My time in Italy is coming to a very difficult close as I prepare myself to say some hard goodbyes in 10 short days. I’m making the most of these days and have had the most wonderful past week with Rosie in my second home, Fornaci. We’ve filled our days with trips, times with the kiddies, meeting new friends, and having unexpected adventures. I turned 22 on the 17th, much to my dismay, and we marked the occasion with a beautiful trip to the mountains.Some of my Italian family’s friends are very familiar with this mountain area and took us through a tour of a national park that houses some ancient rock engravings. We were fortunate to have a tour guide in our group who used to work in the park and so we received the full low-down on these amazing engravings. After our mountain fun, Rosie and I claimed the kitchen to make some birthday pancakes. Thankfully Rosie is a genius when it comes to food and so she patched together a substitute buttermilk pancake recipe to accommodate the Italian ingredients selection. I brought over a jug of maple syrup with me when I came to Italy and we’ve been saving it for just such an occasion. There’s nothing like hot pancakes and Canadian maple syrup to warm my heart. We had a great little celebration in the back garden with a few friends and my Italian family. I’ve been spoiled rotten by the love and generosity of my Fornaci family.The next day Rosie and I took some time to blitz through the city, taking in the castle and local museum.Our favourite tour guides 🙂We couldn’t resist a day on Lake Garda and so we managed to squeeze in a day trip to Sirmione from Desenzano. Rosie and I are big on swimming and so, on the recommendation of a friend, we googled some instructions on how to reach a gorgeous beach that was a bit out of the way. As it turns out, “a little bit out of the way” means “A LOT out of the way.” It’s a small miracle we found the beach at all and arrived in one piece.Our instructions were to follow the stone path until the end and then just keep going over the rocks and through the water for a ways. It started out simple enough until there were no longer any people on the path, nor boats in the water. We worked our way around the whole perimeter of the island on the slippery submerged algae-ridden rocks with nothing in particular to grip on to. An hour and a bit later, we found ourselves some humans. Turns out our journey could have taken us all of ten minutes had we gone along the main road instead of a residential street. We were a sight for the tourists as we hobbled along the slippery rocks, mere feet from their sandy footpath, though un-reachable over the chain link fence. Robert Frost would have been proud of us. Not only did we take the road “less traveled,” but I’m pretty sure we took the road “never traveled.” We rewarded ourselves with a beautiful swim in the sea and some squished sandwiches.
We depart for Sicily in less than an hour where I’m sure more adventures will await us. If it means traveling with a mate like Rosie I won’t even mind if we take the road less traveled.
“Two roads diverged in a [sea], and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” (Robert Frost)