Italia I - Umbria

Many months ago, in the depths of COVID-times, our friend Maizie asked if we’d be willing to travel to Italy to celebrate her birthday if she planned everything for our friend group, assuming we could all get vaccinated by then. That was a pretty easy question to say yes to.

I had only been to Italy once before, on a short vist to Venice during a backpacking trip before college. Disconnecting from our daily routines is always relaxing, but getting back together with our friend group, many of whom had left San Francisco, and wandering through the life-sized museum that is Italy was a ton of fun.

This is the first in a series shared throughout Fall 2021. When you’re done here, make sure to also check out parts two and three, four, and five.

After landing in Rome, we started driving out to the countryside. On our way, I did some spontaneous research and decided to stop at a town called Orvieto. The city is an old fortress built atop a mountain, which makes for great views of the surrounding area.

Not far past the rooftops, there’s a cliff, from which you can see the valley and hills below.

Everyone hang dries their clothes, even when it’s not sunny out.

There are little churches everywhere.

Big churches, too.

We went down the Pozzo di S. Patrizio, or St. Patrick’s well, a 500 year old structure. Quod natura munimento inviderat industria adiecit.

We were staying in a town called Le Mura, close to another old fortress town called Panicale. We went there to sightsee and grab lunch.

On Tuesday, we headed over to a Vespa rental place.

Some of us had to practice more than others before being allowed to ride around the lake.


We didn’t look at the dogs.

Because nothing says “zoom, zoom” like a teddy bear keychain.

Castiglione Del Lago

I wasn’t expecting there to be so many wild animals.

I took a lot of photos while Woody drove us around going 100km/h.

The winter kitchen.

La nonna in the summer kitchen.


And Maizie’s gnocchi.

She didn’t know what was coming.


The world turns and turns because it is round. Study forms culture, and work forms wealth.

Ben had prepared a suprise birthday party.

But Ben had one more surprise - he was proposing that night!

This one was for the ‘gram.



Different Hannah.

Then our favorite DJ yeeted (yote?) some beats.

And we closed the night with a scrapbook that Ben had prepared for Maizie, which all of us had signed.

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