Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lost Again--This Time in Italy

Back when we were blogging on HOL I related the time I was the “lostest” I ever was—in “Lost in Paris”.  This blog is about the second worst case of being lost I ever experienced.

I was in Fiuggi, Italy which dates back to Roman times when it was called Anticoli.  The old hill town (see photo below) has remained virtually unaltered for centuries with its narrow, stone paved streets.  The piazza, with it’s numerous restaurants and church, is the center of activity and it is here, over a glass of wine or espresso that the locals meet to discuss their favorite soccer teams or the politics of the day.   Just below in the valley, a ‘new’ town, home to Fiuggi’s famous spas, was built in the 13th century when Pope Boniface Vlll realized the curative properties of the waters.  After his “doctor”, a Cistercian monk, “proved” the value of the waters, the  town became a  popular spa, famous among the rich and powerful of Europe. Michaelangelo wrote of drinking the Anticoli waters for cures.

As you can see the town is built on a hillside with a wall around it (midpoint of hill).  The interior of the town is comprised of many, many narrow crooked passageways that often end in a cul-de-sac at the entrance to a private apartment.  The photo below was taken near the edge of the town where the sunlight penetrated nicely.  Other parts of the town are completely covered over by the buildings that have overarched the “streets”.

I wandered into the old town on the upper level after climbing from the valley below where my hotel was located.  After becoming too interested in the various homes, businesses, etc inside the walls I realized that I didn’t know how to get out.  Down one lane to a dead end—back up and take another one to a three-way fork.  Which way to go???  Take the left one every time and maybe I’ll get out.  Nope, after five successive turns I found myself back where I started deep in the interior.  As I walked I passed by several private residences where only a curtain shrouded the life of the family inside from the outside lane.  There was even a small (maybe 10 feet by 12 feet) grocery store at one point located so deep inside that I’m sure its produce and canned goods were hand carried in.  Finally, my old days in the Oklahoma woods came back and I started to go down hill at every opportunity.  (That will always take one to civilization in the woods.)  After only four more dead end reroutes I finally glimpsed sunlight and followed it to the lower edge of the town from whence I walked the wall back to the top where I had gone in.

After that “harrowing” experience I felt the need for liquid refreshment so I repaired to a quaint outdoor café and practiced my Italian—you know, una birra, due birre, tre birre, etc.


At December 10, 2008 at 11:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you have really been traveling. Glad you made it out and back to the woods and civilization.

At December 11, 2008 at 10:52 PM , Blogger Pat Burroughs said...

Glad you found your way out. You could have starved!

At December 12, 2008 at 1:32 PM , Blogger Bill Hinds said...

That's really a neat story Glen, and that town looks like a story book town. I would love to just wander around in a town like that for a day or two. Thanks


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