My ‘High School’ friends came to Italy to spend some time with me in Partina, the small village in Tuscany in which my Italian son-in-law grew up. I had spent a week there earlier with Roberto, and my grandsons, Marco (4) and Lorenzo (2). I drove to Rome to meet Marilyn, Jean and Ruth on their arrival. Then the four of us met Susan and her husband, Vince, and his sister, Norma.
We all repaired to the Hotel Dominos Aventino and settled in.
The Coliseum was only about a mile away, so
we visited that later in the afternoon.
The following day we went to the usual places: first the Palatine and Forum areas; then the Spanish Steps; followed by the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. We finished with an afternoon cappuccino at the Piazza Navona.
The next morning we took a taxi to the Vatican—-the taxi way-overcharged us to my chagrin; then when Vince was buying the museum tickets for him, Susan and Norma, the ticket-seller deliberately withheld his change, giving him only some coins, even though he had a number of euros coming in change. Not wanting to hold up the long line, Vince quickly moved on and realized a few minutes later that he had not received his change. I had observed the same thing just earlier when I was buying our four tickets—-a big pause before forking over the bills of change. I, too, at first thought that I had received the correct change, but immediately realized that it wasn’t nearly enough! At the Vatican, yet!! In spite of this, we very much enjoyed seeing the Vatican Museum including the Sistine Chapel, as well as St. Peter’s Cathedral.
For lunch we walked along the Tiber River to find a restaurant that was Ruth’s recommendation, but alas it was closed. However, we found another nearby and enjoyed our lunch with wild strawberries for dessert!
The following morning the five ‘high school friends’ boarded the van and headed for Partina in Tuscany. ‘Our’ house belongs to my son-in-law and has ample space and bathrooms for us. Norma and Vince rented a car and headed for other sites.
Our first dinner was at Il Casentino restaurant on the grounds of nearby 12th century Poppi Castle. On the way back we stopped at Roberto’s friend’s shop (Davide) and were able to use his internet.
We also bought some groceries in Partina, of course making the whole town (population 600) aware of the ‘Americans’ that had arrived.
Soon Vivaldo, Roberto’s father, came over to welcome us, as did Roberta, Roberto’s sister.
We will be exploring the area around Partina in the coming 10 days.