It's official, Mindy and I booked our flight to Italy! We will be there in early November for eight days. Which gives us seven weeks to research where we definitely want to go, and what we are willing to pass on. That also gives me seven weeks to finish my Italian lessons, of which I am on lesson three...out of fifteen. (Let's forget that I've been working on this since April).
We will be backpacking, staying in hostels, and riding the rails to get around the country. Starting out in Pisa, the plan is to go to Florence, back down to Siena, then to Rome, and perhaps to Naples and hitting any little towns along the way that interest us. Then it will be back up to Pisa for our departure. If anyone has ever been in those areas and has any suggestions, I would be very interested to hear what you have to say.
I have purchased my backpack, and think that it will work out very well. I went with and REI Ridgeline 65 and have found it to be very comfortable and convenient. It has a great hiding spot for my passport, once I am in the country (I will carry it with me if I leave my bag in the hostels), and also has various other compartments for my more frequently needed items.
I have several friends that have traveled abroad and I look forward to any advice that they have to give. Justin has already been quite helpful with how best to deal with jet lag, as it has the potential to be a problem when I first arrive in Italy. He will also be of great help while I am gone, as Oliver can not be left alone for twelve days, and there is no other person I would rather have looking after my bubba than him.
I also look forward to running in Italy with my original running partner again. Mindy and I just spoke on the phone and agreed that it would be very neat if we could find a 5k or 10k to run while we are over there.
For now my research begins, and my Italian studies continue. Ciao!