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I've wrapped up the Italy leg of the tour and I'm off to Croatia!

This means that it's a good time to do some evaluation of how things are going so far. When I booked this tour I had five goals:

1. To find out how profitable Italy busking is in June
2. To spend a significant amount of time in my grandmother's region of Umbria
3. To find out how well Croatian busking goes after several years away
4. To make my first foray into Bosnia
5. To answer how well I can handle three months of touring as I enter middle age

It's obviously too soon to evaluate the Balkans, but Italy has been very educational. In the past my main touring season has been February-April, with limited exposure in January, May, and July. I've known better than to try August, when half of Italians go on vacation and the cities empty, and my July jaunt in 2009 taught me that the other half goes on vacation for that month and the cities likewise empty out, but June was an open question.

It is open no longer! I've been a little disappointed by my grosses for June, but far from troubled. Tips have been very good, but CD sales are significantly down from previous tours and from May. Also, the weekly schedule has changed, when Sundays go from being one of my best days to one of my worst. I have plans to adapt in the future, and the overall dynamic matches spring in Greece and summer in South America, but such a break from the familiar came as a bit of a shock.

My decision to focus on Umbria was delightfully successful. I had suspected that the lure of the beach might impact June busking elsewhere, so an inland region made sense. I also wanted to spend more time in Terni and Foligno, cities I'd briefly visited in years past, and to explore Orvieto for the first time. And, while CD sales have been down, I've had an amazing time in this incredibly beautiful area that was already ancient before the Romans showed up.

As for my endurance into my early forties, I've been pleased so far. While I have three more weeks to go and I've had a few signs of crispy burn out around the edges, I feel pretty solid. I'm not sure three-month tours should be a regular part of my schedule, as they also weren't in my thirties, but it's nice to think I've still got it in me!
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I'm a big believer in the power of luck. I've made many decisions over the years, creative and professional, but the biggest have often been leaps of opportunity. Last night I made another one.

I'm on a mailing list for bargain airfare, Scott's Cheap Flights, and when a winter/spring Europe sale was announced I jumped. I immediately scrapped my tentatively planned February southwestern US tour and brainstormed a southeastern Italy tour in its place. The cheapest airfare on the list was in Philadelphia, so I manically messaged a few friends inquiring about parking for the month and once I had a few viable options I booked the flight.

The whole process took almost exactly one hour, including the walk I took to clear my head.

This is me in a nutshell, making snap decisions to take advantage of opportunities. Also me, of course, will be seven months of second guessing until I'm in the seat of that plane, but I'm decisive in the moment. And this trip wasn't entirely out of the blue, it solves the conundrum I've been considering of how to return to the hottest part of Italy during the summers I have earmarked for European travel. Preparation meets opportunity and bam!

I'm not standing still I am lying in wait.

Change

May. 23rd, 2017 11:33 am
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In 2007 my two best pitches in Genoa were on Via San Luca and Via San Vincenzo. Via San Luca stopped being a viable pitch for me two years ago, and Via San Vincenzo has deteriorated to a secondary location on my itinerary. However, Via Degli Orefici and Via San Lorenzo have stepped up to be far better pitches than I ever expected from previous experience, and Genoa has remained a good city for me to play.

On a larger scale, cities that were once mainstays of my touring life have passed restrictive regulations; Padua, Bologna, and Ravenna have all taken themselves off of my calendar. However, again it is not one-way. I had previous difficulties in Prato and Pistoia that research indicated was unwarranted, and last year I found success in both cities. Most notably Trieste, which had passed restrictive regulations five or so years ago, just eliminated their registration system. Not only am I finding new cities to replace those that have become restrictive, but some that have been restrictive are loosening!

I am a creature of habit and I find change disconcerting. One benefit to the way I travel is that, while my surroundings are in constant flux, my general routines are not. However, one reason I do so much traveling is that it does keep me on my toes, and I feel I'm a better musician, better performer, and better person for it.
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I'm delighted to be closing the show! I was originally booked for four weekends, but my dates were extended to include the final two weekends of the faire. I really love this festival, surrounded by and working with friends, and it's been a joy to be back.

It's an interesting phenomenon to be an introvert in the entertainment industry. There are social gatherings going on all around me, but I bow out of most of them. I'm looking forward to seeing a vaudevillian comedy show tonight, Esther's Follies of Austin, but I turned down the invitation to kayaking and dinner beforehand. I husband my emotional bandwidth.

