Ero solo stanco...

I fully intended to wake up for lunch. I really wanted to. I have been so busy the last couple of days. On top of that, I was a bit angry and stayed out WAY later than I had intended to last night. All of this, caused me to sleep through lunch. I was really hungry too.

The thing that makes it worse is what everyone thought. I was simply tired, but everyone seems to think I was drunk. Melissa, Amber, Mark and Dan came to my room with bottles of water. They thought I had a hangover. I had to explain to them that I don't get drunk and (more specifically) I would never get drunk with them. I don't think they believed me, but I also didn't feel like wasting my breathe.

I spent most of the day/weekend relaxing and doing nothing. I tied up ends here and there, but nothing serious really happened.


Oggi, andiamo acquistare!

Today, we went to Revenna. Initially, this visit didn't mean much because I could not remember anything that we did. However, once we made it to the town, things came rushing back once more. Basilica di San Vitale was the place in which I was able to finally grasp what I was learning in Art, Architecture and World History. Before, I would learn dates and events as if they had not effect on one another. But seeing how the changes in government also constituted change in religion, brought it all together for me. It was nice. We also saw Dante's tomb (a bit of a disappointment).

At lunch, we shopped. I am the first to say that shopping is not "something to do", but I suppose some students (Teresa and Mark) are rubbing off on me. We found a couple of spots and stayed in them, just to browse. I also had to cancel the architecture student's extended trip to Urbino. It seemed that the housing situation had not been worked out and we lacked hostels for about 5 of our 25 students. Instead, we would try to schedule a day trip to Arezzo tomorrow.

The Comune di Revenna tourist's beaureau offers a new way to see the town. If
you are traveling in a group, you can buy a multi-pass that covers the entire group. This idea saves groups money and is efficient for paying entrance fees. However, it is not the best thing for large groups of people with varying agendas. Getting this group around is harder than herding cattle.

The trip to Arezzo was... well, it didn't suck. Peter wanted to show a few modern buildings to everyone. The first problem was getting everyone to Arezzo at the right time. After we realized that an entire train disappeared, caught up with students that had no cell phone and corralled the remaining students, we began the tour.

The first building we saw was really awesome. It was an urban apartment building not far from the train station. Fausto actually worked on the design so it was nice to have him present to answer questions. However, only a handful of us took advantage of the opportunity.

The next place we went was actually a park. Peter wanted to show us how the community took advantage of this outdoor space. At this point, the mood of the trip changed. We encountered some kids that needed to get a soccer ball out of a tree. I will let the video link explain the rest. Note the voices after the water bottle is thrown the first time:

Water Bottle Incident

After this, the bottle exploded and a rain of pink lemonade fell all over Peter. Needless to say, the students got quite a laugh out of it. I think Peter laughed as well, I feel he took it rather well. We continued the tour, but the remaining buildings were not impressive (in my opinion).

Tonight is the first party of the year. They call it the hip-hop party. I suppose this is their idea of hip-hop. I am not looking really forward to it, but I guess we will see how things go.


Boun Compleanos, Micah e Sonia

I can't remember the next few days very well because I am writing about them two weeks later. I do know that Monday, September 25th was a very hard day to get through. Nothing bad happened, but I spent most of the day anticipating talking on the phone. That is right, I am actually looking forward to talking on the phone. If you have not figured it out, today is Micah's 8th birthday. Imagine how silly you feel when you want the entire day to fly by so that you can talk to an 8 year old for 10 min. on the phone.

When I finally talked to him, we didn't say much. Apparently, he is big enough for his own cell phone. I guess this is good. I don't have to go through a middle man to talk to him now. I have access to him anytime and anyplace. I asked him what he wanted and of course he said some kind of toy. When we finally established that he was not getting one he settled on sportswear. I don't think he realizes how far away I am. Furthermore, I know he does not realize that I am in Italy- campioni del mondo.

Tuesday was funny because it is Sonia's birthday. It is funny because I initially thought it was Sunday. At least I thought it was earlier instead of later. Anyhow, I know I could call her, but I was hoping Aisha would do it for me. However, I got an email from her saying that Sonia was not in New York. She got it in her mind to go to med school... in freakin Isreal. She is going to be there for four years. This put bad thoughts into my head. You know the kind that I mean... permanent resident of Italy-type-thoughts. I think it is in all of our best interest if I ended this message here.


L'isola di Capri- pronounced Ca'-pree

This seems to be the story that everyone has been waiting on. I should preface by saying that there are a lot of things I have not included because you simply had to be there. I can say that this may have been the time of my life. With that said, I want to thank the group I was "with" for keeping me entertained (even when I wasn't). Also, thanks for sharing your pictures. Now, on with the stories.

We finally left Rome. I thought this was going to be a simple "get on the train and sleep" trip to Rome. However, for some reason, our group of five guys increased with the addition of about seven girls. I wasn't too bothered. However, numbers only adds confusion. Thus, the trip there was a bit frustrating. "That is all I have to say about that."

