Trip to Italy: Day 13 (Rome to Civita)

10/10/2009

We woke up really early to a lightning storm. I laid awake for a while just watching the room light up. After a while it began to rain. Okay, it was a downpour! When we finally got out of bed and headed to the kitchen where we discovered that there was a leak in the roof. There was water all over the table and Hailey's cheerios got wet (fatal!). We placed some bowls on the table to catch some of the drips and cleaned up a bit. We were happy to be leaving the apartment at that point. I forgot to mention earlier that the apartment had a horrible sewer smell coming out of the shower drain. It was nasty. Thankfully Pete found a drain cover we happened to have left over in our bag from Costa Rica...and he covered up the stench.

Anyway, it was finally raining and I had just packed our rain jackets at the bottom of the bag the night before. I unpacked the whole thing before we realized that the rain was letting up and we wouldn't need our jackets. I packed once again (as if there wasn't enough packing and unpacking on this trip already!!).

We left for the train station around 10:30. Our train was supposed to leave the station at 12:30 and at 12:55 it still hadn't shown up. So we waited and waited and finally got on and left Rome sometime after 1:30.

We arrived in Orvieto and bought round trip tickets for the funicular so we could get up the hill to Orvieto (this was a neat little hill town). We got to the top and found that we had missed the bus due to our late running train. So we had to wait a couple hours.
We weren't sure about the whole bus situation, but we knew that the bus we needed to catch would be the last heading to Civita that day - so we didn't want to miss it (though we weren't sure exactly where to catch it). We enjoyed sitting on a park bench and watching all of the people walking up and checking out the 2 Farrari's parked across the street. We could see the bus from our perch. We had asked the information desk where exactly to catch the bus and she wasn't very helpful, maybe it was the language barrier...

For the record, Orvieto was a beautiful little hill town.

We spotted a guy dressed in blue heading toward the bus and so we ran to the bus and managed to talk him into letting us get on. We sat and waited and eventually the bus started off on its journey. We were really glad we had run to the bus, because we couldn't figure out just where it would have stopped to pick us up if we hadn't. The bus just rolled on...down the hill...and then after making a stop by the train station it headed back up. Ah. Maybe we could have stayed right at the train station and gotten on the bus there... There was a huge group of people down there, and we were sure we'd have been confused if we were in that mix, so we were glad we'd taken the ride up the funicular and waited where we could see the bus. Like I said, there were many people down near the train station, but only one got on the bus.

It was a quiet ride and the landscape was just beautiful.
The bus seemed to make quite a few stops in little towns along the way...and we were sure the ride didn't need to be an hour long...but with the detours into these little towns, it took a while. There were only 2 other people that got on or off the bus on this route. The bus would go and stop and no one would get on or off. It was almost amusing (by this time we were tired and wanting to be done with our travels for the day).

We finally got to Bangoregio. The bus dropped us off at the far end of town and we got to walk all the way up a hill and through the town to get to the other side where we would find a foot bridge that would take us to our final destination for that day. I had been most excited for this part of the trip. We were going to a little hill town - the 'dying city'. I thought it would be an amazing adventure and be full of beautiful photo ops. An adventure it was.
As I was saying...we walked through the town.
And Pete found some internet to steal. I mean, use. I was so tired of the what seemed to be never ending commute...that I wanted to just keep moving. But Pete, being the technology loving guy he is, was eager to check email for free (well, okay...so we did need to check on various reservations and things that landed in our inbox while we were in Italy - there was a point to this internetting).

Then we got there. Well, not really. But we could see it.
Do you see it? It looks so small...and far away. Right. We were close, but still had some walking to do. It was quite a site to see...this little town on a hill... (if I knew then what I know now.....)
So we ventured down the path and headed for the foot bridge (the only way to the city). Okay....now when we had booked our stay here we hadn't realized that the foot bridge would be an uphill climb! I guess it makes sense being that we were going to a 'hill town'...but wow. Good thing we had our walking shoes on.
We made it. This city takes all of 5 minutes to walk from one end to the other. We realized just how small this place was. It's nickname "the dying city" came about because the sides of the cliffs are literally falling away and parts of the town fall with it and the residents moved away. I was fascinated. We decided not to do the walk right then, but to find our bed and breakfast and get settled in. We were told that dinner would be served at 8pm (very late for us). This was the only sleeping place listed in the Rick Steve's book and I had searched all over the internet for any sign of places to stay in this little city, and all the reviews were really good and also stated that this was in fact the only place to sleep in this town. So we stayed. We booked two nights because we arrived on Saturday and there wasn't bus service on Sunday, so we planned to stay until Monday.

Dinner.

We went down at 8pm and ordered some food (the restaurant was on the bottom floor, the 3 rooms were on the top). We were the only ones there. We asked if others were staying that night and found out that the others had no-showed. Bad sign. Dinner was okay, nothing to write home about.
Italians LOVED little Hailey. This is where Pete and I had a really weird/bad parenting moment. He still has regrets about what happened and brings it up once in a while. Hailey was done eating her cooked carrots and one of the girls that ran the place wanted to hold her. Okay...fine. But then she took her into the kitchen to see the other girl (the place was run by these two girls - I think they are the daughters of the owner). So. The kitchen. We were sitting at the table and she took our baby where we couldn't see her. We were nervous and we could hear them talking to her and having a grand old time with our baby....but for some reason we let it happen. Pete finally got up and walked into the kitchen and asked the girl if she would bring her back out to where we could see her. She did. Part of me knew that there wasn't far she could go with Hailey in this teeny little city, but the other motherly part of me was screaming, 'what if they try to feed her something she shouldn't have and I have no idea because I couldn't see her...and then she has a reaction and then we are stuck in this city!??'. Okay, I wasn't that panicked at the time (I was nervous, but not panicked). I think it really struck us after we got back up to our room and discussed the situation. We were both really disappointed in ourselves for letting Hailey out of our sight and with a stranger to top it off. It makes me shiver now. Italy is different though, right? Everyone is nice and well meaning. That's what I'll tell myself on this one account so I don't let it hang over my head forever.

So anyway. We were in our room and noticed that the city was quiet. Very quiet. And dark. It was as if we were the only people in this city and it was creepy. We knew that there was only one permanent resident left in this town and she was a little old lady in her 80's. The place was empty. We decided that we didn't like it and we started trying to figure out any possible way to get out of there in the morning. We would walk. Yes, it had taken a long long time just to walk through Bangoregio to get here, and we would have to walk that whole bus route back to Orvieto...but we wanted out. And hours of walking in the hot sun sounded just fine to us at this point.

So that was settled and with nothing else to do, we started messing with the settings on our camera and entertaining ourselves by trying to take creepy pictures of ourselves.
Then we finally went to sleep.

To be continued......