Guest Bloggers Adam McCulloch and Emma Sloley are married travel writers based in New York. Originally from Australia, they moved to the US in 2004. They have traveled to over 60 countries and written for a wide range of publications, including Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, New York magazine, Gotham, Gourmet Traveller, Coastal Living, Reader’s Digest and Outside. Adam and Emma are sending us stories and pictures daily from their 14-day voyage aboard Seabourn Odyssey between Rome and Venice. Come by and read their blogs often.
Day 1 – April 28, 2013: Arrivederci, Roma
Ahoy, sailors! (We’ve always wanted to say that.) We are Adam McCulloch and Emma Sloley, married travel writers based in New York who will be guest blogging on this voyage. We’ve had a lot of experience traveling but not a lot with cruising, so we’re super excited to embark on this cruise around the boot — which is how we like to think of our coming circumnavigation of Italy.
Much like Odysseus, after whom this ship is conveniently named, we’re about to embark on an epic and adventure-filled journey across the seas. (Although we kind of hope it doesn’t take us ten years to return home.) We’re going to be passing through some amazing places before we disembark for the last time in Venice – places crammed with history, skullduggery, romance and obscenely good pizza – and we’ll be sharing our thoughts, impressions and loosely researched fact-finding on each of the ports, as well as our time on board.
Our blog is called “If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Seabourn,” a riff on the famous aphorism about whirlwind travel that also happens to be a campy 1960s movie. (Just in case it comes up on trivia night: the film featured cameo appearances from John Cassavetes, Joan Collins, Anita Ekberg and the lady who happened to be Miss Belgium at the time.) If we overhear anything scintillating or scandalous, we’ll share it. If we pick up any amazing souvenirs, we’ll photograph them. If we discover anyone — alive, dead or otherwise — we feel deserves a shout-out, we’ll shout out. If anything on board strikes us as particularly praiseworthy, we’ll draw your attention to it.
So after boarding Seabourn Odyssey in Rome, the famed seat of the Holy Roman Empire, we got to thinking about Baroque. As you do. How did that whole craziness come about anyway? Well, way back in Medieval times, Catholicism was starting to look dreary: the swill had lost its taste, the Black Death had cast a pall over even the most spirited of orgies, and the pizzazz had all but vanished from the public executions. Then in 1545, the church leaders banded together in the Council of Trent and decided that if Catholicism was to survive it had to get seriously fabulous. Churches would resemble a slice of heaven right here on earth, complete with stucco cherubs and gilded everything. The completely OTT architectural style caught on, and its expressive spirit was embraced by writers, musicians, and artists of all kinds, whose opulent works survive to this day in many of the cities we’ll be visiting. You could even say they were Going for Baroque, which is the headline of every second travel story ever published on Europe (FACT).
“How do you know all this?” we hear you ask. The short answer: we make it up, or at least seriously freestyle. Please feel free to disagree, rant, rave or just share your own impressions of the voyage via the comment section of this blog: we’d love to hear from you. If you feel passionately enough about the Baroque or any other topic we tackle, feel free to corner us somewhere on the ship (as long as you’re buying drinks). As for spelling and grammar, we’ll leave the last word to Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, who said, “I am the King of Rome, and above grammar.”
Writer Emma Sloley