Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Last day in Italy

June 13, the last day in Italy. I could have stayed in bed all day; fatigue and FM flare-up at all time high, but the flight home out of Florence was the next day so we needed to move ourselves in that direction. We had hoped to see some of Tuscany, but time ran out so Orvieto in the Umbria region would have to suffice. The village on the Rock, as it's often referred to met all of our expectations and more. It was market day and we arrived in time to wander through one at the north end of town, that is after we parked the car and walked and walked. I stopped quite often to photograph and try to gather some strength to carry on. It seems that when one is absorbed in the surroundings energy can be mustered. Whatever it was I was able to fully enjoy the village even if the day was near stifling. I can't imagine traveling any later in the summer as humid as it was starting to get. Happily there was a pharmacy in the square where the market was and I was able to get band aids, never travel without them! for the blisters that ended up taking over a month to heal once we were back home.
Orvieto might not have been as colorful if it weren't for the banners, colorful window displays and planters full of plants. Obviously the residents have a flair and playful side and take great pride in their village. We ate lunch, outdoors of course, sat in front of the duomo that refused to be photographed; the light was too bright and the design defies being photogenic and bought touch-stones at Yolanda's before heading back to the car. The village had literally rolled itself up tight, shops were closed, the market had disappeared and the locals must have all gone home, we felt like we were trespassing. Siesta time?

I had started reading books by Marlena de Blasi before the trip and read "The Lady in the Palazzo" at home in Umbria a few weeks afterwards. The book is about Orvieto. Had we been drawn to the village for the reason of experiencing it further through Marlena's words? We like to think so.

Leaving Orvieto we had a sense of completion to our trip. On to Florence for the night, but first we stopped a few hours out of Orvieto for a rest stop at an autogrill that nearly ruined the trip. We needed some water and while standing in a long line make even longer by a woman who seemed to be conducting all sorts of business that required a number of cashiers to assist the transaction suddenly the group of four behind us bolted. Why suddenly get out of line and yell at the one person remaining to follow, in Italian, but the meaning was clear. A few minutes later we knew what the rush to leave had been about. Roger's wallet was gone. Until you've had the experience of being robbed you can't even imagine the shock and instant mixed emotions that come flooding in. We decided to not bother reporting it, they were long gone, so we paid for the water with money I had, got to the car and pulled out the cell phone and immediately phoned the credit card company. The pick-pockets didn't get much in the way of money, we were down to a few bucks, but what they got took weeks to recover driver's license, Medicare Card, Insurance cards and on an on including the usual bits of info like appointments and a calendar with addresses and important dates in it. I had the passports, extra credit cards, and money in my purse that I always wore diagonally across my body. Good tip! We had make copies of everything we carried with us which made making the phone call to the credit card company very easy.

A couple of hours later we entered Florence and our last night. It wasn't easy dropping our despair over the theft, but seeing how there wasn't anything we could do about it and nothing major had been taken we had to let it go. We did laugh weeks later over what the fools didn't get!
They couldn't very far on what they discovered in the wallet.

Quote: We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them. Kahlil Gibran.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Oh my word Gail, what an awful experience for you. At least you had your travel docs separate. I am always telling my DH not to carry his wallet in a trouser pocket which is his favourite place to carry it.

The flags look wonderful.