All Roads Lead to Roma

I’m feeling particularly European right now. I recently re-visited the picture-postcard perfect town of Portofino with my carissima sister, Teresa, who was here in Italy for a visit. In the morning we drove to Alessandria so Chris and I could finally complete our Permisso di Soggiorno (foreigners’ permission to stay documents). It was our fifth trip there and the culmination of a 3-month beaurocratic ordeal. Things here are not all vino and la dolce vida! But we now have the OFFICAL legal papers. Meno male (thank goodness)!

Once out of the clutches of the Questura (police/immigration office) T and I trained down to the quaint coastal town of Santa Marguerita and from there we took a boat into the incredibly beautiful harbor of Portofino. With sisterly giggles we joked about our 20-minute, $5 Mediterranean ‘cruise’. The weather was PERFECT – cool temp accompanying sunny blue skies with a few happy white clouds overhead – the perfect backdrop for Portofino photos. We hiked up to the lighthouse located on the point and enjoyed a café macchiato con panoramic vistas of the Italian Riviera. It was breathtaking! We then strolled most of the way back to Santa Marguerita (5K) along the boardwalk that hangs over the Med. We arrived back in Acqui in time for a great dinner (with live musica) at a local restaurante. A picture-postcard perfect day!

For our next adventure, T and I trained to Genoa and flew to The Eternal City of Roma. WOW. We managed to work in mega-shopping along with mega-sites that included the Vatican Museum (Sistine Chapel), Roman Forum (my fav), and The Spanish Steps. We both gave THE Coliseum an enthusiastic thumbs up. But the high point (literally) was lunch on the Piazza Novena on our last day. We sat with a front-row view of the Four Continents (Belinni) fountain and an endless parade of great people watching. We ate a really good pizza washed down with really bad wine. The wine was so bad we had to order a second pitcher to forget the first one. All the while we were serenaded by two adorable young boys playing accordions and singing. They were great musicians. At least at the time we thought they were great. When we got back to Acqui and replayed the lunch video, we laughed until we cried at how BAD they really were!!

T’s visit was over all too soon. We dropped her off at the airport on our way to an assignment in Milan. So it’s officially time to get back to work – yikes.
We leave for a grueling work schedule in India tomorrow night. UGH. But we will manage a free day or two to see the Taj Mahal and other sites.

More later down the road.