Friday, May 26, 2006

Eagle Eye

A Street with a View: Corrie and Antonello

Corrie and I visited the lovely provincial capital of Abruzzo--L'Aquila--back in early April during her very short visit to Italy. We never got around to posting photos from the trip (and instead posted just a list recalling her six brief days in Italy) nor did we even write about the day and a half that we spent there. So, in case you were thinking that we had written L'Aquila off as a waste of time, I'm here, finally, with pictures.

Thank the Lord.

Seriously, though, Corrie and I had a great time visiting L'Aquila. While we had struggled over the decision of where to go (we had narrowed it down to two possibilities: L'Aquila and Montepulciano), we ran into my husband's cousin Daniele on the walk home from classes on a sunny Friday afternoon. As we got to talking, we mentioned our indecision--what was better, Tuscany? Abruzzo?--Daniele, as he often does, took it upon himself to suggest a plan.

"Tomorrow I only work half day. Francesco and I will drive you down to L'Aquila around 2 in the afternoon!" he said, grinning. Francesco, a friend of ours and a famed orange-pants-wearer, had yet to even hear the plan, but somehow, our weekend plans had just been decided. Corrie and I, not sure if anyone would really arrive at 2 pm or not (we were used to plans going out the window), were surprised to hear the doorbell ring. I said goodbye to Antonello (who had to work but would meet up with us the next day), we grabbed our bags, and we nervously accepted the adventure at hand.

The four of us
(incidentally, Francesco and Daniele refused to take any more pictures of all four of us together. Now why is that?)

Luckily, though, Daniele and Francesco made pleasant traveling companions (even if Daniele still can't fathom the difference between a prehistoric grounhog and a prehistoric mammoth...but who can, really?), and put up with our crazy antics and Corrie's very messy gelato-eating. Even better, underrated L'Aquila was a great choice for an overnight trip. This splendid city near the mountains brimmed with daylight and golden edges, off-white stone churches and pink fountains. Random streets led to the city's best views, and piazzas were gathering places in the full sense, not a tourist or tour group around--a city unaware of its own charm. We were lucky to choose L'Aquila--lucky to take a 2 hour drive down there, singing along to Ligabue in the car and laughing at Daniele and Francesco as they sang along as well (oops, did I say we laughed AT them? Um...).

Santa Maria di Collemaggio

Day two meant Antonello coming down to rescue us (as Daniele and Francesco had left early the evening before--are we THAT boring to hang out with? No answers needed, thanks.) and explore the city some more. We sampled generous amounts of L'Aquilan cuisine, got more gelato (Corrie had less trouble this time), and walked a round-about way to the car, taking in last minute views, quiet streets, and one or two more churches. As we got into the car to go home, Corrie and I were ready for a afternoon naps. But we tried to stay awake to catch those last glimpses--the city from above, the drive through the mountains. Despite any prior thoughts we had had to visit other parts of Italy, it was L'Aquila that had brought us here, almost fate-like, to visit her quiet corner of the country. We vowed to return--by way of Daniele and orange-pants Francesco, or by some other means.

L'Aquila had rightly taken our breaths away.


Windows in the City Center

P.S. Sorry Corrie about the funny link to the ice-cream eater! We know that's not you--maybe a cousin of yours :)? Just kidding!

Update: Somehow the above-mentioned gelato-eating photo was removed from the web (hmmm...mysterious), most likely by Corrie's relatives, so a new picture of Corrie as a gelato-eating child has been posted in its place! Enjoy!


At 7:11 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

This place looks WONDERFUL! Dosen't April seem like a life time ago? I can't believe it is only the end of May now. Ugh!

Your pictures are great Jackie! Wish I could have met up with you guys, but it wasn't meant to be.

Hope to see you soon. Maybe for some Mango margs?
ps. I noticed your friend left his bright pants at home. What is with these Italian men and their bright pants? Does YOUR husband have any? I hate to admit it, but mine does....

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

P.S.S. How can your plans go out the window when your window is six floors below, on the ground? Or did you get that fixed?


At 7:19 PM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

I have forbidden orange pants in the house, although the other day I caught Antonello rummaging through some bright red ones with a smile on his face--I had to stop that immediately! :) What color pants does Danilo have?

You're right about the window--I guess our plans went out the window WITH the window... :)

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

oh these photos are incredible. That first pic is by far my favorite.

At 2:40 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

Bella Jack, how did you find that picture of my cousin eating ice cream?! It's a family trait, I suppose (not really, just trying to cover - I'm hopeless!).

The pictures are great! Looking back, I have NO IDEA why F and D could only stand that one picture with us and practically shoved us out of their moving vehicle. We are fun! (or funny, or think they are funny)

Until our next avventura,

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Jackie, if you want a good laugh be sure to check out Gina's blog. There is a picture of her dear husband in a pair of bright pants. He looks sooo happy.

As for my own Italian.... he has one pair of red and two (yes TWO) pairs of orange (burnt orange and BRIGHT orange). He loves them and can not understand why I hate them sooo much. I can agree to allow them, but ONLY in Italy. NO, I repeat NO bright pants while on vacation in America! hehehe.

Hmmmm, now we know what Antonello could use for Christmas! Let see.... banana yellow, fire engine red, lime green.....


At 5:13 PM, Anonymous J.Doe said...

Those are pretty pictures.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

corrie: you know that's not your COUSIN, it's YOU as a little kid :)! i bribed your dad for it :). anyway, i don't get it either why F and D were so eager to get away from us that they pushed us out of their car. don't they get the meaning of 'laughing WITH you but not AT you?' oh well...

cyndi: ha ha! i will check out gina's blog. yesterday i was walking up to work, and there was a guy in a banana yellow sweater behind me, and i kind of chuckled to myself. when he got closer, i noticed it was my BOSS! :) i guess banana yellow isn't as bad as traffic cone orange, but still :)!...

j.doe and expat traveler: thanks! l'aquila was a beautiful city to visit--we were happily surprised by its charming streets...and the view of the mountains from one tiny alley was really impressive (the 1st photo)...but it's FOOD was probably the biggest surprise! Abruzzese food is amazing, i've discovered!


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