It was a long travel day. We left home for the airport about 10:30am. Our first flight was from San Diego to Los Angeles where we caught a flight to Rome, Italy. The flight was about twelve hours and the Alitalia plane was not very comfortable. There were ten seats across the plane and there was little leg room. Mark was seated next to two large young men with broad shoulders and you couldn’t help but rub shoulders the entire time. Our last flight was from Rome to Trieste, Italy where we landed about 5:00pm and were picked up by Kent Zimmerman, one of our program mangers. The drive from the airport to our hotel was about 30 minutes.
Our hotel is the Grand Hotel Duchi D’Aosta which has 55 rooms and dates back to the year 1873. It is located just off the coast on a lovely town square of stunning majestic buildings of carved stone. Our room is very charming with high ceilings, faux finished walls, a gold ornate mirror, an antique desk and bedside tables, an easy chair and some old world style oil paintings. The colors are red carpets and light green walls and printed draperies. The good thing is that there are modern conveniences of a large flat screen TV, a modern bathroom and internet service included.
After checking in we had a nap for 90 minutes or so before heading out to find an ATM to get some local Euro currency and a gelato. At 7:30 we met up with the others in the group (28 in all) for a welcome drink on the square. Kent recognized several of the folks in our group from other trips that he has taken with our program managers Kent and Christine. The local popular drink is an orange colored spritzer called an Italian Aperol Spritz. Although it is a wine based drink, it is a very brightly colored orange and comes in a wine glass with ice and a slice of orange. They served olives, potato chips, Doritos, and small squares of pizza as snacks. By 10:00pm we were ready for bed.