My thoughts are starting to drift to the future. I head to Italy in two weeks and I'm starting to get anxiously excited about the trip. As always, my brain is filled both with things that need doing and others that could go wrong. Still, after so many tours this is a familiar place to me, and almost comfortable.

I've really been loving the social time I've had here, even though it feels like I avoid most of it, but three months of solitary travel are a chance to really dive into my own head and work on myself. I'm very fortunate that my business model includes both intense community and deep solitude, in a balance I feel works well for me, tempered as always by the interactions with my audience. Wherever you are on that spectrum, I'm deeply grateful for you all.
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It's been awhile since I've posted. Life is ticking along nicely, and I'm pleased with it. The Sherwood Forest Faire has been very good to me, and I'm really enjoying the audience and the large cohort of friends I have as colleagues here. I've recently learned and memorized a 1584 instrumental piece by Galileo's father, Vincenzo Galilei, and I like it better than anything else of his I've done. There are 28 other pieces in that particular collection, and I'm really excited about tackling more of them in the future.

I head to Europe in three weeks! It's starting to feel real. Of course, most of the expenses are already sitting on my credit card, but that adds its own sort of relief to have firm plans in place. I'm thrilled to go back to Italy and explore some new places in addition to some favourites, see Croatia for the first time in years, and to finally fulfill my goal of busking Sarajevo.

My Italy plans include a week in Cremona, which I've only seen before as a day trip. I spent an afternoon performing there once, and I've found their city ordinances and I'm hopeful the polizia interpret them the same way I do. I'll also be busking Vicenza, which I only saw as a "weekend" vacation a few years back. This trip will involve several weeks in Umbria, my grandmother's home region; I've heard amazing things about Orvieto, in particular.

Most interestingly, I've got plans to meet up with friends in Tuscany! I scheduled my time in Pisa to coincide with a visit from friends who are giving/taking a tour. RenAdventures is organized by several close friends, and I'm really excited to hang out with them and their guests, some of whom are also friends!
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I know it's been a hard year for a lot of people, but personally it's treated me fairly well even as I mourn for various people and events. I'd like to thank everyone who made this year so good for my music and travels; it's been a very full year for me, and I can't believe so much has happened in a mere twelve months.

I began the year in southern Ontario, Canada, recording Dulce Melos. I'm incredibly proud of how it came out, and of how ambitious I was with the complexity of its music. I continued my Baroque explorations, delved even further into sixteenth century music, and discovered some fourteenth- and fifteenth-century gems in addition to the Celtic and early medieval music which has long been my foundation.

From Canada I went to Texas, although it minimized my culture shock that I was living in Austin (unofficial motto: "Keep Austin Weird"). I had a truly splendid experience at the Sherwood Forest Medieval Faire, feeling myself absolutely at home among close friends old and new. It's a delightful show with a lot of heart and skill behind it and I relished the experience of playing there. Austin audiences were incredibly welcoming and generous, and between my colleagues and our patrons I had a magical time.

From the newness of Sherwood I returned to my stomping grounds of Gulf Wars, a large SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) event in southern Mississippi. I had a great time, as my Canadian friends mingled with those I have in New Orleans. We did have a bit of an incident, however, with a massive storm system that swept through. I had just begun a set in the tavern when the intense winds and driving rains began, and I moved my setup to the minstrels' gallery (it's an amazing place). I spent the next few hours at my dulcimer, doing my best to add a bit of calm to the atmosphere. They're calling that night "Gulfnado", and it's a story that will always be shared by those who were there.

I then headed to Italy as I do most years, where I made some discoveries pro and con. Cities that have been good to me in the past, Padua and Bologna, had recently passed anti-busking regulations, and even the nominally friendly city of Perugia gave me some problems. In response, I broadened my busking to cities where I had spent very little time in the past, and was very pleased at my welcome in Prato, Terni, Foligno, and Pistoia. Taranto, Genoa, and Pisa were delightful and reliable as they've been so often in the past, and I'm pleased to have added Foggia to the list of cities where I reliably return.

From Italy I resumed my renaissance festival circuit, picking up in St Louis. I always feel very at home there, with this being my fifteenth year there as a musician, but it was a bit of an oddity; the festival is in the process of moving from the spring to the fall, and these two weekends were "preview" weekends offering a limited version of the show free to the public. Even so, I had a really positive experience, and the weekends were a rousing success.