What was great was the way things were flowing into my memory as we walked the streets of Anacapri. As we made our way to the hostel, nostalgia got the best of me as I gazed upon the beauty of the city. This was only the small part, but it held such memories in my heart that it was really hard to hide my excitement. As we walked into the doors of Bussola di Hermes, it was like returning home. I stood in the back as Rita Ferraro gave a sample schedule of sites and events for the group. Not much has changed about her because it still seems like she is able to say everything in one breathe. Then Pasquale came to greet the group. He is still as loving and friendly as I remember. The best part was when I finally revealed who I was to Rita. She was so excited and began to tell me stories of how they have improved and renovated to Hostel (now a hotel) since tragedies of 2002. She advised me to take a personal tour and take pictures if I like. I highly encourage everyone to stay here when visiting Capri. It is affordable and like I said, the staff is the friendliest ever. I shall always return to this location!

Rita recommended that the group goes to eat a pizzeria near the
lighthouse. On our way out, she surprised me with four bottles of free wine. I thought that was great, she told us to enjoy it under the stars on the water. Upon arrival to the lighthouse, I was ready to head to the pizzeria. However, I can not lie, the photo opportunities were amazing because the area was just gorgeous. However, I left my camera in the room, so the pictures shared from that night are courtesy of Dan. I think we may have missed the pizzeria by a few minutes. Instead, we ate at this pretty expensive restaurant close to the water. The food was nice, the company was okay, but once again I have found that large groups are not the best way to travel. A table of twelve is not an easy check to split. "That is all I have to say about that."

After dinner and finishing the bottles if wine, we were going to head back to the hostel. Instead, some wanted to hang out, so I found the Underground and went there for drinks and dancing. Yes, those that know me know I can't dance, but I like to move to music. I dunno why, but everyone seems to think I got the party started that night. It worked to my favor because everyone wanted to dance with me that night. It did wonders for my self-esteem, but I was just happy to have a good time. I was even more happy to meet this really cute girl from Trinity in Connecticut. She is studying fashion in Rome, I just wish I could remember her name!

I guess when I signed up for this trip, I didn't realized that I was part of a "tour group". So you can imagine my surprise the next morning when I heard, "We aren't going to Pompei. We are going to spend another day in Capri." I don't mean to be rude, but I am a grown man. I love Capri, but I missed Pompei last time. Ya'll may not be going to Pompei, but I am going. With that, I found the need to pull an Amistad- "Give us, us free."

The first half of the day I spent shopping with Haley, Melissa and Teresa. But, mainly I was with Teresa. She taught me the art behind her shopping. I suppose now I understand why she (and others) shop so much. Though their method is a complete other thing I probably won't understand. It was great to have time to just talk with her. Later, we caught up with Brandi, Christina and Dan. The group of us bought a boat tour around the island. Included was a swim in the Grotto Verde, numerous facts and a guide (Jerry) so cool that he cause a small tuna while explaining a site. I hope I can post a link to the video soon. As he pulled the boat to the dock, he let out a whistle. We all looked up and found a rather eager dog on the dock quite anxious to join us aboard. It was really cool. After that, we went back to shower and get ready for dinner. Dan and I were tired and expected the girls to take forever to get ready. They certainly surprised us because they were ready an hour before we expected. We really relaxing dinner and arranged to go to the club again. However, this time, the only ones that actually came were Dan and Christina. Mark was kinda mad when Dan and I left a little after midnight. I think he got over it pretty quickly.

The next morning, Dan and I rose early to got to Pompei. Mark decided he wanted to come along as well. Once again, the girls impressed us because they were ready to go a full 15 minutes early. I suppose I can't pick on them for being late all the time anymore. The group set out on a rather adventurous trip to Pompei and ultimately to home to Castiglion Fiorentino. When we finally reached Pompei, I was worried about the heat (no problem). I was worried about the walk (no problem). I was worried about food (no problem). I was worried about securing our bags (no problem). I was worried about getting a good tour guide (problem). The guy we ended up getting was pretty close to horrible. He was an older man named Hector. I don't know why, but he seemed to think they we were only interested in the secret lives of the inhabitants of Pompei. After our tour, I got the idea that the village was a primitive Las Vegas. Furthermore, I felt that the tragedy probably happened due to the wrath of God. I am more assured that all of the life there was not food, money and sex, but this is how the guide made it seem. We were all relieved when the tour was over and reluctant to pay the man.

Now, began our journey home. Due to missed, delayed and cancelled trains, the trip took longer than we had intended. However, this was not the negative part of the journey. Instead, we had to put up with pazzeschi Americani (crazy Americans). Upon seeing this group of six or eight kids from America, our group felt better about how we have adapted to the culture. The pazzeschi Americani were loud, obnoxious, ignorant and foul mouthed. We were even further disappointed to discover that they too were on out connecting train. These students became the topic of discussion for the remainder of the night. When we got to Arezzo, we had to take cabs to make it back to Castiglion, so we didn't have to walk up the hill from the station. During our travel, we kept Sharon informed of our delays, so she had dinner set out for us when we finally made it home... and it really felt like home.