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Report 884: Single and Solo in Italy: One Woman's Tale of Love, Latte and The Pursuit of Happiness...

By teachick from Los Angeles, CA, Winter 2005

Trip Description: Florence and Venice, February 2005

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Florence, Venice

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Independent Travel; Single Traveler

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Page 1 of 6: It Begins With Florence...

photo by Kathy Bray

Iíve just arrived in Florence. It is morning and I am cold. I mean COLD. Itís early February and I am alone. Iíve chosen it this way. I like the idea of reckless abandon and the freedom to act upon it at any given time. To those that say it takes two to tango I simply say this: Bah humbug. I tango beautifully on my own Ė thank you. I am 39 years old, traveling solo, and my fiery little self is feeling like 40 is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship: me with my age that isÖ

I only have eight days to spend in Italy. This will be my fourth trip. It is my third alone (though I did spend part of the last one with a man, I admit). I have decided to try and meet up with my Italian lover from Bologna but our schedules are about as agreeable as a mugger and mace. I try anyway. Once an Italian man gets under your skin girls, itís a done deal. So, here I am in Florence and Iím ready for adventure, romance, great food and the delightful feeling that comes on after your second glass of a sweet little ChiantiÖ

I arrive at my bed and breakfast, IL RELAIS CAMPANILE, near the Duomo. I am shown to my single room which is smack dab next to the front desk. My very first thought is this: how am I supposed to make mad passionate love when Iím mere inches away from the hotel manager? Interesting challenge to say the least. The room itself is incredibly comfortable and I have my own bathroom. I am happy to unpack and settle into my new home. I have only booked two nights here as I have decided to live on the wild side and have not booked the rest of my trip. I like to go where the day takes me. And if I have my say, it will also be where my Bologna boy takes me if I ever get to see him.

So, I immediately settle in and introduce myself to the hotel owner and manager Leo. As a woman who delights in traveling alone I like to make friends with the people around me. I guess you could say I always establish a community for myself when I travel. He and I end up spending the evening drinking wine and reading poetry. He likes Rilke as well. I end up buying him an Italian translation of my favorite book of poetry by Marina Tsvetaeva. When I leave I find he has left me a photo copy of his favorite Rilke poem ďthe black cat.Ē I have made a good friend already.

I spend what will be the next two days playing text message tag with my Bologna boy. In the end, all goes to hell in a hand basket and we end up having the falling out of falling outs and therefore will not see each other on this trip. Its freezing cold in Florence at present and I have taken two planes and 16 hours to find out I will be loveless (or perhaps sexless is more accurate) on this trip. No trysting for me, not with him at least. Note to all women when planning a trip alone: leave far away lovers out of it if at all possible. Or, simply keep the idea with you and let it be that thing that you do not allow to dictate your trip. Make it a side dish and not the main course. I canít tell you how many women I know that have been disappointed in similar situations. One was left alone in London with the guyís family while he was off with his new girlfriend! Men like that should be beaten immediately, I know.

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