Italy, 2007



Sometime in the spring of 2007, American Express ran some travel deals to Europe.  We had talked about how nice it would be to go…I had only been once, about 10 years previously, and Lana had never been.  So one day, we were both in our offices (adjoining rooms), doing what we do everyday, when Lana called out “We are going to Italy”!  I had been faintly aware that she was looking at the sale, but didn’t really expect her to book something!  She had found a 4 night package in Florence that she liked.  It included hotel and attractions, but no air.  “Well”, I said “It doesn’t make any sense to fly all the way over for just 4 nights.  Since we can arrange the air ourselves, let’s stay longer”.  We checked our flyer mile balances and found that we had plenty, so the flying would be essentially free ($35 per ticket round trip).  We chatted about schedules and what all we would like to see, and finally decided on 16 days in early November.


Being good travelers, we bought the requisite guidebooks and a very expensive Italian language course.  These were promptly shoved under the bed and forgotten.


Then life got away from us.  We had a hectic summer and early fall.  All of a sudden, the trip was upon us.  We knew zero Italian.  We had no plans.  It’s not like me to undertake a trip like this without some fairly definite plans, but here we were.  So I drug out the guidebook and made a hotel reservation for our first 2 nights in Rome.  I had a vague idea of other places we wanted to go, mainly Venice and the Amalfi coast.  Being off-season, we didn’t think that traveling “on the fly” would be a problem.  Eric told us that he had spent a month in Italy in December, never making plans more than a day or two ahead, with no problems.  It sounded like a good way to handle this trip.



One thing that we had planned in advance is that we would travel light.  We wanted to avoid renting a car, so we would be traveling exclusively on public transport.  Being able to carry our entire kit for several blocks without strain would be a huge benefit.  So we pared down our luggage, decided that we would have to wash clothes at least twice, and left the house with only carry-ons…each of us had a roll-a-round, I had a backpack, and Lana had a large over the shoulder bag.  One computer (mine, the smallest), one pair of shoes per person, one jacket per person.  It promised to be an adventure.

In Venice, with all our worldly possessions.



So on November 2, 2007, we boarded a plane headed for the land of pizza and pasta, Ducati and Ferrari, fine art and high fashion.