The Starting Place – Orvieto, Italia – 25 settembre 2015

My first experience flying Air Canada was a good one.  Guys, they sure have beautiful stewardesses!  I booked my roundtrip ticket through Travelocity almost five months ago.  The cost was $1231.89 – including the site’s booking fee . (I also purchased the optional insurance for $80.  Let’s face it.  Insurance is legalized gambling!)  The first leg was from Denver to Toronto.  I didn’t check any luggage.  I had a backpack on my back, a daypack on my shoulder, and a book and hat in hand.  Thank goodness I wasn’t asked to put my backpack in the template – it never would have fit even though it was packed tightly and cinched down.  For whatever reason, I got to go through the TSA pre-screened line – no disrobing, isolating laptops, keys, liquids, etc.  I think it was because I didn’t check bags, but, I don’t know for sure.

My layover in Toronto was almost 5 hours.  Ugh!  I always consider the length of layovers when traveling – especially internationally.  Too short and you and/or your bags may not make the connection.  We had to go through passport control (and, turn in a declarations sheet) in Toronto.  Oh, and they wanted to see my boarding pass for my next connection.  Dig through the day pack…

The flight to Roma was easy.  I sat next to a gorgeous woman in her early 50s.  She was born in the Abruzzo region of Italy.  Her family moved to Canada when she was a baby.  Her husband was also on the flight.  He was born in Calabria and moved to Canada as a baby.  I thought it was weird these two met and got married.  Her Italian was very good and we practiced a bit on the plane.

Once in Roma, my passport was checked – and, I made my way to the airport train station.  I bought a train ticket to Roma Termini (the large train station in Roma) from an agent at the bigletteria.  The ticket was 14€ for the 32 minute ride.  It’s a crazy ride.  Lots of people with lots of luggage!  At Roma Termini I bought my ticket to Orvieto – 7.70€ for a 126km ride.  It was a long haul to my binario (platform).  Imagine a huge U.  I had to walk past 24 platforms at the top of one side of the U, around the bottom of the U, up past 24 platforms to the top of the other side of the U – and, finally, to one of the five platforms off to the side of the U.  Whew!  And, it was hot (fa caldo).  Here’s the link to the official website of the station:  http://www.romatermini.com.  They have an app for that!

After about an hour on the train, I arrived in Orvieto.  I’ve rented this apartment: www.airbnb.com/rooms/5626470  The cost?  $278 for three nights.

Laura, the lovely owner, was kind enough to take me to the apartment from the train station. Her driving skills were impressive – driving her manual transmission car up steep and very narrow roads without any worry. She is an absolute sweetheart, and, after showing me around the apartment she took off for Rome, but not without dozens of hugs and kisses. The apartment is perfect!  I asked her for the first right of refusal if she ever decided to sell!  But, yes, there are steep stairs leading from the street… It’s absolutely quiet, here.  The only thing I hear is church bells. I crashed and woke up after dreaming of being in Italy. But, it wasn’t a dream…

(Click on the pictures to enlarge – you’ll be glad you did!)

la cucina    The kitchen.  (La cucina.)

view from the kitchen  The view from the kitchen.

dining room  The dining room.  (La sala da pranzo.)

salotto  The living room.  (Il  salotto.)

view from the living space   The view from the living room.

la camera da letto  The bedroom. (La camera da letto.)

la doccia  The shower.  (La doccia.)  Oh, how I loved the built-in bench in the shower!

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