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Rise and shine in Italia


Every year, I head to Italy with a long list of things I want to see, and do. The to-do list often looks the same, because I never quite accomplish my goals. Here are just a few: try eating tripe; try new gelato flavours (it doesn’t always have to involve chocolate); find a nice Italian husband; buy tea towels; stop wasting half the morning by sleeping in.

I’ll be leaving soon for Italy and this year’s list looks strikingly similar to that from other years. BUT I have a renewed vigour to accomplish that last goal, thanks to Palma’s inspiring example.

Palma, a dear fellow blogger, shames me by her excellent use of time. She seems able, even on vacation, to be up around 6 a.m., and accomplishes a lot. (I pinched this photo from her blog, naturally! It was taken at Genius Loci, Umbria, where I'll be next month.)

This year, I’d really like to do the same. Can you imagine? For once, I could see gorgeous Italian sunrises. I would have more time to drink more coffee. I’d get dibs on hotel breakfasts because I’d beat everyone else down to the buffet. More ultra-sweet Italian cookies for me! Maybe even go to morning Mass once in a while. Avoid the worse of the June heat.

Best of all, I could feel smug. People who rise early often have that look. I’ve kind of admired it.

I vow, here and now, to get up at 6 a.m......or thereabouts.....daily, or at least once a week (no point in being a fanatic) on this trip.

I’ll document my progress as I go along.

Comments (11)


try eating tripe - I wouldn't - sounds gross - I'm ok without it

try new gelato flavours (it doesn’t always have to involve chocolate) - why not - after 5 or 10 pistachio I need a change? I fondly recall this grand marnier and chocolate combo

find a nice Italian husband - excellent idea - I've got one - I highly recommend it!!! 20 years and counting :-)

buy tea towels - very practical - I like this one - the towels I purchased in 1997 in New Zealand have been the "good" ones -so they are still immaculate - I should just use them and buy more!!

stop wasting half the morning by sleeping in - this one can be difficult if you wind up awake at 2am - telling yourself to go back to sleep because you have to be a tourist in the morning

Have a great trip!

Good luck with your resolution - the early morning light is the best for taking photos, for sure. Have a great weekend!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, how exciting for you to be leaving soon. Palma's photo is so beautiful. I'm really enjoying reading her blog and the other ST members currently traveling. It's fun.

I love your short list. I notice you listed eating tripe and gelato before your Italian Husband. :) I'm glad you will be getting up early on this trip to enjoy some Italian sunrises. They are just as pretty as their sunrises.

I'm looking forward to hopefully hearing how your trip is going and how you're doing on your list. :) Take care and enjoy the pre trip excitement.


Kathryn, I hadn't seen your trip blog before -- your photos are fantastic! As is your advice (I've only recenlty stopped saving things for "good" use since that time never seems to come around.)

Annie, I'm hoping that by having made my resolution public, I'll really be forced to get up early at least a couple of times. And get photographic proof I did so!

Hi Kathy, the Italian husband did come before tea towels! :) But perhaps I'm giving my stomach too high a priority! I plan to blog from Italy -- I know how much I enjoy reading other blogger's notes from the road.

Shelagh (SJ):

Hi Sandra:
We all hope that you too will blog from Italy when you have time.
I always enjoy all your descriptions of art; as I know nothing about it, and usually find "my" art outside, in the streets and countryside.
You are going to be so busy!
Have a really wonderful time!

I think that is a great idea. I'd love to be able to do that. It is also the perfect time for pictures. Unfortunately, I can never seem to get my hubby up and out so by time we get around and out it is 10am. Too late for the good light.

Good luck on your goal. I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing your trip.


Hi Shelagh, thanks very much -- I'll be looking for art of every kind!

Marta, it's usually around 10 before I get rolling, too! But maybe this trip I can get out a bit earlier (famous last words!)

I wouldn't beat yourself - some folks can survive with 4 hours of sleep. I can NOT. The point of a vacation is to relax and enjoy yourself - which you will do in spades!

I have heard that the best place to eat tripe is at this lunch wagon (or not sure just what it is called) in Florence. Getting up early would come before eating tripe for me and I am not an early riser. I did however get up early once in Venice and had an amazing morning wandering around before the rest of the city woke up. That was the day I was out before the street sweepers and ran into the dead rat.

Good to-do list. I especially liked the Italian husband one!

I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures.


The problem I face is going to bed early the night before-- always a trade off.

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