Returning from Italy made easier

“When I was at home, I was in a better place. But travelers must be content.”                      

Shakespeare, As You Like It


5 indispensables: Travelpro luggage, Magellan rain jacket, Mosey cross-body purse, a good travel umbrella, and Salomon tennis shoes (not pictured here)

Before I left home, I was already thinking about my return trip. For that, I planned to check the 21″ Travelpro carry-on (base luggage).

Previously, I made a big deal about the luggage I took to Italy. Originally I thought only of a smaller carry-on item I could attach to my to my wheeled suitcase, preferably placed over the telescoping handle as opposed to a backpack or say, a Vera Bradley tote. VB sells a tote with the slip over the handle (trolley) feature and as a personal item, this will hold a ton of stuff. But then it’s heavy.

Plus, my cross-body purse, a jacket and miscellaneous items that I placed in a Baggu and the smaller carry on item needed to meet the 2 item limit imposed by AA. (That’s American Airlines for you. Other carriers have different stipulations, but AA gate-checkers are getting crankier and crankier about carry-on limits. And some people carry on enormous bags, but that may have something to do with AA’s charges for checked luggage.) Can’t we all just get along?

This limitation helps explain why I decided on the smaller Travelpro wheeled carry-on, stacked like flight attendant’s luggage does. If airline employees can do it, so can I.

Small as this carry-on is compared to the VB bag, I weighed the difference beforehand. More stuff or a lighter load?

Not having to lug around a heavy tote (or backpack) while going through Customs … making connecting flights … another terminal change … this bleary-eyed traveler wanted to kiss the inventor of wheeled luggage in all sizes. And improvements in wheeled luggage are legion.

Do leave home without it.

Travel is hard. Especially the return trip when the thrill is gone does having one less thing to keep up with pay off.

In this wheeled carry-on I would keep with me gifts, jewelry and whatever I couldn’t afford to lose.

Check dirty clothes and all liquids and anything I could live without in case the airline lost my luggage. Which they did. The checked bag caught up with me the next afternoon and I made yet another trip to the airport to retrieve it.

Not the disaster it would have been had I checked luggage on the way to Italy.

Baggu, I think I love you.


Measures 5×5 inches


Measures 15×15 inches (25 inches with handles) and expands at bottom. Can carry as shoulder-bag.


Baggu is this nylon bag that comes in a small pouch, which I carried in my purse. Throughout the trip, I was able to put my jacket, umbrella, journal, water bottle, box-lunch and whatever purchases I made on day trips in a bag that weighs a few ounces, yet it’s sturdy.

The neat thing, the totally unexpected thing, when others in our group had to check their backpacks, the museums and cathedrals let me in with my Baggu.


And Italy, now that I’m home, I think I love you too.



This is me in a restroom in Rome. How neat is this set-up, America?

Other travel tips

IMG_5867  Don’t get off the train at the wrong station.


Download Rick Steve’s guides from his website and listen before touring the places you plan to see.



This picture of the exterior of the building I was looking for helped people give me directions.

Get good directions, especially when you do not speak the language of the country you are visiting.

Uphill all the way

After leaving the train station in Orvieto, crossing a street, I rode the Funicular to the top of the hill, then took the only bus to the Duomo, center of the walled city of Orvieto. Once I got off the bus, this is what I saw.


IMG_7414 IMG_7421 IMG_7422


And then I walked. Lugging my luggage till at last I found the monastery, San Lodovico. Around 7,000 miles from home. IMG_7711



Post Script

Products mentioned and/or websites noted are based on my own research and experience of use.

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