The past week in Italy has been full of laughs, smiles, endless amounts of pasta, and the best gelato.
Cinque Terra captured my heart. There is something real special about this place. I don’t know if it was spontaneously swimming in sea, eating orange chocolate gelato, chatting with past CRers, or going on a long hike as a group, but all in all I would not complain if someone made me go back!
From Cinque Terra we survived the train strike and made it Florence where Hotel Europa welcomed us with big hearts. One of my favorite parts about Florence was seeing how much the hotel and restaurant owners love Dr. Pitcock. This seems to be the case for all Dr. Pitcock’s friends in Europe. On day one Dr. P took a few of us doing laundry to grab coffee at his friends restaurant. We arrived at Francesco Vini’s, and Fabio, the owner, lit up with he saw Dr. P. When I asked Dr. P how he knew Fabio, he told me he just walked into Francesco Vini’s on an earlier CR trip and has been going there ever since. To say the least we really like Fabio and may or may not have gone to Francesco Vini’s 5 times.
From Florence to we managed to make it to Rome without any problems (see CR goes rouge to understand why this is an accomplishment), and so far Rome has been a success. Our first day in Rome was a very happy day loaded with the best Rome has to offer. A home cooked meal prepared by the one and only CR8, a casual conversation with the Canadian Ambassador of the Holy See, and a religious gelato experience. Just like the people in Florence love Dr. P, so do the people in Rome. The man who led our cooking class and his wife made an exception of letting all 14 of us cook because they think so highly of Dr. P. Then after dinner Dr. P was brushed with fame when another one of his good friends Piadro introduced him to the Canadian Ambassador. And get this, the ambassador is going to email him so next year a lucky group of CR9ers will get a trip to the Canadian Embassy.
Overall life is very very good over here in Italy!