After riding two planes, two trains, and an automobile,
After an unexpected stay in a hotel due to flight delay,
After losing our baggage within the international airport system,
After getting slightly stranded in a tiny Italian town,
We finally made it to our first destination in Proceno, Lazio, Italy on the 17th of December, only one day behind schedule.
All the mishaps, and anxiety resulting from the mishaps, lack of sleep, and lack regular food intake, might have slowed us down, but certainly didn’t dishearten us. If anything, I was impressed by our will and determination to carry on, one foot in front of the other.
We have been downsizing for a while now, minimizing our earthly goods to what we could fit in our carry ons and one suitcase each and of course, my hunny’s “mistress”, his beloved guitar. Now we are down to just our carry ons and the clothes we had on for our flight.
I’m slightly better off in the clothing department, somehow all my 3 pairs of pants & some deodorant, ended up packed in my laptop bag, but I was down a toothbrush and all my underwear, meanwhile Gabriel has some underclothes and a single pair of socks, a hoodie, and pants, and toothpaste & a toothbrush.
Since we got to Proceno, we’ve had a few laughs at our own expense as we hope and cross our fingers 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻our luggage arrives within the week, and at the same time we’ve been surprised that we’ve been able to make due with what little we have to our names at the moment.
Mixed in with our slight misfortune, we had some really lovely moments on our trek to our temporary home in Proceno. In Rome, on the train, we met a lovely young man named Giuseppe, who was on his way to a wedding, he’s native to southern Italy but lives currently in London. We chatted about the state of affairs, traveling with Covid, the public transport system, and myriad other things before he got off on his stop and we parted ways, feeling heartened by this first interaction with a (non-airport employee), native Italian.
Our second train ride from Rome was a delight, we were bustled through the hills and countryside of middle Italy, through quaint towns and villages, the ride relaxing and restoring. Soon we were dropped off at Allerona, where we eagerly sought out a taxi to take us on our last leg of our journey to Proceno.
We walked through an old world neighborhood and were awed by the architecture, the quiet, the many many cats. We were further awed by the fact there was no Taxi in this tiny town. Also, we had no idea when another train would come through for passengers. Also, we couldn’t get ahold of our host. Also, crap, stranded. Yet somehow, in the light of day in this small town, our nerves weren’t rattled. We set out about either catching a train or getting a taxi, and long story short, we were able to call a taxi from a neighboring town who was willing to ferry us the rest of the way home.
Let’s dispel some Italian myths! They do not drive on the wrong side of the road here, as I was told many many times. Also, yes they do drive like bats out of hell, but I’ll tell you this, they’re very skilled! To drive that fast and have dexterity at the same time, it’s quite impressive.
The country zipped by us and we saw no less than three castles on hilltops in less than an hour! As we rolled into the town of Proceno, Lazio, Italy, we were in total awe of the old world buildings and literal cobblestone streets. Our front porch was decked out in whimsical Christmas lights, which continues to thrill me to no end – if you know me you know how much I love a touch of Whimsy and fairy lights in my life, all year not just as Christmas!
We were soon greeted by the fabulous Rosalba and Claudio, our host’s parents, who further won our hearts by providing us with a homemade crostata, that I’m pretty sure is made with a delicious fig jam. Our first real Italian treat! Immediately we felt welcomed and very at home in our 450 square foot piccolo casa.
It’s now the 19th and I’m sitting on the balcony while our laundry dries out on the clothes line, the smell of wood smoke is heavy in the air like incense, it smells heavenly. The Castle de Proceno is in my line of sight, a cat is curled up on the stone wall beneath the balcony, and a little robin just popped in moments ago to peer at me then fly away. Life is slow here, all the more so on Sundays when nothing is open, but I am profoundly content.
More adventures await us, and you, dear friends and beautiful people.
For now we relax and await the return of our lost luggage.
Coach & Wandering Nomad, Amanda