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So how did I get to Livorno?  It took many years and reuniting with friends from long ago on Facebook that started my journey. When a friend said come to Livorno in time I eventually said yes. What did I have to lose? I planned my trip six months before and used my frequent flyer miles for the journey.  Have you ever noticed that planning and anticipating a trip is a very special part of the trip?  The anticipation lasts longer than the trip. The trip quickly flies by!

I decided if I was going all this way to Italy, going for a week was not long enough and two weeks would be nice, anything longer really pushing it!  Having not seen my friend in a very long time, was I overstaying my welcome?  You know the saying that a house guest that stays over 3 days stinks?  Well they have the same saying in Italy! It was a gamble that paid off better than I could ever imagine! It was great reconnecting in person and I hope to have the opportunity to see my friends again.  As the saying goes once is not enough.

Would it be comfortable for me to stay for that long of a time with a friend I have not seen in so many years?  But after sending messages back and forth on Facebook, I had a good feeling about reconnecting with my friends and if there were a problem, I would either find a hotel or return to the states earlier. There were no problems! I can’t start to tell you how incredible my trip was! Now that I am starting to write about it, it brings some sadness for now it is over and I am back to my reality.  Yes, I want to go back to Italy!

I have made many trips to Italy and feel maybe in another life I lived in Italy.  Maybe I did! Italy is just a very comfortable place for me.  I had been to Tuscany before but never to Livorno which is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

I had an incredible time catching up with friends and felt as if we only touched the surface in our conversations.  I was truly sad to leave.  In staying with a friend, I felt as if I lived an Italian life.  The difference of traveling and staying at hotels is that is you don’t speak Italian you will be OK.  Even though some friends spoke English, not knowing Italian when living the Italian lifestyle is someone I overlooked the importance of! It would have been helpful if I thought of that before I left on my trip as opposed to when I came home and ordered Rosetta Stone!   Foreign languages are not my forte, so learning Italian will be an adventure in itself!

Somehow not knowing Italian, I got by and even saw a student Improvisation Show in Italian at Associazione Cultural Vertigo.  Did I understand it?  Some of it! Maybe if there is a next time, I will understand more if it! Watching TV in Italian was interesting as well. I would watch NCIS and Criminal Minds in Italian. Strange to hear the actors with an Italian accent that did not sound remotely like the American actors that play the roles.  The shows are not several seasons behind.  I was fascinated how perfectly dubbed the Italian was, you would never know the actors were truly not speaking Italian.  I tried to lip read to see if I could see the their mouths and the English words they were speaking but it was not possible to do!  The dubbing was incredible!  At least for me, David Letterman was in English and current!

What did I see?  Where did I go?  What did I eat?  All stories yet to come!

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