Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Salon- Back Home from Italy

Well, I don't know if you've noticed, but most of the reviews I published in the last two weeks have been of books from Italy, and that wasn't a coincidence. I didn't want to say anything until I was back home but I've been on vacation for the past two weeks with my husband and his parents, on a whirlwind trip through Florence, Rome and Sorrento. We had an incredible time; it was my first trip to Italy but they all have been several times already. They showed me around to all the sights, and we ate a lot of good food, walked a lot, and spent some great time together. I'll have a post later this week on my literary adventures, but here are some of the other highlights:

The Colosseum, Rome
Exploring ruins like the Colosseum and the Forum in Rome,

The crater of Vesuvius!
and Pompeii near the resort town of Sorrento. We climbed Mount Vesuvius, and

Perseus with Medusa in the Piazza Vecchia, Florence
saw beautiful works of art like the statue of Perseus with the head of Medusa, Michelangelo's David and his Sistine Chapel ceiling, and the Venus of Urbino and other fruits of the Renaissance in the Uffizi Museum of Florence.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence
We shopped, taking in the jewelry of the Ponte Vecchio, the leather shops and markets of Florence, the beautiful pottery of the Bay of Naples and everything Rome had to offer- and Rome has it all, including lots of fun bookstores.

Spaghetti with fresh truffles at Tartufi Nacci, San Miniato, Tuscany
We hunted for truffles in Tuscany and enjoyed a wonderful lunch with what the dog dug up, and ate a lot of fantastic Italian food throughout our visit.

Capri Island, Campagnia
We also got a day to visit Capri Island, which was so much fun and had the most incredible views. Jeff and I studied some Italian in the months leading up to our trip and had lots of occasions to try out our new skills. Italy is quite touristy and while there was seldom a need to speak Italian, it helped a lot to get our bearings and have some basic skills to fish out whether it was strictly needed or not. And sometimes it was! One of my favorite meals came from a highway rest-stop restaurant, not touristy at all and totally chaotic- and I don't think anybody spoke English there! So you never know.

Reading? I brought Don Quixote with me and got about 1/8 of the way through. I am enjoying it thoroughly but this was not a reading vacation. I didn't even read much on the plane since we had lots of options for movies and sometimes I have a hard time concentrating on plane flights. I did buy some books, but more on that later in the week.

Anyway it's good to be back, and I plan to spend today catching up on my reading, writing a blog post or two and buying some groceries. We have almost nothing to eat in the house!

What are you up to today? I hope you have a great Sunday. More Sunday Salon on Facebook.