I've come to the end of the journey here in Umbria, boarding literally at the last moment, the train for Rome, then onward to cinque terre and Pisa. Despite the challenges presented by the lack of heat and hot water, I truly enjoyed working outdoors in the jawdropping environment, surrounded by meadows and mountains, medieval worlds just a walk away. There's a little romantic voice telling me to chuck my vocation and learn the art of the vine, that I may produce and photograph the quinntissential Chardonnay here in tumbling Umbria, though I intend to minimize the heeding for now...3.5 hours later and we arrive under cover of Alps, at la Spezia, which is abruptly armpitty, but oh well, you got to put the factories somewhere I guess. Lerici is a sleepy coastal village at the end of the Italian riviera, 15 more minutes by bus. It is dominated by a formidable castle jutting into the bay, now a museum of sorts, and has the dubious honor of being the place where Percy Shelley drowned, this part of italy being a favorite haunt of the poetic duo, manifest in the many trattorias, streets and hotels that have adopted a part or all of their names. Our hotel has a heater and hot water, and a terribly civilized minibar, though it does require some fortitude getting up the winding cobble-strewn stairs with all the luggage. Time enoughfor a quick trip around the piazzas before a nap. We have a rather lot of wine with dinner, and i decide to run up the myriad stairs to our hotel. I almost decide to throw up, but change my mind.
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