Via Dell’Amore

I left everything a bit in the air these last few days. I placed Wilson and I in Italy and then just left it at that but the truth is we did so much more than just arrive.

Thankfully after getting a good night of sleep and some breakfast we took to a little exploring. We had a map, but I don’t remember using it all too often. We took to the streets and just walked. Our meandering took us to places we hadn’t seen before in search of coffee, eventual lunch and just sightseeing. We found the interesting shopping district with all the neon lights along the boulevard, narrow streets bustling with locals and their bags. We ended up in the square with the large fountain and the opera house, resolving that if tickets were cheap enough we’d take them! Sadly there wasn’t an opera but the ballet of Romeo and Juliet was playing and so we opted for it all the same since we both knew the story and it wasn’t too expensive. Now, I’m not going to say that I’m a huge ballet fan but it seems that Wilson and I like to do a few events here and there that are a little more formal. Last year the two of us went to see the symphony at the Orpheum and it was fantastic so surely we could just as easily enjoy this evening, right? Well we did enjoy it, but it was definitely an experience. We sat down for a glass of wine before the show and then scurried over to the opera house which was filled with all sorts. Earlier in the evening she’d made a joking remark about how no single men go to the ballet and I figured it being Italy, there would be. Neither of us were looking, it still seemed to hang in the air and indeed there were. The difference of the culture in Italy. We wondered if they came specifically to find cultured women and enjoyed a good laugh over it all. We settled into our seats for the show and at the second half we were running around trying to find a washroom when we seemed to both blurt out at the same time something to the effect of not bringing home ballerina boyfriends, sure they’re strong, but it’s just not… it’s just not happening. We couldn’t maintain any sort of class it seemed. We sunk perhaps even lower as we kept giggling as silently as possible through the first 10 minutes of the second half. I line I had used at one point through near fits seemed like the best title of the next MTV series – leapin’ for love. They can send royalty cheques anytime now…

So aside from being totally uncouth we also planned a day trip to Cinque Terre. We boarded the trains only to find out the first two villages had been devastated by flash flooding late 2011 and were under heavy construction to prepare them for the tourist season. If anything could define our time there it was that we kept trying to “avoid the way of the tourist” and in so doing we found ourselves far off the path and after two hours nowhere nearer to the three things we longed for – food, a view and a toilet. In as much as those are difficult moments, they’re also the ones you remember the most. We’ll look back and say that there was a time we hopped on a train to Italy in our mid and late 20’s, having done no research, having decided we knew best and were scaling a mountain with Wilson in her skirt and me in my dress in crappy shoes, with a heavy bag and nowhere nearer our goal BUT we laughed, and we enjoyed that anyone else we passed on the way had walking sticks and hiking boots and here we were in flimsy cloth shoes. The highlight of Cinque Terre was walking via dell’amore to the final village and sitting down at the marina with our feet in the sea and finally taking what feels more like alleyways to locals homes than streets all the way up to a peak where we sat overlooking the water and taking in more sun and relaxing for a few moments before we headed back to Genoa.

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