Love Like a Burning City in the Breast

Only ten more days until departure! All I want to think about and all I want to do is plan the trip to Florence, but committees and classes in Kentucky pull me away from my escapism.

While I’m in Italy, I want to make weekend excursions to other cities, including the following:

  • Naples. I must officially determine if Neapolitan ice cream always comes in stripes of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. My sister and I called it “Napoleon” ice cream when we were kids. No worries: I won’t ask for those stripes and that name when I visit the gelateria. Of course, I also must sample ALL OF THE PIZZA in Napoli.
  • Pisa. When I was a child, my mom often called me “Lisa-Pisa,” and upon learning of the Leaning Tower, I wanted to see it. I’ll be taking a touristy selfie with it, of course.
  • Pompeii. As soon as the Italy class became a reality, I imagined myself seeing the ruins of Pompeii, “the burning city of the breast,” as Edna St. Vincent Millay alludes in her sonnet. I’ve always been fascinated by the Pompeii story, about the people whose bodies were covered and preserved in ash—women clutching their children, lovers embracing eternally, dogs looking like they were scratching their backs on the grass.
  • Rome. Who doesn’t want to go to Rome? I’d LOVE to go to Vatican City and see the Sistine Chapel, and it would be beatific to run into Pope Francis, whom I’ve greatly admired since his election. One of the students on the trip, Lauren, even has the god-hand and Adam-hand tattooed on each calf, and she definitely needs to take a photo underneath the majestic Michelangelo ceiling.
  • Venice. I want to take a gondola ride. I want to quote from the Merchant of Venice and Othello. I want to shoo away any Casanovas from students who might accompany me. I want to see actual Murano glass and possibly bring back some glassware or a mask from the City of Masks.

These adventures might sound pretty cliché, but this trip will be my first to Italy–hopefully the first of many. I’m sure I’ll be populating this blog with non-cliched sights and sites, too. I want to see different regions so that I may witness the geographical and climatic changes of the country. I will be a student of this country for the month of June.

If my EKU students can accompany me to these sites, it would be great, but I won’t be requiring the extra travel for them.

I think a committee meeting is calling my name.

Ciao, uomini e donne!

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