Venice at dusk.

So that's what we did - where we went, what we saw, what we ate.  But what did we feel?  What did we learn - about Italy, about ourselves?

We have today at our fingertips a universe of information.  It seems, however, that we lack the wisdom to convert that power into anything that adds depth and context to our travel experience.  All too often "travel" has been reduced to a mere bucket list - a debased check-list - "I've been here now.  Soon I will be going there."  "Here" and "there" being distinguished by what?  The different trinkets for sale? The different food to eat? The different museums to visit?  All fascinating, no doubt.  But all external and mechanical.  Nothing that touches the soul.  Nothing that connects with the people (or the ghosts of people) who inhabit a particular place and make it what it is today.

Travelers oft times seem to suffer from a kind of blindness that prevents them from seeing the shadows in a city.  The spirits.  In Italian - anima - the soul.  All the things that came before and have not left.

Italians do not seem so afflicted.  Their reverence for the past.  Their love of the beautiful, above the utilitarian.  History. Art. Food. Friendship.  All the threads that hold us together.

So, to Italy and especially to our Italian friends, once again, Thanks for everything!

Grazie per tutti!

Gary and Cindy

G and C (Italy 2014) Grazie! Ciao a presto!

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Joanie | Reply 07.06.2015 01.05

Which hotels would you recommend in Venice and Florence? Any tips on driving to smaller towns between Venice and Flo Thanks I will be using your ideas mentioned

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24.11 | 13:33

"Rome, by all means, Rome." Petra and I are just back from a 12-day visit to Roma and couldn't agree more. BTW, thanks for the recs -- extremely helpful. -p

23.11 | 17:55

Thanks so much.
Gary and Cindy

22.11 | 12:22

Dear Gary and Cindy:
Sorry I missed this. Bolonga. I want to sip the legendary coffee.

22.11 | 12:18

Dear Gary and Cindy:
Great job!
My wife and myself are looking to visit Poland next June. I married the former Annette WADOWSKI.

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