Friday, January 23, 2009


Trento (#3 in my series of catch-up posts)

Back in my first Italian train this trip, the one to Livorno, my arrival in my compartment was a bit like a scene from a movie: nearly full train and full compartment (completely full, as someone was in my seat. It is obligatory to make a reservation in Italy for trains such as the Eurostar, but not everyone does, of course.) Nanette rolling into the compartment with big suitcase and the rest of the compartment pitching in--all except someone's wonderful elderly father, who dozed the whole time, other than when bumped by said suitcase, at which point he woke up and looked over at us indignantlly--to heft the suitcase onto the luggage rack, since there was no room for it in the aisle or at my feet. The father's short adult son was doing the honors, aided by an equally short but sturdy woman. Luggage stowed, backs intact, we were on our way. Basta cosi. At the end of the trip, the process was reversed and off I went.

Trento is a beautiful historic town. Built on top of Roman ruins, the city is most famous for hosting the Council of Trent in the mid-16th century. The Council lasted about 20 years and instituted a number of major reforms in the Catholic Church in response to Martin Luther and others involved in the Protestant Reformation.

Trent pictures (above)
5) Theater 3) the piazza dell'Duomo, with a not-great photo of E. 4) A street in Trent 2) Casa Rella frescos 1) faculty of sociology

My hotel--E. has a cat and I'm allergic--was a wonderful internet special (I sing the praises of for Italian reservations),the Villa Madruzzo. The staff was warm and welcoming, the service impeccable, and the site a lovely, park-like setting overlooking the mountains. Breakfast was a wonderfully huge buffet that my husband would have loved, in an elegant dining room.
I'll post a view of Dolomites from the Villa Madruzzo's garden below.

The hotel is the former residence for the bishopric. It's a bit out of the centre of town, but that was okay, since I was with friends.
For dinner, we went to E's brother's restaurant, La Posada. We ate a regional speciality called (I'm pretty sure) canerdeli, plus a great pizza bianca.
Since arriving in Italy, I've been speaking fluent Germian: a disconcerting mixture of Italian and German. Occasionally when I'm stuck, French pops in. What makes it particularly disconcerting is that I'm not aware that I've switched languages until I'm several words into the changeover. I haven't been in Italy long enough for the Italian to take over, and I'm hoping not to lose my incipient ability to actually speak the German language with any hint of fluency, as a result. I think if I were to spend more time in Italy this trip, it would sort itself out, but I'll only be in Italy for 3+ days total. E. speaks German, as well as Italian of course, and her partner speaks Italian and a bit of English. They've dealt with my totally spasmoid linguistic disability with grace and kindness and we've had a great visit.
And it was so wonderful to see E. again (we did a course at the Goethe Institut zusammen)!!!
What I'm reading: Finished Hectors Reise (finally--took me long enough but--in my defense--it was auf Deutsch, which I read slowly).

What I've been listening to: The sound of the wind in the mountains
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