My recent trip to Italy with the St. James’s Choir filled me with oodles of content ideas for The Gracious Posse. Including them in my posts of Venice, Florence, Siena and Rome would have burdened those posts unnecessarily, so I saved them for today: a postscript.
Book people are everywhere! I had the most fun discussing Italian-themed books with my fellow choristers as we traveled through Italy. Whether you are planning a trip, want to re-live an experience or journey vicariously to Italy, why not give the following a try? For more information about each book, click on the book for a review from Amazon.com. I hope to read them all!
Too Much Tuscan Sun: Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide (Insiders’ Guides) by Dario Castagno. A humorous account from a Tuscan tour guide. Reported to be very funny.
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant. Historical fiction set in Florence.
Venice, A Maritime Republic by Frederic C. Lane. Historical chronical of rise and decline of Venice; our tour guide in Venice spoke highly of this book.
Inferno by Dan Brown. This was recommended by several. Look for me on the beach with this one.
The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich. Historical fiction set in Venice.
The Fallen Angel. Daniel Silva’s murder mystery set at the Vatican.
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. A must-read for me now!
The Posse Fit-For-Travel Workout: How did it go, if at all?
Before departing I published the Posse Fit-For-Travel Workout, and wondered if I was crazy to think about exercising while touring. I did do the workout – once – but not right away. A tiny room, travel fatigue and hectic schedule hindered me from exercising in Venice. I waited to see if the hotel in Florence would be suitable, and to my delight, it was. I found a discrete patch of grass with a wall for the “Wall Sit with Raise” and a nearby planter suitable for the “Hand Walk with Feet on Chair or Bench”, turned on the Interval Timer app on my iPhone, and got busy generating endorphins!
Previously I mentioned my decision to pack lightly, opting to forego fashion options in the name of keeping things simple, knowing we were going to be hoisting our own bags through 5 cities. However, I failed to pack a tote bag, which I found to be a necessity to carry my choir robe and music folder to our musical venues. While in Venice, the Corwins and I ventured into a Billa grocery store, and Scott spied a reusable tote for €.99. I thought it surprisingly stylish with its faux black patent exterior and Italian verbiage, plus it was roomy enough for my needs, so I sprang for the Euro, and came home with a fine souvenir,
especially now that I know the translation! (For those of you, like me, who didn’t get the Italian humor at first, think King Kong for the left image, and Snow White for the right. Ha Ha Ha).
The Mediterranean Diet
As expected the food in Italy was divine. With a few hotel breakfast exceptions, every offering followed the Mediterranean way of eating, according to the Mayo Clinic website:
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:
- Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
- Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
- Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
- Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
A mere 10 days in Italy made me realize the impact this diet can have, and I hope to sustain the Mediterranean mindset (the red wine won’t be a challenge). I’m on a mission to find delicious Mediterranean dishes; do you have any you would like to share with The Gracious Posse? Please contact us if you do!