weeks in Italy, including a cruise to the Greek Isles, my adventurous ride is finally winding down and coming to an end. I am on the last train back to Venice, and tomorrow I will fly back to my home in Florida. These past weeks have left me with so many incredible experiences, good times with new friends, touching moments with the friendly Italian people, delicious seafood, homemade pastas, perfectly grilled vegetables, fantastic wines and prosecco, and memories that will remain with me for the rest of my life.
I have not even made a dent in keeping up my blog about all the places I visited and how my days were filled with amazing times. I tried to capture some of those moments with my camera. And I do intend to write about them in the weeks and months ahead.
As I look out the window of the high-speed Italo train from Rome to Florence to Bologna and to Venezia, I appreciate not only the beauty of the tall cypress trees and the hills and mountains in the distance, but I think back to some of the people I have had the pleasure of meeting in Italy.
The young girl in Naples, who works in the oldest optical shop in the world. Her name is Libera and she patiently took her time explaining the history of the building which was once a cloister.
Andrea, the young driver in Matera, who made several stops to allow us to have the best panoramic views of this unique city built from caves. What really moved me though, was hearing his perspective of today’s world, and how tourism would change the simplicity of his city. He acknowledged that yes, it would improve the economy, but also that everything is not about money, and that their simple lifestyle of leaving doors unlocked and living a quiet life was not a welcome change. Such wisdom from such a young person.
Nicola, our driver from Drive Amalfi, who drove us from Positano to Naples in a comfortable Mercedes van. He entertained us with his sense of humor as he spoke honestly about the realities of relationships in Italy, and how the mother of the Italian family is respected and the one with the real power in the family.