Rome is my favorite city. I absolutely love it, and have been there enough times to feel at home there. Here is the final post in this series. Thank you for reading.
Five of us and our luggage as we leave Peschici.
Roos had left a day or so early, and Jim Carson was already on a plane home. The California kids were leaving Peschici on their way to teach workshops in Tuscany. Jim R., Krista, Sandie, Mark and I had rented a car while in Vieste, so that we could spend our last couple of days in Peschici touring about La Foresta Umbra, Vico del Gargano, and the olive groves near Abbazia di Calena.
We packed the car with all of our luggage, and began the 5-hour drive to Rome.
I inserted this image for Mark. That is NOT our rental car in the background. :)
Anyone who has ever toured Rome with us can tell you, we give you the grand tour. If you have one day, we are going to tour you in one way. If you have a week, you get a completely different kind of experience. Jim and Krista had never been there and we only had one day. We ran them to most of the 'biggies," Il Colosseo, Piazza di Spagna, Foro Romano, and walked down Via dei Fori Imperiali and along the Tiber to see Castel Sant'Angelo. We went in the The Pantheon, the first site I ever really experienced on my first trip here in 2002, and had aperitivi from the roof top overlooking the city.
Castel Sant'Angelo across the Tiber
No first-time trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to Fontana di Trevi. And since it was Jim and Krista's first trip, we had to take them there if for no other reason than to toss a coin over their shoulders. Tossing a coin guarantees you will return to Rome again, and Mark and I have taken part in this legend since our very first visit.
Sandie and Lori striking a post on the Spanish steps.
Pardon me while I insert a little side bar here because I want to tell you a little more about Sandie. She is truly dear to me, and we have become best friends. We met when she hosted me as one of the participating artists in Florida's Forgotten Coast Plein air Invitational. She and her husband, Don, had retired to Mexico Beach several years earlier, and built a lovely home there.
Meeting people like Sandie and Don is a great part of my job. At almost every festival I have ever attended, the artists are provided housing with someone in the area. I have met some wonderful people over the years, and have made lasting friendships with many of them.
Sandie and I connected in an unexplainable way, like two people with the same soul. Our friendship is one of those rare ones that comes along in life. It's the kind where you would go to the ends of the earth for this person and never give it a second thought. Mark feels the same way about her. Following Don's unexpected passing a few years ago, Sandie began traveling with Mark and me. When we are not traveling together, we are traveling to visit one another. I am blessed to have her in my life. Sandie has had this 'run-through-Rome' experience more than once. And on that note, I return you now to Rome.
Our sunset from the rooftop near the Pantheon.
Jim, Krista, Sandie, Mark and me in front of the Colosseum.
I have only had the opportunity to paint in Rome on one of my visits there. Many times we are just passing through and have a night or two at most. I am making plans to return for an extended visit and to paint there more. And, as luck would have it (if you can call a pinched nerve 'luck,') I have made friends with a nice woman who lives there. Her name is Alessandra Millefiorini. She and her mother Maria Grazi took great care and interest in my injury back in Marina di Bibonna. Even a bad thing like extreme pain can become a good thing if you are open to it. It will be exciting to visit Alessandra and to paint 'her' Rome. She and her mother were the first ones to see in person any of my paintings from my trip, and her favorite artists are the impressionists.
We've tossed many coins... we keep returning.
As we boarded our plane to return back to the states, I had so many thoughts and emotions running through my head and my heart.
It still seems unreal to me that this all happened. I keep waiting to wake up and find it was all a dream. As for the shoulder and arm pain, I am still dealing with that. It gets better every day, and I look forward to being 100% again.
Ci vediamo, a presto