I’m “out of the office” for a short visit to my wife’s homeland. We’re here just ahead of the European high vacation season, so we’re enjoying wonderful weather but minimal crowds.
The best surprise so far has been the medieval charm of the ancient commercial city of Lucca, which, through the middle ages and beyond pretty successfully avoided the predations of its more powerful neighbors Pisa and Florence by building impregnable walls behind which it discretely hid its pretty impressive wealth. It even managed to buy off Popes when necessary.
When I get to Rome later this week, I hope to write about a couple of Roman / Italian maritime medical topics in brief.