Tag Archive for ‘Travel’
Greece is an ancient land but a young country, younger even than the United States, whose citizens have grown old, generation after generation, bragging about the youthfulness of their democracy. Here in Greece, as Toynbee pointed out in one of his last books, the multiple burdens of the past weigh down on every generation.
The Computer Age has changed the way people plan trips. Once upon a not-so-distant time, we called our travel agent to book flights and arrange cars and hotels. Now we are more likely to use an online booking service like Travelocity, Orbitz, or Venere. I strongly recommend against this for several reasons . . .
Paul Theroux laments that the world is aging badly, that the world he knew as a young man has nearly vanished, that the decline and decay of precious things is everywhere apparent. Theroux should know; he travels more than I do. Also my own ventures at home and abroad depressingly confirm his impressions. Except when Rome is my destination.
I shall begin with a confession. I have never really liked Florence. My initial negative impression was formed while spending a few days with the late Leo Raditsa at Ulivello, his family’s villa outside Florence. The first half day was spent in the Santa Maria Novella Station, trying in vain to reach our host. Leo lived at a greater distance than I had imagined, and as a result I was not putting enough gettoni into the slot. I finally paid something like 80,000 lire to a taxi driver, who explained I had to pay for both ways.