Leila Case: If it’s Tuesday we must be in …

Published 11:49 am Sunday, July 28, 2019

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Now let’s consult the itinerary.
This is what Anne Barrett of Leslie, my daughter-in-law, and former resident Connie Wise of The Villages, Florida, said after opening their eyes at dawn’s early light during their 10-day tour of Italy from the top of the boot in Venice to the Sorrento peninsula earlier this month.
No, they really didn’t say that — this twosome is too savvy to get lost — but they were up early in the morning and late to bed at night to experience the sights, sounds, scents, and culture as they biked, hiked, and dined throughout Italy, which Anne said was lush with beautiful flowers, especially the bougainvillea, and other blooms such as we have here but are larger and fuller because of the country’s year-round climate.
Their adventure began in Venice where they joined their tour group and traveled by water taxi to their hotel on the Isle of Lido, returning to Venice again by water taxi to sightsee that included St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Place that dates back to 1340, and a glass blowing demonstration, the city’s most celebrated art. Then it was on to Florence and a taste of Florentine life that included a food tour and dining on authentic cuisine with each course served at a different restaurant. Then it was on to Rome that Anne says is awesome, especially the Vatican, the ancient Colosseum, and other historic sites. They also had a three-hour bike tour of the city one afternoon. In Rome, they enjoyed another elegant meal at the Casa Breve Restaurant, once a palace and built by the Medici family. The first course was served in the wine cellar and the other courses were presented upstairs. One tasty dish was squash blossoms. They enjoyed a scenic drive to Serrano and the Sorrento Peninsula along the Mediterranean coastline via Pompeii and a guided walking tour of the city’s ruins. On their excursion to Pisa these fit women climbed to the top of the Tower of Pisa that only allows only 50 people to go up at a time.
Then it was on to Naples and an educational tour of a cameo factory where they saw beautiful cameos being carved out of colorful seashells, which Anne said was fascinating. She said another restaurant they enjoyed in Sorrento was like a greenhouse with lemon trees that grew to the ceiling.
Suddenly, their trip was over, and it was time to fly home. Anne says the trip was awesome as well as educational.
Meanwhile, Sylvia Roland and her mother, Lela Pumphrey, returned from a 10-day trip to Peru, which Sylvia says was an enjoyable, remarkable trip. They flew into Lima and toured the city and took a flight to Cusco, former capital city of the Incan empire, which is 12,500 ft. above sea level, and its high altitude causes those of us who live at sea level some problems such as headache, dizziness, fingers tingling, and nausea.
They visited several cities around Cusco, including Chinchera, Urubamba (in the Sacred Valley), and Ollantaytambo, a very important city to the Incas. The culmination of their trip was a day journey to Machu Picchu, which is the mountaintop remains of an Incan settlement, hidden for 400 years after the Spanish conquistadors invaded Peru and not discovered until 1911, when American anthropologist Hiram Bingham discovered the hidden city now considered one of the seven modern wonders of the world. Sylvia says the city is remarkably intact and is a “must” on anyone’s bucket list. They also visited the city of Puno, which lies on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the highest altitude navigable lake in the world. On the lake are some interesting structures called the Uros Islands, which are built from reeds and on which Andean people reside. Sylvia is home for awhile and then she’s off to Italy — this time she will spruce up the condominium that she and her mother co-own in a small town on the Mediterranean Sea, anticipating the arrival of visitors who will be guests there. They are winners of the trip Sylvia offered for the live and silent auction to benefit the Ginny Whaley Memorial pipe organ fund at First United Methodist Church last May.
Meanwhile, Karen Austin joined her sister Beth Nellis and their six cousins at Beth’s home in Highlands, North Carolina, last week, going especially for the annual Cashier’s Garden Tour, a family tradition for these cousins and this is the 20th year they have gathered. Karen said the four gardens they toured were beautiful. Incidentally, Karen took along Elberta peaches and sunflowers from Brown’s Farm Market in Montezuma.
And don’t miss stopping by the Art Gallery, 117 W. Forsyth St., for First Friday, from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 2. The Americus Arts Council is hosting a meet and greet with the talented local artists whose work is currently on exhibit. They are Betty Levins, Yasmin Hasnain, Courtnay Puckett, Jeff Williams, Tonya McDonald, Charles Davis, wood turners Bill Hudson and Keith Petersen, potter Jane Myers, jewelry maker Richard Scarborough, and Devan Cole, glass artist. I’ll see you there.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.