I then spent a month performing at SCA camping events. It's typical for me to include a few of these throughout my year, as with Gulf Wars, but we were celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Society's founding. This meant that I went from St Louis to a ten-day camping event outside Kansas City, and on to a week outside Indianapolis, with a few days visiting my parents before a long weekend at the War of the Trillium surrounded by my family of friends in Greater Toronto.

I then continued my Canadian adventures by spending July as a street performer at Byward Market in Ottawa, the nation's capital. I love Ottawa and, as is a theme in my travels, have a number of friends there. It's my favourite busking pitch in North America, as a historic neighbourhood meets a farmers market under the umbrella of a very helpful and organized management team.

I returned to the States, and to the SCA, for my annual trek to Pennsic, north of Pittsburg. My fifteenth year there, I'm starting to play for the children of people who started listening to me as children, themselves. I taught a class on neat medieval sites to visit in Italy, and I was honoured to co-teach a lesson on street performing with my old friejnd and dear colleague Jack Strauss, who calls himself Dr Henry Best in the Society. We have sharply different styles, and it was a lot of fun to see where our perspectives differed and lined up. I'm especially proud to be a part of this class because it has a history of encouraging artists to become professionals, with several alumni who have gone on to make some brilliant art.

I'm running out of creative ways to say "and then I went someplace else".

So off to the New York Renaissance Faire rode I! It's a truly beautiful show set in a former botanical garden, where I'm surrounded by (you guessed it) good friends, delightedly playing for New Yorkers who live in the live entertainment capital of the world and know how to be a phenomenal audience.

Sadly, the New York Faire overlaps with the new autumn dates of the St Louis Renaissance Festival, but I was able to return for the last two weekends of its season. As I mentioned, the preview weekends had gone off very well, and the full show was an even bigger deal.

After two weekends off, which I spent being a social butterfly in southern Ontario again, I headed south to Louisiana. This was my fourteenth year at the Louisiana Renaissance Festival, after a very difficult year for them. The site flooded in March, under 8 feet of water, and after they had cleaned it up did so again in September. I was deeply impressed at how many people pitched in their labour to make things work, and how well management pulled off the event after two such disasters. Thankfully the weather had gotten the water out of its system, because we only had one wet festival day the entire season for a remarkably good run.

In short, it's been a very good festival season for me. Outside of my live performances, however, I also got a lot more into Internet video this year. I launched a Patreon campaign and I'm very pleased both at its generous reception and with how much fun I'm having. I've been intending to take more video, and this has been a brilliant motivation to keep coming up with new variations. Many thanks to all of my patrons! And many thanks to everyone who has offered me encouragement, feedback, applause, and their business. Without you there could never be me, and I'm deeply thankful.
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After a month of being stressed about money, my accounting says I nailed my target!

It's been a doozy of a trip: I've had an amazing experience, but it's driven my anxiety through the roof. Two weeks before I was due to go to Bologna, a city which has been very good to me in the past, I found out they passed a new anti-busking regulation. My back up, Padua, has also recently passed such legislation. I switched my plan to Perugia, another city that has been good to me in the past, only to run into different problems with polizia who acknowledged I was right on the law but shifted me anyway. Plus it's been a wet and chilly spring, which has been problematic in general.

On the good side of the ledger, I took a calculated and successful risk to play Prato and Pistoia, cities where I've had difficulties in the past but have since liberalized their busking policies. I got some grief in Prato, but I pulled out my phone with a PDF version of the regulations and for the first time in my career won an argument with the law (she said she'd come back to discuss it and I never saw her again).

Ultimately, I can't argue with a positive result and it's not unusual for me to feel I've aged an entire year in a few months of busking. I love it, and it inspires me even as it physically and emotionally exhausts me. I'm torn between being ready to come home and never wanting to leave, but as I tally the numbers I know that I'll be coming back soon.

The plan is already taking shape.
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Change terrifies me, until it thrills me. This is frequently my pattern, a sharp panic attack followed by an invigorating hunt for opportunity.

Recently two of my favourite busking cities, Padua and Bologna, passed harsh regulations that take them off my circuit. This continues a recent trend, as Rome, Ravenna, and several other cities have also recently cracked down. I started thinking about limiting my exposure to Italy (I've been yearning to go back to Croatia), or even cutting back on my European travel.

