“Can I go with you?” or “I’ll carry your bags” is a refrain I often hear when someone learns I’m going to Italy for work. Traveling to Italy to buy terracotta pottery for our store sounds like a pretty good job, and it is when you don’t have to do it every other month. It’s not that I don’t love the time in Italy, but it takes a day to get there and a day to get back. Remember, I’m not flying on Air Force One, I’m flying coach.
I don’t have a bag for you to carry because I’ve figured out how to travel in Europe for a month or more with just the bag on my back. I take the same train, rent the same car, eat at—well here is where it can get interesting—after a long day going from terracotta pottery factory to terracotta pottery factory, I usually can find a great place to dine and a gelato shop with an excellent scoop. This is a consolation to twenty years of hanging out in terracotta factories and spending the rest of the time driving, don’t you think?
I am usually traveling in the winter, but this time I had (yes that’s “had”) to go in April. Spring had really sprung and Tuscany was in full bloom, trees had leaves and people were not in big fat coats. I wore a T-shirt every day. What a difference a few months can make.
Another difference was that on this trip, I didn’t go to buy terracotta pots, I went to buy garden antiques. I’ve been trying for three years to get this old guy to sell his collection of old, very old farm troughs, stones, millstones and wagons. I spent three days loading two containers and then two more days visiting manufacturers, back to Rome, back on the plane (in coach) and back to work selling pottery.
Somebody has to do it!