Hurry, Summer (part 1)

This summer, I am taking myself on a big fat vacation.

One perk of being paid so poorly is that I haven't really lost money in our dying economy. One advantage of having a job that comes with so little status is that I get to keep it, since no one else wants it. And one benefit of working my tail off for eleven months out of the year is that I get one full month in which I don't have to work.

[What's that? Summer vacation, you say? Let's talk when I'm not attending workshops or planning sessions, taking graduate classes to maintain my certification, or paying through the nose to take tests that tell me whether or not I'm highly qualified, mmmkay?]

Anyway, on account of I am so very deserving, I am giving myself the gift of Italy.

That's right.

I'm going to be living it up for two weeks in the land of the Caesars, the popes, and a whole mess of pasta. While I'm there, I am going to gesture with my hands a lot, drink a bunch of wine, make out with fine Italian men and look at some art.

And when I come back, I'm going to start all my stories with "Picture it, Venice/Sorrento/Orvieto, 2009 ..."

I will list some highlights of my itinerary here, with the sole purpose of making you jealous:

Venice - I'm sort of "eh" about Venice. I'm sure it will be beautiful, but I've heard the huge amount of water makes it very mosquito-friendly. Also mosquito-friendly? MY BLOOD. I swear they search me out on purpose. Still, I saw this episode of The Amazing Race one time where the Fast Forward was to perform with a commedia dell'arte troupe. I could do that and, in fact, I hope I DO. This is the first of many NERD ALERTs.

Padua - Why am I excited about going to Padua? Der, it's the setting for The Taming of the Shrew, a play that my boyfriend William Shakespeare managed to make both feminist and sexist. NERD ALERT.

Bologna - According to my guidebook, Bologna--in addition to being known for amazing spaghetti sauce--is also the home of Europe's oldest university. It's like a beacon calling out to me. Also, NERD ALERT.

Rome - I will obviously see all the tourist-y stuff. I hope the Illuminati don't try to kill me, though, or if they must, I hope they leave my head on my body, facing the right way. What? I just started reading Angels and Demons, leave me alone.

I'm not really looking to create a new wardrobe, so (unfortunately?) this won't be happening:

to be continued ...


Anonymous said...

What? Florence isn't on your list? I hope you reconsider your itinerary and fit it in there somewhere. That is my favorite part of Italy. I stayed in a former-villa-now-hostel on the outskirts of town and rented a bike. Great fun to pedal around the countryside and up the hill to Fiesole. At one point in the city I was wandering around aimlessly, rounded a corner, and found myself biking among seven lanes' worth of cars jockeying for position on four lanes of pavement. Whew!

NYC Educator said...

Man, you are making me jealous. I'm pretty sure I'll be teaching this summer, at least a few days a week. I hope you have a great time, though!

Nancy Flanagan said...

I agree with Marsha--Florence is spectacular. But I am also totally non-"eh" about Venice. Sure, it's dirty, smelly, crumbling and undeniably wet. But it's also...faded glory. It's the one place in the world where you expect an 18th century Duke to come strolling around the corner (and, perhaps, pull you into his orbit). The whole city is dream-like, of another era, another time-mind. When you step into Venice, you are no longer in the 21st century. Squeeze your eyes nearly shut, and you can transcend "vacation" and "tour guide" and "American teacher." Be sure to go out at night, when the light will render the city even more mystical.

Jennifer said...

Just for your planning purposes, several friends of mine have been to Venice and agree that you can "do" Venice in about a day. It's relatively small.

Mei said...

Don't worry, Marsha, this is only half the tour! I would never skip Florence!

NYC Educator, thanks for the good wishes. Of course, I will be coming back just in time for professional development and early rehearsals ...

Nancy, thanks for the info on Venice. As the trip gets closer, I become more sure that I'm going to love every single minute ... even Venice :)

And Jennifer, the tour begins and ends in Venice, so I'll have plenty of time to see everything before I leave. I just watched something on the Travel Channel that makes me want to check out all the non-touristy stuff!


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