this weekend was full of leisurely adventure- the best kind if you ask me. i woke up on yesterday and decided that i needed to go somewhere in tuscany. i had heard good things about orvieto, so i decided to walk down to the market, buy my favorite panino, and then mosey my way over to the train station. i decided to go by myself- i read about women traveling alone across europe in rick steve's and figured that this would be a good way to ease into it. orvieto is only a little over an hour away, so i got into the city around midafternoon. went to the beautiful duomo and then just wandered the streets. it was great; if i wanted to stop, i stopped, and i didn't have to go into any stores that i wasn't interested in, something that is bound to happen when one travels in packs. it didn't hurt that the day was absolutely gorgeous as well, causing the whole town to look like a postcard. at one point, i grabbed some lemon and strawberry gelato and found my way to a church with this grassy area right on the side of the hill. i sat there for a while and by the time i was making my way back to the bus stop, the light was absolutely perfect- i got to see the sun kissed side streets with the laundry and flowers spilling out of the windows, just like in postcards.
today, the weather wasn't quite as perfect, but i stuck it out and went to siena with some friends. glad i did, the city is beautiful as well. i've been reading 'under the tuscan sun' and at one point the author's husband observes that documentaries set in italy didn't impress him nearly as much as they did before purchasing a house in cortona. i felt that same way today; everywhere i've traveled in italy is so picturesque, i can't believe people actually live in these towns. in some ways, i'm so ready to head back to the u.s., but in others, i could stay in italy forever, speaking the beautiful language and just wandering through streets that have been there for centuries.