Friday, August 7, 2009

Eight Accordians, Red Rover, Pompelmo Rosso and the Bell Tower of San Pietro

Here is the view from my window in Assisi. I got here for Art Workshop International on Wednesday—the good news/bad news of the trip being that I missed my 5:00 p.m. connection at JFK because of bad weather in Indianapolis and had to take the 7:20 flight—on which I was bumped up to first class.

(I know why they put the curtain between first class and coach: they don’t want the peons to see how much different it is—champagne and little dishes of mixed nuts, nifty little traveler packs with cozy socks and sleep masks. Not to mention miniature quilts and real pillows.)

However, when I got to Rome and found myself the one and only person watching two bags go around and around on the luggage carousel I had to face the fact that my luggage had not come along on the trip. That was Wednesday morning. It’s Friday night here, and my luggage is allegedly being delivered tomorrow morning. The amazing thing is that I totally did not freak out about this. I had packed enough to get by for a few days, and I have. The truth is, just a few more things and I’d have been fine for the whole time I’m gone.

I feel like this has been an excellent lesson for me. But I also know that the next time I travel, I’ll probably still start throwing all kinds of stuff in the suitcase at the last minute—just in case. It is my great flaw as a traveler.

I’m great on wonder, though. Everything here astonishes me.

Last night, after a fabulous dinner on the terrace at the Hotel Giotto, a bunch of us walked up to hear a student concert, which would have been wonderful even without the accordion octet. Yes. Eight accordions playing Piazzolla’s “Libertango.”

Afterwards, we walked on up to the piazza outside Santa Chiara, where a bunch of Italian kids were playing what looked a lot like “Red Rover.”

And on to the only gelato place in town that has my absolute favorite: pink grapefruit. Pompelmo rosso. Saying it is half the pleasure. (Alas, the only pleasure last night, since they were closing down and had already put the pompelmo rosso away. I had limone instead—an excellent substitute.)

Then to sleep, the lit bell tower of San Pietro framed by my window.

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