Then Wednesday I had a run in with a Perugia polizia who acknowledged that I was right on the regulations but said my playing could potentially disrupt nearby government offices (although he cited no complaints). I wasn't completely unprepared: as a contingency plan I had originally booked lodging equally (in)convenient to both Perugia's historic center and to the train station, so I'm well-placed for local commuting. Still, it was a further blow to my confidence.

The combined setbacks, however, have unleashed a flurry of creative energy as I research and plan future trips. Rather than cutting back on Italy, I may even expand. Every step back holds the potential for a leap forward, and I am relentless when it comes to seizing opportunities.

The rush

Apr. 18th, 2016 04:22 pm
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I just rolled into Pescara, where I played a few sets eight years ago but haven't done much since. I stopped by for a layover in recent years, though, and decided it deserves a second shot so I'm walking the streets with two days off before I play again, seeing potential everywhere.

It's an exhilarating feeling, and one of the reasons I keep coming back to Italy and, more broadly, a reason I'm an entrepreneurial musician. Seeing potential and bringing it to life make my heart pound as I seize whatever opportunities pass my way.

It may be great and it may be crap, but this part here is what I live for.
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When I started playing in Italy I would play 11 90-minute sets every week. Now I'm down to 8, but they're over two hours. As my repertoire has expanded I've gotten comfortable playing longer, and it's really nice to have three days free every week (I play two sets a day).

I started out playing 11 sets because it was a grand experiment: if I found that playing was prohibited I wanted to lose a Wednesday, not a Saturday. After ten years, however, much of my schedule is familiar territory and there's no need to push myself. Plus, by taking it easy and being well rested, I can ramp up when the crowds are better and be more efficient.

It took years for my work ethic to be ok with that.
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That's all there are, in the moment, to choose a course of action. It's not a hard and fast rule and I made the number up, but the length of one deep breath is what I had to work with. I saw the boy pull money out of my hat, I saw him hide it, and I made eye contact.

I chose to do nothing.

It wasn't worth my time to raise a fuss over €2, though I took careful note of his hand to keep my accounting accurate. I'm ashamed to say I was curt with his age cohort for a short while afterwards, but performing for and winning over young people is one of my great joys and I recovered fairly quickly. I refuse to let one bad apple spoil my evening, and looking back I made the right call.

But I memorized his face and I'll take care not to give him a second opportunity.
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With my references to my Italian-immigrant forebears, I've been fielding a lot of questions lately on my ancestry. Here's the long version (you've been warned).

My father's family, the Conaways and kin, were part of the colonial wave of Irish immigration into the US. Oral history says we fought in the Revolution, and circumstantial evidence regarding place and family names indicates we came over in the 1750s from County Donegal. We settled in southwestern Pennsylvania, and I like to tease southerners that when my people rebelled against "Washington tyranny" they meant George, unlike those Jonny-Come-Lately Confederates. Whether we picked up Protestantism here or were Scotch-Irish is hard to tell, but there are references to Coneways in Donegal predating the Ulster Plantation (the spelling is interesting: on legal documents my last name was spelled "Conneway" until suddenly changing two generations back).

The distinction between "Conway" and "Conaway" goes much further back, and is a regional variation of Gaelic (and Welsh) pronunciation of the same name, but that's a bit of a tangent.

That's the easy half.

My mother's grandfather emigrated from Italy to Argentina, at the turn of the 19/20th centuries. He married a woman from Barcelona, Isabel Gonzales, and their son, my grandfather, was born in Buenos Aires in 1910. In 1912 the family moved back to Italy, to the tiny village of Filetto in the Province of Chieti in the Region of Abruzzi (now Abruzzo, after it was split from Molise in the 1950s).

In 1928, my grandfather emigrated to the United States, fleeing the military draft into Mussolini's army: he was a die-hard socialist, in an era before that was considered a problem in the US. After the Immigration Act of 1924 such immigration was much harder to do than previously, but his cousin had already immigrated under the more tolerant rules and served as a sponsor.

Also predating the 1924 immigration law was Quinto M, from the Province of Perugia in the region of Umbria, whose daughter Antonietta would meet and marry my grandfather. Family lore says there's a German ancestor in there as well, but I've never been clear where.

As a postscript, after his children all moved to the US, my great-grandfather went back to retire and eventually die in Buenos Aires. I feel a certain attachment with an ancestor who emigrated three times in his life.

