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Aiden’s Travel Diary

Monday, 31 Jul 2006

Location: Tuscany, Italy

MapAfter arriving and spending some great days at the beach and meeting some Madda's friends, we embarked on our adventure of Tuscany.
It started with Florence, travelled to Siena and finished in San Gimignano. All visited by train--- yes, i reminisced about our train travels in Germany Switerland and Italy, Leo, and they were good memories.... sniff, sniff.
An absolutely gorgeous countryside and with the help of my travel guide, who had more information about Italian history than anyone, (except maybe her dad) was awesome to get all the information about each of the sites we saw.
Heres a little taste of what I experienced.

Una Breve Storia dell' Italia
(A Brief History of Italy)
As dictated by Madda Rossi
As remembered and forgotten by Aiden Lyon. DAMN.
Written again with the help of Madda Rossi

1. Romolo e Remo
As the legend goes, before Rome was founded, as a punishment from Marte, the God of War, a nun named Vestale was impregnanted, and she gave birth to two children Romolo and Remo, who were half mortal half God. As she was a nun, she wasn't able to keep her two children, and so they were abandoned by the the river Tevere, the main river flowing through Rome at present. The children, named Romolo and Remo were brought up and fed by a wolf, and later adopted by a shepherd, and as rumour has it, called Lupo.
These children grew up and later fought as one of these two children had to become the ruler of Rome.
Romolo conquered, and therefore became the first King of Rome.
Wolf in Italian is called lupo, and so 'maybe' this is where it comes from.

2. Dante Alighieri, the poet.
Being the utmost ignorant Australian, especially because I wasnt the most avid reader of Italian poetry, Madda was shocked to hear that I didnt really know much about Dante Alighieri. She got a bit passionate as EVERYBODY knows Shakespeare but NOBODY knows Dante..... apparently Im not the first. Sooo.. just say this briefing the next time you meet an Italian.
Dante was one of the most famous poets of Medival Italy and also to this day. His most well known work is the Divina Commedia, 'the divine comedy.' Which is made up of three volumes: L'inferno, Il Purgatorio, and Il Paradiso. The Hell, Purgatory, and The Heaven-- all written in poetry. Of course it is not a comedy, but basically he searching for the right way for spiritual salvation, and had a revelation in a dream, and so writes about his dream, or revelation.
If you have an extra 4 years or so, you can go and read each volume to pick up the REALLY cultural Italians.

3. Guelfi e Ghibellini
When Dante was alive, Tuscany and Italy in general was divided into smaller states in Italian, named Signorie. Some of these Signorie supported the government, whilst some others supported the church. Guelfi supported the church and conversly, Ghibellini, the government. It is predominantly evident in the Architectural design of the buildings constructed in the era.
Merli, which is the design of the top of the builings, were used to show their alliance to the church or government. Ghibellini his is more the tradition castle look, flat and square. Whilst, Guelfi incorporated a slant on the decend.
Take a looksie at the photos to clear my hazy decription.
Dad, should know... shouldnt you???

But, that is just a little. The amount fo churches we saw was far from spare, but would have liked to see more museums, but time was not on our side, and there was too many other things to see, rather than the back of someones head waiting in a line to enter a museum. About 35°C and several kilometres later, and sweating so much we basically slid everywhere and smelt even worst, we returned back to Forli around 12 midnight.
Have a gork at the piccys.
Its amazing as the photos you take never really capture the feeling that you experience... but you can try I spose.
HAHA!! Anybody still jealous????
And can i just say, that ice cream is DEFINITELY better in Italy, God dddamn it.
Coming home soonish, as the adventure is almost over.
Looking forward to seeing you all, and telling all the details.
BTW. Did anybody know that Mussolini is from Forli??
Apparently they are proud of it---
Big Kisses.