Day 15: One more day at the gardens, for reflection.

It's my birthday and everyone is leaving.

2 weeks?  It must have been longer than that, we have learned so much and been so affected by the people and places we have visited.  2 weeks?  Impossible.  This was a significant portion of a lifetime.

I got up at 6:30am to say goodbye to the first 13 departees, and to Brad.  Only 7 left now.  By 11:30 it was down to 6.


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Freyja and I boarded a boat to Isola Madre, where we saw flowers, puppets and peacocks, then we went to the opposite shore and visited the botanical gardens at Villa Taranto.  There were many flowers and places to reflect on our tour.

On this tour, the places we stopped were prettiest at sunrise when they belonged to only a few early risers.  We also saw the world come alive around us as the sun came up.

If you like great food and drink, this is the tour for you.  In Italy it's all about having a good time with your friends and family, with meals playing the biggest part of that.

Throughout the tour, time and again, like a child seeing a bird for the first time, we were connecting with those we met.  In them we saw ourselves, as in a mirror by the side of the road, and how things relate to what we're all about.  Hopefully this connection gives us a wider perspective than before and will help us lead fuller lives.

Have we graduated our Village Italy-101 class like the students in Padua back on day 2?  Well, we are gleeful for accomplishing our trip and celebrated with those who accompanied us.  I even made this web site like the posters in Padua to recognize our journey together for ourselves and others to judge.

But I am not done learning about Italy.  I will be back, and I hope that perhaps we have inspired at least a few of you to take a trip there too.

My last dinner in Italy was with Freyja, Phil, and Mary Margaret.  Phil and MM are going on to stay at a villa in Tuscany, while Freyja and I leave in the morning.  They sang happy birthday to me to celebrate my 36th year on Earth.

Thank you again for visiting with us.  Arrivederci for now.




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Last updated 03/13/2004 .  Email me at