Preparing for Italy

It’s less than two weeks until I leave for il bel paese. I’m trying to start making preparations now since I’ll be working and in classes until the day before we leave.

At this time of year the weather is a little difficult to pack for. My professor suggests it will be a three sweater trip. I’ll bow to his expertise, he’s been to Italy several times. He even proposed to his wife on the very street corner Dante was said to have first glimpsed Beatrice. I’m not sure anyone could say no to such a romantic and well thought out gesture.

I’ve decided to settle for comfortable, warm, and tasteful as the general theme to my wardrobe. We’re going have a few nice evenings out, so I’m packing a dress or two to accommodate that. I always have fears of being the ugly American abroad. 

For my mental preparations, I’m practicing “thank you,” “excuse me, do you speak English,” and a few other key phrases. I’m learning which bits of Rome to avoid at night. I’m also combing Google Maps to try and get a sense of what’s around where we’re staying. It will also give me a sense of where to go during our free time.

As a dyed in the wool English nerd, I have a special side trip on the agenda. The Protestant Cemetery in Rome holds the final remains of John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley (well, all but his heart if you believe the lore…) It’s supposed to be a beautiful site. Their weeping angel (though the Whovian in me shudders a bit at that one), and the Pyramid of Cestius are famous monuments in the cemetery as well. It might take some orchestration to get there during the trip, since they close the gates at 5 pm. Our schedule in Rome is a bit tight with tours and dinners for most of the day every day.

I feel like I can’t go all the way to Rome with out paying homage to some poets who have had a major impact on me and my own writing. According to Google Maps, it should only take about a half an hour to walk there. 

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