Apologies for the lull in Boggs Blog action.  As much of my constituency already knows, Kelly and I are in the midst of a 17 day jaunt through Italy. 

Because I'm paying 2.7 Euros per hour here, I'll keep it quick and list some of the highlights:

- Jet lag worked in our favor on our first morning.  Both Kelly and I awoke at the crack of down and decided to just start our day at 6AM local time.  We took the metro to Vatican City and enjoyed a fairly empty St. Peter's square and Basillica.  Lots of good photos.

The place was PACKED a few hours later.

- Our 2nd night in Rome, we walked up on a barricaded street.  One of the many nuns wandering around the street that evening told Kelly that the Holy Father would soon make his way up the street as a part of the Corpus Christi tradition. 

Sure enough - 30 minutes or so later, the massive papal procession rolls up with the Pope bringing up the rear, riding on a platform built into the bed of what looked like a 70s model Chevrolet pick up truck.  (Not joking.)  He rolled by about 10 feet in front of Kelly and me. 

Sadly - he wasn't wearing a funny hat.

- 3 days in the Cinque Terre.  Google Image Search results will have to suffice until I can post my photos.  Best scenery and best food of the trip so far.

- On our first night in Florence, Kelly and I stumbled upon the BeBop Music Club for America Rock Tribute night.  Good times - no cover, decent beer, and the surreal experience of watching a band of 5 Italianos blast GNR and Bon Jovi covers.  "You give low-ve a bad name." and "Reminds me of childhood mammaries." were a few of the lyrics hilariously lost in translation.  Interestingly, the song lyrics and our conversation with Giovanni, one of the managers, were the only words I heard spoken in English the entire night.

- Unlike the US, cheap wine it Italy is actually pretty good - especially when consumed heavily, with cheese, in public squares or scenic vistas.

- I've grown an Italian beard and both Kelly and I have tried to dress so as to blend in.  (No fanny packs, tennis shoes, or baseball caps here.)  As such, locals have greeted us speaking Italian on numerous occassions - at the train station, in shops, etc. We're so cool!

Sadly - we quickly blow our cover when we just smile politely and say "Non parlo Italiano."

That'll have to do for now.  We're in Florence for 3 more days - including day trips to Pisa and Siena (via rental car) and a tour of the Uffizzi Gallery.  Then we're off to Venice and then back to Rome to wrap up our trip.