From Rome to the Ligurian Sea Coast

Published Date Author: , August 26th, 2014

Wow! Time flies when you are having fun! I realize it has been several days since I wrote a post for this blog. Sorry, as I do want you sharing these experiences with me. However, we had sporadic Internet access, and we were busy, visiting with our good friends, Massimo and Magda Carli, in Viareggio.

Susan and I spent our last day in Rome, walking and walking some more. We managed to visit a few more churches, but the weather was very humid, so we were exhausted by the time we got back to our apartment Wednesday night. Susan had looked up, on the Internet, how many churches there are in Rome. Within the city itself are over 900 churches! We decided we could never possibly see them all! We did find one, right near Piazza Venezia, that looked interesting, so we went in.

The church was huge! It is called Santi XII Apostoli, first dedicated to the apostles St. James and St. Philip, who are supposed to be buried there. Later, the church was dedicated to all twelve apostles. The amazing thing to me is that the church was built in the 6th Century A.D. Think about that! 1500 years ago…it is still difficult for me to imagine how many years it must have taken to build a church like that, with the tools and materials that were available at that time, but it is still standing, and in good condition.

On Thursday we left Rome, and traveled up the coast to Viareggio, where we stayed for 4 days with our friends. I will show you on our map how we are traveling:

Italy Map

The little green line at the left of the map, along the sea coast is our journey from Rome to Viareggio. The red line above that is our trip up to Monterosso, the northernmost village of the Cinque Terre, where we are now.

While in Viareggio, we attended the opera. We went out to Torre de Lago, Puccini’s country home near Viareggio, to the Puccini Festival. There is a beautiful outdoor theater there, where every summer several of Puccini’s operas are produced, with grand professional singers and orchestra.

On Friday, Susan and I took the bus out to the Festival, only about a 20 minute ride. We had already purchased tickets for 2 performances, and Friday night was “La Boheme”. It is a very tragic story, as so many operas are. All was going well until sometime during the second act, a few rain drops fell. The performance was halted for a few minutes, then continued without incident, until the final act. Mimi is on her deathbed, singing her final duet with Rudolfo, who is holding her in his arms, and both are singing their hearts out.

Then the rain started again, not heavy, just a few sprinkles, but the workers came running onto the stage with a large sheet of plastic to cover the deathbed. Mimi and Rudolfo jumped up and run off stage, the bed was covered with the plastic, the musicians in the orchestra all ran for cover.

The performance was halted for about 20 minutes, until there was no more rain. Then the orchestra came back, the scene was repeated and Mimi got to do her final death scene. Somehow, the drama of that scene had been lost. Interesting, though.

We had planned to go to the beach on Saturday, as we had the entire day free. But it rained, so that was out. Magda brought a little boy over to visit, who is name Adonay. He and his mother are from Ethiopia. His mother had been the caretaker for Massimo’s mother. Now the lady is looking for another position as a caretaker. She had returned to Ethiopia for a vacation, and brought her son back with her.

He is a darling boy, 10 years old. He, like Susan and I, is struggling to learn Italian. We each bought him a little kids’ book on grammar and parole, and Magda and I are helping him in this picture. I think I learned as much as he did. It was a fun experience, Adonay already speaks Amharic, the native language of Ethiopia, plus Arabic, and he told me he also speaks English and American. Hmm. Now he is trying to learn Italian. He has not been to school in Italy yet, as he just came to Italy a few weeks ago. We wish him well.

Sunday, Massimo took us on a drive up to the town of Massacciocolo (forgive my spelling, but it is the name of the lake that is by Puccini’s country home.). On the eastern side of the lake is a town of that same name. In 1930, ruins of a Roman villa, dated back to the first century A.D. were found, and that area is still being excavated. A small museum was erected, so we visited there and were able to see some of the ruins. Those Romans were everywhere!

Later, Massimo, Magda, Susan and I went to the Puccini Festival again, this time to see “Madama Butterfly”. Before the performance, we had a light dinner at the festival grounds.

Yesterday we came up to Monterosso, to spend a few days in the sun, near the beach, in a lovely hotel. However, today it is raining, therefore, lots of free time to catch up on blogging, banking, reading.

We don’t have any control over the weather. Maybe it will clear up soon. If not, I might have to write another blog post to show some of the pictures I haven’t been able to send yet.

Keep traveling with me.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Liguria Gay Travel Resources

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