Vignette

Mar. 24th, 2016 11:50 am
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"I own that shirt!"

I'm in Milan, the fashion capital of the world, and I was really impressed with myself until I heard him speak to his companion. Let's just say I now understand why Italians think I'm German.
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I can hardly believe it's been 10 years.

2006 was a big year for me. I went to Europe for the first time, on vacation, in January. That summer I went back, performing with the Aerial Angels, during which time I did a few solo street sets and set up my future as a busker.

The year before I had released Distractions from the Muse, the earliest album to exhibit my mature style. My previous efforts were my attempts to find my voice but, while I've continued to improve, DftM was the first to really sound uniquely like me. There's a reason it's my earliest work available on iTunes: I will always be grateful that my first, tentative, efforts never hit the Internet.

I became a professional musician in 1998 and went full-time in 2002, but 2005-2007 is the stretch that made me the performer I am today and 2006 is when the pieces really fell into place.

I can hardly believe it's been 10 years.

It's Pisa

Apr. 13th, 2015 07:52 pm
vinceconaway: (Holland Head Shot)
"Please don't let it be Pisa"

That was my refrain through years of searching for a Tuscan pitch. On my first trip to Italy, I compared Pisa to Siena, Lucca, Florence, and Rome and found the city wanting. I wrote it off as a pretty piazza surrounded by an ugly city and left it at that.

Meanwhile, I engaged in a personal quest to find a busking pitch in Tuscany. Thwarted at every turn (Florence, Siena, Lucca, Pistoia, Prato, Viareggio, and Livorno), I eventually had success in Arezzo until the city passed a new anti-busking law in 2013.

So the quest was on again.

Meanwhile, I'd developed a template for good busking cities. Thriving universities are a huge help, full of my best demographics of students, professors, and young families. I've also gotten better at sussing out legal regulations before experimenting (growing proficiency in Italian has helped), and both pointed towards Pisa as a potential goldmine.

So I came back. And I found the city to be beautiful.

Pisa is certainly no Siena or Florence, but it's in the upper echelon of pretty places I've seen. I'd missed the loveliest part of the medieval core on my last visit, and a broader basis for comparison was a much gentler standard.

It's much prettier than Arezzo, for example.

The busking has been good, the city a pleasure to visit, and I'm already incorporating it into potential future itineraries.

Now I'm in Modena and back on familiar ground. The time for experimentation is over, and the final three weeks are in cities that have previously been good to me. The adventures continue!
vinceconaway: (Holland Head Shot)
It's been awhile since I've written an update, and there's lots to cover!

Naples was intense, as it always is. The first two days were amazing: renewing my acquaintance with the sights and the audience. I quickly got overwhelmed, however, with the scope of the city as well as the intensity of its inhabitants. Arguing with shopkeepers is exhausting and depressing: Naples makes New York look like Ohio. It had a similar effect in 2011, starting the trend of that difficult year, and the repeat builds a case against working there again. I'm looking forward to going back, but I may stick to brief tourism vacations and treat it like Rome, which is stunning but a bit of a pain to busk.

And with that excellent segue, I went next to Rome. I had an amazing five-day vacation with a friend who had come to visit me, and the trip refreshed me quite a lot. After two months on the road, with minor frustrations in Sardinia and Naples, I was starting to feel burned out. I left Rome with a heavy heart after a fantastic visit, but also with a spring in my step.

The break also gave me a chance to miss playing music, and I got off the train to Pisa to find a street fair flower show in full swing. Since my hostel was on the other side of town I set my suitcase under the dulcimer and played a few hours before checking in.

It's really great to be back, and feeling in the zone as a musician. My last visit was in 2006, when I was disappointed to find the city so much less inspiring than the others on my itinerary. With more experience in Italy, however, I realize that comparing anyplace to Florence, Siena, Lucca, and Rome is unfair and that Pisa has a lot to recommend it.

And I'm not just saying that because the busking went really well last night, although I'm sure that helped to reform my impression. I'm hoping that holds again today, and tomorrow I'm off to familiar territory in Modena. The tour is winding down and I'm heading into the final stretch with places that I've enjoyed playing in the past!
vinceconaway: (Holland Head Shot)
This tour has involved two experiments for me. The one I'm on now is trying out new cities, which I do fairly often. The other, however, was staying for a full month in Genoa. Normally I change cities every week, but I've had so many good experiences there that I wanted to see what it was like to really live someplace for so long.

