Sunday was my last full day in Italy. After an exhausting – but awesome – day in Rome, Matt had to go to work Sunday morning. I took advantage of the opportunity to sleep late, then cleaned up the kitchen (hey, free place to stay for over a week and I needed to find a good way to say thanks), loaded photos, and did some laundry while I waited on him to get back that afternoon.
As it turns out, Italians like to go driving on Sunday afternoons, so that’s what we did. Before leaving we talked to Nonna while she hung clothes off the second-story balcony and she said – according to Matt – that she would miss me and to come back soon! Nonna and Grandpa Giovanni, Matt’s landlords, are the coolest, nicest landlords. Who needs corporations? Mom & Pops are so much nicer.
Anyway, we stopped at a cafe for espresso and a bread studded with prosciutto (interesting) before kicking the trans-alp back into gear and heading for the mountains. We ended up driving around for several hours, through several dirt roads and small towns, and even stumbled upon this beautiful Italian castle! We crested a hill – mountain – and this valley of a town opened up, with a castle and lovely little houses…it was so picturesque! It was also pretty neat because Matt actually hadn’t been there before either, so it was new for both of us. There were a couple scary moments: one when a dog chased us and got a little too close for comfort, causing Matt to rev the engine and scare him away; and another when a car nearly ran us off the road. (Sidenote: this was not life-threatening, so don’t freak out. The car just decided that one must come to a complete halt AND veer to the right in order to complete a left-turn, and this caused it to come a little too close to the trans-alp. But it’s all good! Good story.) Both of those moments were easily forgotten when this adorable little toddler waved at us from the ride of the road. He thought we were so cool!
I had really wanted to get out on the bike one last time, so riding around really was the perfect way to spend the day. Matt’s friends had called and offered to cook dinner for the second time, so we ended up at Anthony & Inessa’s that night for an amazing Ukrainian meal. Inessa is SUCH a good cook! We watched a couple documentaries and ate the most awesome veggie soup, stuffed eggplant, and pumpkin-apple pie followed by espresso con Baileys before saying goodbye and heading up to Formicola.
There’s this place in Formicola where Matt likes to go to stargaze, and it was something we’d talked about doing earlier, so we headed up there with the camera gear and stayed up on the mountain until two in the morning! It was quiet, and cold, and dark, but his pictures are positively phenomenal! We also got to watch the moon rise, and I showed off my astronomy skills by pointing out some constellations. Yay for last year’s astronomy class!
It was super late when we got back to the apartment so we tried to be quiet, sneaking in without waking up the little dog who lives outside, or Nonna. I packed while Matt edited some photos, and in the morning we had breakfast pastries and espresso at the very first place we went when I came into Italy. Fitting, right?