Tuesday, March 30, 2010

convent, hospice and a prison

so i failed to mention in the last post that abby lives in a converted convent ... that is, it was converted into a hospice ... and now its an apartment ... interesting. Liz lives in a converted prison ... also interesting. Well on my train ride home from Viterbo back to Rome last night I wrote another blog post so here it is:

Italy, Monday March 29th

Liz and I woke up around 10 and made some breakfast. Then we walked around her town stopping for a cappuccino and a real italian canoli! mmm. mmm. good!

a real italian canoli!

Liz's town, which is called Viterbo, is a completely fortified city with an enormous wall separating it from the rest of the world. She told me that during WWII her town was used a German camp and many of the old buildings dating back to the middle ages were ruined by bombs. However, the history goes back further. The town was also home to the Pope back in the day of 4 popes (2 in italy and 2 in france). She showed me around the old churches the old winding streets and eventually we stopped for lunch.

Liz showed me a restaurant that is in the Guiness Book of World Records for having the largest menu -- over 300 pasta dishes!!! The menu was at least 20 double sided pages long with pasta dishes ranging from pasta with meat sauce to pasta with egg, bacon, sardines, chili powder, you name it … they put it on pasta.

I wanted to take a picture but it was such a small little italian restaurant I don't think they would have liked it … it really didn't seem touristy at all. We both opted for different shrimp dishes and the portions were HUGE. I don't think I've ever eaten so much pasta in my life!

After lunch we tried to walk off some our our meal and then eventually wandered back to Liz's apartment. Liz and I are sorority sisters so it was great catching up since I wont see her now until the Fall semester. We spent the afternoon video chatting and talking online with some of our sisters back home and they were really happy to hear from us. Now I'm on the train ride heading back to Rome … it's about two hours.

me, on the train, love that my mac takes clear pics!

Although there are about 32531542642 open seats, a strange italian man of course, had to sit in the seat next to me. I was sleeping until I heard someone whisper something in Italian near me … thinking maybe I slept for longer than I thought, I woke up in case my stop was approaching. Nope, it was just the middle aged italian man next to me wanting to know my name. He said something in Italian and I tried to explain I did not understand him. He then started speaking English … ugh!

What is your name?

-Diane (i say diane because most people have trouble pronouncing deanna with a long A and I hate being called Di ana)

Beautiful name,.

-m, k.

Like you a beautiful girl.

-m, k. then i look out the window

what are you doing here? visiting this beautiful country?


ah but its not as beautiful as you.

-m, k.

then he asked me my age, realizing i was far too young for him he got up and walked away. ugh, italian men … not my favorite.

next time I come to italy I'm not packing any makeup, or a hair brush, or deodorant, maybe if i smell bad and look funny they'll leave me alone!

Now tonight I should arrive in Rome around 7:00 pm. Spend some time with Abby but then get a cab around 4am to bring me to another train station. From that Train station I get on a bus that brings me to the airport. Then I land in Madrid around 9:00 am and head to meet Elizabeth at her hostel and show her around Madrid until I can't keep my eyes open any longer. After that, finally back to Alcala to rest up and back into Madrid again the next day to show Elizabeth more of the city.

Italy is beautiful, but I sure do miss Madrid where I can speak the language and get far less attention!

hasta luego!

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