The first experiment of breaking new ground has had its ups and downs, most noticeably last week in Oristano. The second experiment, however, worked. Not just in the fact that I had good busking experiences in Genoa, but that after a month I was still mostly playing to people who hadn't seen me before: I was still getting lots of questions and my tips and CD sales did not reflect over-familiarity.

For the past dozen tours I've limited myself to a single week in any given city*. In most cases I've limited myself to one week every two years, not repeating any location in consecutive trips, but that no longer seems necessary. It makes me happy to think on future tours and the idea of spending a little more time and some of my favorite places.


*Except Rome, where I spent a lot of time in 2007 but is so big and well-touristed that it didn't seem a fair example.
vinceconaway: (Holland Head Shot)
It happens. I may have gotten complacent because it hadn't happened in awhile, but it happens.

I got shifted. "Shifted" is a delightful busker colloquialism I picked up in Sicily from a banjo-playing Englishman, his way of describing the process of being told by the authorities to move along (or, in my case, to get a permit).

It started as it usually does, although with friendlier cops than normal. I'd been passed by several flavors of law enforcement to no effect (each one with strictly non-overlapping jurisdictions) so I'd assumed I was golden, but the right two came along just as I was starting up yesterday morning. They directed me to the office for a permit, and I went even though my history suggests it would be pointless.

That history now has another data point in its favor.

I wouldn't have bothered if my evening sets in Sardinia hadn't been so lackluster, but I wasn't sure that a ticket to play another city would be a good investment. So I stuck around and waited in line and was told to come back at 4 to speak with the lieutenant.

And I did. We had a jocular debate, where he said there was no law to support busking and I argued that there was therefore no law to prohibit it. He insisted I go through regular channels for an "occupation of public space" license, which would take at least until Monday (the day I leave town).

It's easier just to commute for a few days.

There are bright sides to the story. My argument with the Lieutenant showed a surprising fluency on my part, and I was surprised at my persuasiveness in my second tongue (albeit ineffectual). The cops who got the ball rolling were really cool and curious about the instrument. And Oristano is likely the best city to be a commuting busker, centrally located with excellent transit links to other cities.

Still, the situation triggered all sorts of anxieties. Iglesias went well, but now I'm paranoid about my chances in Sassari, my next city. I'm also nervous about my budget, which was already fairly tenuous and which is taking the hit of a Thursday completely lost with possible weekend weather.

It's a game of averages, and I've already made up some of the difference by finding some amazing housing deals for the last leg of the tour in cities I know well. The risk was not unexpected: Sardinia was always intended to be the experimental center between a familiar beginning in Genoa and hopes for a strong finish in Romagna. My career involves taking successive leaps of faith, but sometimes it's a hard faith to maintain.

And the adventures continue.
vinceconaway: (Holland Head Shot)
It was late February, 2008, and I was drinking beer on a sidewalk in Sicily. My companions were two other street performers and none of us had been having any luck in Syracuse. The conversation turned, as it inevitably does among buskers, to places that had been good to us. My one companion, whose name I don't remember but who did some pretty great Dylan covers, mentioned three places: Lecce, Taranto, and Sardinia. I played the first two later that tour and they've become tour staples from having treated me so well, but it's only now that I'm reaching the island of Sardinia.

My boat leaves tonight and I'm excited to be on the move again!
vinceconaway: (Holland Head Shot)
I leave Genoa on Monday.

I was nervous about spending an entire month in one place: as much as I love Rome, three weeks playing there in 2007 was too much and I felt myself to be in a rut. Genoa is a very different city, however, and I think it helps that I'm playing in different places every day. I have my favorites, to be sure, but in Rome there was just one spot that I really loved, and going to the same place to play the same music at the same time every day felt a lot like at J.O.B.

My original plan for the spring was an eight week tour in Italy and when I suddenly extended it to 12 weeks I wasn't sure what to do with the extra time. When I found an absolute steal on a monthly apartment through AirBnB it offered the perfect solution: a month in one of my favorite cities. I'm very pleased to say that, three weeks in, it still is.

Although I've seen all of the interesting museums in town, there are enough different pretty walks that I haven't felt bored. Additionally, I've been taking day trips up and down the Italian Riviera on my days off, which has been absolutely delightful.

It's a lovely city and I'm already planning on future visits, but I'm starting to get excited for Sardinia!
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