I had been in Italy for almost a month teaching art workshops for Daune Pitman and the trip was ending with time to rest in Florence. It was the day before heading back to the US and Daune and I had planned to catch the fast train to Arezzo for the once a month Sunday vintage market.


It was still early in the morning and dark when we got into our Uber to take us to the train station. We had a croissant from our hotel to hold us over for the short 27-minute fast train ride to Arezzo where we were already thinking about where to grab a cappuccino before shopping for treasures.


As the train was slowly coming to a stop at the Arezzo platform Daune and I made our way to the double doors. The train appeared to completely come to a stop. The doors were not automatically opening so we proceeded to push all the buttons to manually open the doors. The train started to slowly move ahead and we then felt a little foolish that we must not already be at the final stop on the platform. Then the train started to pick up speed and one of the attendants looked at us perplexed and told us we were supposed to get off at that stop. As the train was now full speed leaving Arezzo, we were confirming to him that yes, we were supposed to get off the train but the doors did not open automatically or manually. He seemed super annoyed with us and told us to follow him almost like school children that were about to get it!


We explained to the man that was above the attendant what had happened. He told us there was nothing we could do. He then told us, “Next stop, Rome.” I answered back, “Rome, Rome?”. Yes, we were on the fast train heading, for an additional hour, to Rome and there would be no stops in-between Arezzo and Rome. Rome, Rome. THE Rome. The Rome I had only read about and had never been. That Rome.


There was no use trying to debate or argue anything. The doors hadn’t opened. Too bad. Next stop, Rome. We then went back to our seats and tried to see what tickets we could find to quickly get out of Rome and back to Arezzo. There were no fast train options available and only regular multi stop options. Once in Rome we quickly turned around to head back towards Florence with our original stop in Arezzo.


After the additional 3 HOUR commuter train ride from Rome to Arezzo we finally arrived tired and hungry. We ate an incredible lunch and made our way through the market before the rains came. Thank goodness Daune is the same temperament and made the most of the day. The glass was half full the whole day. It was not what we had planned, expected, wanted or even needed but what we got. Of course, we were disappointed (very) but the day was redeemed by a good story, lots of laughs, a really good lunch, treasures from Paolo that I had regretted not getting in Lucca and a quote that we find works in lots of situations, “Next stop, Rome!”


There are lots of next stop, Rome moments in life. Who are you traveling through life with? It makes all the difference.