With the job successfully completed, I set my sights on the actual "vacation" part of my trip to Italy. In hindsight, the work with the kids and the staff helped me polish up my rudimentary Italian skills. These basic skills would help me in the coming days.
Florence is nothing short of grand. Boasting a gigantic footprint among the hills of Tuscany, it is an amazing and storied metropolis. I was anxious to get around and explore the vias, piazzas, and other points of interest. I had booked a two-night stay in a hostel nestled in between the large duomo and the Galleria Accademia, so I was satisfied with my relative location in the city. It was certainly a lot to try and absorb, so my few days there felt very rushed. I was also able to see the majestic statue of David; it was every bit as impressive as I had imagined.
Verona, on the other hand, is not known for its soaring domes and world-famous statues. It is best known, of course, as the home to Romeo and Juliet. It was not only this pair of star-crossed lovers that attracted me there, though. Its geography proved to be the selling point for me when I made the decision to buy a train ticket and a Bed&Breakfast reservation. I was glad Verona made it on my itinerary, in the end. I lament, though, that I didn't have a second night to stay. While there, I was happily reminded of several places in Spain that still hold a dear place in my heart: Segovia, Albarracin, Toledo, and Avila have that special "old meets new" magic just as Verona does.
As I write these words, I'm currently stranded in Boston's Logan International Airport cursing Mother Nature. Needless to say, I'd much rather be someplace else. Sorry, Boston. It's nothing personal.