Monday, May 14, 2012

Veni, Vidi, Victus Sum

Vetus Aeris vis Sergeant in Amphitheatrum Flavium
"Sono tornato in Italia!" Which Google Translator confidently informs me means "I have returned from Italy. And a marvelous trip it was!

C'est moi, at left, striking what I felt was a rather Roman pose. Sans toga. No, not naked you naughty person, but dressed not as an ancient Roman but as a modern tourist. This shot was taken by CINCHOUSE just outside the Colliseum, or more accurately the Amphitheatrum Flavium. At least that's what our local tour guide indicated was the correct name.

And as she was extraordinarily cute and extremely intelligent, I took her at her word. After all she's Italian, is very educated and, did I mention, very cute? More on our Italian guides later, with pictures. Now don't skip ahead, that would be cheating!

The Missus and I had a lovely 2 days in Rome (Roma, for you intelligentsia), 2 days in Florence (Firenze) and 2 days in Venice (Venezia). All in all it was exhausting but well worth the trip. As I like to say about Italy, "Come for the vino, stay for the gelato." Both of which were consumed in Italy, in somewhat larger quantities than is perhaps healthy. But when in Rome...

Getting Ready for the Games
Now about that title "Veni, vidi, victus sum". You educated types will no doubt correct the grammar. For those of us who sorely lack a (ahem) "classical education", this translates to, "I came, I saw, I was conquered". Apparently J.E.B. Stuart (yes, he of Civil War fame (or, War Between the States for my Southern readers) also used this line once upon a time, so I can't (and won't) take credit for it. Besides, I'm not that clever.

Yes, Italy has embraced me and entertained me and left me wanting more. At least more chianti (and more gelato, for sure). Oh, forgot to mention the food. Yes, the food was, shall we say, INCREDIBLE!!! (OMG for you texters and Tweeters.)

Now about our tour guides. The lead on this "Taste of Italy" was a gentleman named Carmine. And to be most accurate, that's pronounced "CAR-ME-NAY", emphasis on the first syllable. A rather knowledgeable and personable chap hailing from Rome itself. Let me introduce him at this time.

Carmine was our constant companion throughout the trip and kept us out of trouble. I have to say, whatever his employer pays him, it isn't enough. I mean the man seemed inexhaustible. If you needed something at any time, he was there. I know I did not get much sleep on this trip, he got even less. I asked him what his next gig was after our group left. He indicated that he had another tour in about a week. His plans for his off time? Sleep. Get up and then sleep some more. Sounds like a plan to me!

Now Carmine was our main tour guide. In each city we also had a local guide. For Rome we had Alessia. Did I mention that she was cute?

Here she is.
Our Local Roman Guide
I'd like to say that all Italian women look like her. That would be untrue. But I have to say, there is a rather high percentage of extremely attractive ladies in Italy. I know that there are many attractive ladies in most countries. But English, spoken by an attractive Italian lady, is rather breathtaking. Maybe it was the vino. Did I mention how great the wine is in Italy? I have always liked chianti, now I really like chianti.

So I'm back from Italy. I will share humorous vignettes from our trip in the weeks to come. But let me leave you with just two more photos. The first is of Caesar's Palace. No, not the one in Las Vegas, the one in Rome. Though this is probably what the one in Vegas looks like after a few Naval Aviators and NFOs have paid it a visit.

And finally, the Tuscan countryside. Taken at San Gimignano, after a rather long walk up a rather large hill.



  1. Regarding your comment about Pilots and FOs in Vegas- we keep our damage limited to the 3rd floor.

    1. Of course you do. Precision strike and all that.

    2. More of a bad joke (Tailhook reference).

    3. I figured as much but (surprisingly) exercised a bit of restraint. After all, my son-in-law (Big Time) is a member. Oddly enough my daughter (the WSO) is not. Perhaps she does have more sense than me.

  2. sigh...Tuscany. All that - wine. Red wine in all flavors. sigh

    Welcome home. What did you bring me? :-)

    1. I would like to say that I brought you a vicious head cold. But as someone gave it to me, I can't give it to you. That would make me a "re-gifter". Something I have never been. On the other hand I have multiple posts planned all based on my week in Italy. I'm also going through some serious gelato-withdrawal. Very painful. Perhaps some chianti to ease the pain?

    2. Don't need the cold; have acute laryngitis from allergies so I'm all set in that department.

      Which - a nice Chianti would work for me too.


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