Well, I've said before every trip we've taken that there is no such thing as a perfect trip. There is always a hiccup here or there. I just didn't think it would happen the day before we left. Due to a cancelled flight, We had 39 people who had to spend the night in Atlanta while the company scrambled to get them to Italy. They will be arriving Sunday afternoon and we can't wait to see them. I really won't feel like we've started until we have everyone with us!
For those whose flights went as scheduled, we had a long, but really good day. After going through customs in Rome, we boarded our coaches and headed north toward Florence.
On the way the earlier flights were able to stop in a fantastic Medieval City called Orvieto. This gem of a town on a high hill in Umbria is home to a relic from the 14th century that prompted the Pope to have them build a grand cathedral to house it. The story goes that a priest was not completely convinced about transubstantiation and so
during mass when he broke the bread, it bled on the altar cloth. He showed it to the Pope who declared it a miracle. The cloth is inside an ornate box under the altar.
We toured that and then had some time for lunch and shopping. It was so fun to wander the ancient cobblestone streets and pop in a cafe for some gnocchi and pesto pasta, Then we loaded back on the coaches to make our way to our first hotel in Montecatini Terme outside of Florence.
Montecatini Terme is a quaint town in Tuscany that is known as a spa town.
We checked in and had two rounds of dinner and a meeting as one of the buses arrived later that the others.
I set the time for bed checks and immediately had scads of students asking me to come earlier so they could sleep.
It's late here so I'm going to do the same!