Those Trevi Fountain coins turned out to be a terrific investment – I’m on my way back to Italy!
A few things have changed. I’m married to Mike from Toledo – hitchhiking companion for much of the summer following my year at the University of Grenoble. He’s a newly sworn-in Foreign Service Officer assigned to the U.S. Consulate General in Naples. I can hardly believe I have another shot at Italy.
The U.S. still has regular trans-Atlantic crossings and we can choose between airplanes and ocean liners. Not a hard decision. We travel on the U.S. Export Lines SS Independence. Food service is non-stop and dinners are many courses. Our table mates are intent on getting their money’s worth and order all of them. Normally this would not be a problem, but I’m a bit queasy. Hmm. Could pregnancy be the cause?
We climb the rock of Gibralter among the monkeys that call it home. We stop in Majorca and I endure my first and only bullfight. We have a day in Tangier. Very exotic. But I can hardly wait to dock in Naples.
It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful setting. The multi-hued city rises, layer upon layer, up its hills from the blue of the Bay of Naples, with the 12th century Castel d’Ovo to welcome arriving boats. The mirage-like cone of Vesuvius hovers in the near distance.
Naples is home for the next two years. And I have a lot to learn.