Sunday, November 22, 2009


little did we know where this sign would take us


a visit from the sun

our tour/life guide, gino

one of many wine cellars

a peak at our samplings

our samplings

castello di verrazzano's kitchen made two veggie eaters very happy

willa's surprise weekend getaway? le grotte de frasassi, world famous caverns!

my first stalagmites!

my first stalactites!

grotta grande del vento which can apparently hold the milan cathedral

my little spelunker

absolutely unreal

i thought this passageway was a joke at first...not a joke.

they refer to this one as an organ


the happier i am, the more asian i look. i'm really happy here.

couldn't dream it

vittorio, who renamed us vilma and sylvia

all natural

trying to do it justice

vittorio hosing down my boots

like two bats in a cave

memories in real-time

It goes without saying that my studies abroad have really been a compilation of less-than-textbook ventures, resembling more of a playfully rampant series of vacations with the apple of my eye, Willa. One of our latest trips found us in the Chianti region for my first wine tour at the charming Castello di Verrazzano winery. In the presence of good company, food, and a warmly lit hearth, we managed to savor much more beyond our emptied glasses. Continuing the weekend's sparkle, Willa schemed a surprise adventure for Saturday, having me meet her in the deserted town of Genga, a five hour train away, with no further instruction. Once again, my mischievous little scamp worked her magic and granted me a wish only she would be wondrous enough to materialize. We explored Le Grotte di Frasassi, a wildly ravishing system of caves, littered with whimsical limestone formations, tunnels, endless twists and turns, and giant stone ballrooms with ceilings ever-reaching towards the unreachable surface. And for a moment there, inside, sitting amongst the boulders, draped in an immensity of unthinkable blackness, with the echoed whisper of trickling water serving as the only remnant of sound, I smiled one of the most earnest and unrestrained smiles I have ever had. Thank you, Vilma :)

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