We spent a peaceful morning in June exploring Abbazia di Montecassino, a monastery 520 meters up on a mountain. The kiddo was finishing up his last weeks in school so I thought we’d take advantage of that and do something he wouldn’t care if he missed. A little over an hour drive brought us to a place where the scents of flowers wafted through the air. We admired the views, ambled through the cloisters, gawked at the Basilica, and was blown away by the mosaics in the crypt. Built in 529, monks today still follow Saint Benedict’s rule: “Ora et labora” (pray and work). Oddly enough, one of our favorite things to do when visiting local monasteries is to not miss their homemade goods section on the way out, (especially the beer, haha)!
Afterwards, we grabbed a quick lunch at a pizzeria that we came across at the bottom of the mountain. (By the way, the views going down were just as amazing as the views going up.) I still remember this meal for three reasons: one, eating outside and listening to the bells chime a particular song on the hour rather than just a single, repeated note; two, there was no menu and the man cooked us up a bunch of plates; and three, because we intended to pay with our Visa card, but their machine was down. All we had was a 50 euro- 20 euro short of what the total cost was. The guy waved his hand and said, “va bene.” It was all good.
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!