Italian Hitchabout August 2011 | de.light at the end of the tunnel |

I’ve never passed through so many tunnels en route to anywhere in such a short period of time … wow, northern Italy and Switzerland, what a delight.

I calculated that I hitched a total of 3955 km = 2,457.523 miles ‘-) Flawless (when you’re only looking from the positive point of view of everything ‘-) and lots of fascinating encounters with lovely geography and people!

This journey was a personal evolution, moving with intention & zeal towards, rather than away, from something. The paths I choreographed and the surprises & synchronicities that arrived along the way, all had something to teach me.

-.-.-.-.-.-
I made the decision to finally make my way to Italy, with the particular aim of seeing Rome for the first time. Wow, what a pleasure. It was a great experience for all of the senses. I hadn’t had much time, but definitively got a taste. I now have a list of places and people to visit, when I roam back to Rome again. For example, recommended by a pleasant and smart couchsurfer, Leprotto Reale in Reggio Emilio:

Towns not to be missed because of their historic significance or beauty, or both.

Near Reggio Emilia:

Canossa
Castell’Arquato
Colorno
Carpineti

On the route from Reggio to Rome:

Gubbio
*Assisi
*Siena
Pisa
Perugia (In July the Umbria Jazz Festival takes place in this town, featuring artists such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, B.B. King, Pat Metheny and others)
Urbino
Orvieto
Viterbo (near Rome)
Arezzo (the town where Roberto Benigni filmed “La Vita è Bella”)

The trip was planned and anticipated through primarily the tools and communities on the internet.

I applied my membership in http://www.couchsurfing.org to seek out hosts along my way. I used http://maps.google.com | get directions | to plan my route; isolating strategic towns that could be interwoven into my direction, south to Rome. This was after I had already arrived from Berlin to the South of Germany in Baden-Württemberg.

Berlin to near Tübingen, Germany

From southern Germany, my first stop was Torino/Turin with a great couchsurfing host, Stefano, after he responded positively to my request. He introduced me to another couchsurfer, who happened to be a friend of the other couchsurfer in Reggio Emilio, whom I had already confirmed was my next planned second stop. As my brief letter to her mentioned I was south of Torino staying with a host in Chieri, Piemonte, Italy, she realized that she was familiar with the name. Turns out, she knew the friend of the man hosting me, whom I met the next evening, and two women were sms’ng one other about me the American couchsurfer.

A number of photos are of my visit with this second couchsurfing host, Giovanna in Reggio Emilia. She happens to be in the hospitality community professionally. She runs a bed and breakfast which she renovated. The property had been owned by her deceased grandfather. It had been a vineyard, and still is. It is producing grapes, though not using the ancient tools and materials that were used to produce the wine back in her grandfathers’ time. She has preserved these antiques and incorporated them into the lovely setting, grounds and interior of the casa. Giovanna was a fabulous host, and I recommend the place for those of you who may wish to travel through the area and get a taste of the beauty. The place is like a New Mexico style hacienda, the land and mountains to the south magically reminded me of the beauty of northern New Mexico. Reggio Emilia is a lovely town, known for it’s high quality opera. Giovanna’s grace, savvy, perceptive and direct nature made for the beginnings of a genuine friendship. She introduced me to the town of Reggio Emilia, and to a number of interesting people, most of whom are local couchsurfer members. Her bed and breakfast website:
http://www.casaledeinoci.it (for sms or calls +39 349 4505233)

My plan was to follow the route that google mapped out for me

but the rest was then left to serendipity/synchronicity, in terms of being stopped by the police on the inception of my second hitching trek which diverted my route as well as the various different people I met along the way. I hadn’t known that hitching – even standing on the turf of the restaurant/gas stations – is forbidden, adjacent to the major highways. Instead of heading south via Florence/Firenze to Roma, I was now riding with a pair of truckers who were heading East to Pescara on the Adriatic coast. One of the truckers witnessed the police basically kicking me out of the property, and as soon as the police were driving away he interceded, waving me towards their truck to accompany them. If I hadn’t already been talking in Spanish for a while with a friendly Cuban woman who worked at the station, she perhaps would not have let me back through the locked gate to the inside, where she was throwing out trash at the same time as the police were driving away. At this point one of the truckers had now approached the fence.

To be continued! and probably even the text I’ve written so far edited!! More to come, this ride with the truck drivers from South Italy, Pescara, the Moroccan 5 star restaurant and my introduction to the 5 points of the Muslim religion, Rome & my tour guide who enriched the quality of my experience there, more random events, the tail end of the Zurich street fest (electronic music) and more of the ride back.

Berlin to Mössingen 693 km
Mössingen to Torino Italy 594 km
Torino to Reggio Emilia 338 km
Bologna to Pescara 361 km
Pescara to Rome 208 km
2194 km

Rome, Italy to Mössingen, Germany 1,064 km
Mössingen, Germany to Berlin 697 km
1761 km

3955 km total = 2,457.523

Merely pause with your mouse over the images, to see the title text of the pictures.

I will happily & humbly accept donations supporting the evolution of my art, via the PayPal portal. As yet, I have no sponsors ‘-))
PayPal mail to: carolinberlin@dbzmail.com
BLZ/Routing Number: 322 271 627

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About carolkeiter
Aspiring writer, artist, musician and composer who was born and raised in the United States and has resided in several European countries. Communication is my forte; both through using various tools and in approaching people of divers backgrounds to gather information. Speak conversational - advanced intermediate - French, German and Spanish. Love interacting with people in cultural centers as much as going to remote places to learn more about the different creatures that share our planet. Love of the outdoors and of a variety of outdoor sports. Driven to learn and expand my own consciousness and understanding through curiosity and love of life. Creative skills merge with analytical ones, leading to an interest in a myriad of topics; ranging from politics, economics, science to environmental. Motivated to use my art, music and writing to support and educate people towards humane practices that support and respect all of life, including practices supporting a healthy planet.

2 Responses to Italian Hitchabout August 2011 | de.light at the end of the tunnel |

  1. Thanks for sharing your journey! Turely enjoyed reading/seeing your hitchabout. So wonderful to freely be able to taste life!

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