Getting Ready for England & Italy

cotswolds

Thanks for joining me! Planning for and anticipation of a trip are at least half the fun. Right now I am planning a trip to England and Italy.  The picture above is just one of the stops on a 6 day small group garden tour of the Cotswolds area in England, England garden tour just north of Oxford. We will see a mix of public and private gardens.  I was in England in 1972 as a high school junior. We did venture out as far as Stratford-upon-Avon which it turns out is about 8 miles from our home base for this tour.

I have decided to rent a car since where I am going is a bit out in the country and I found if difficult to get there using public transportation. Of course I have been watching videos and reading about driving on the left side of the road.  One article said “Drive anywhere but the Cotswolds,” which is where I am going!  However having grown up where dirt roads are the norm and some are just one lane, I think that part will be ok.  And I know how to drive a standard, but shifting with my left hand concerns me.  I hope Heathrow Airport has a spot where I can get warmed up.

 

rome

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

For the second part of the trip my niece Erin will be joining me in Rome where we will begin a two week stay in Italy.  Our “theme” will be going to places that a typical tourist would not be able to visit.  Because I speak Italian and because we will have a car we are heading out into the regions of Campagnia, Umbria and Tuscany.  We will have a day and a half in Rome before grabbing our car and hitting the road.  Our first stop will be my grandmother’s town of Taurasi di Avellino (in the mountains NE of Naples) which is adjacent to my grandfather’s town of Mirabella Eclano.  We will be visiting the church where they married in Taurasi and hope to see the register where my grandmother’s birth certificate is recorded.  In addition we will be going to the anagrafe office in Mirabella Eclano to bring a small thank you to the woman who found the documents I used in my dual citizenship application.

Next stop will be Umbria where we will stay at an agritourismo near Lake Trasimeno east of Perugia.  I am dying to see Umbria, known as “Italy’s Green Heart.”  Thanks to a member of our Italian conversation class who is there know I am getting a lot of good ideas on where to go.  Then we will head to Tuscany where we will stay inside the walled city of Cortona.  Most of our accommodations will allow us to cook which is something both Erin and I enjoy.  So stay tuned.  Maybe I will post next about packing.

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