North America, Europe · 12 Days · 51 Moments · July 2016

Donna's odyssey through Italy

30 July 2016

Had to say goodby to our sweet Kara Lynn today. We have had a fabulous week, much to the chagrin of a few I am sure. Sometimes 3 strong women can be combustible, however we made the pass with flying colors! We will miss you my darling niece. Somehow the days will immediately not seem the same without your smiling face! Love you my dear💋🇮🇹 Ciao my Bella
The princess 👸🏼with her "way home" snack:))) So Sorry honey💋 at least it was Mediterranean delicious, maybe Greece is the next destination... About 90 minutes from M/St Paul. Can almost feel our American soil beneath our feet. 🇮🇹✈️🇺🇸

30 July 2016

It takes me while to figure technology issues out from time to time (no laughing "T") and I just finally realized why my Pompeii photos won't list in the order I am journaling... Dahahahaha, they show up chronologically by order of the date they were taken and archived..... Soooo, please scroll down below the fabulous Tiramisu photo and you will see several photos of this amazing city. Enjoy! Also, my wait on the train platform in Naples, heading back to Rome.
(cont'd) and architecture, but also the "intact" remains and images of family's and animals that were buried and lost under tons of spewing ash for centuries. And the archeological excavation continues today, as we observed several teams strategically working throughout the city during our visit. The beauty of the art still visible in many of the homes is amazing, not to mention the technology that is apparent, with the architectural detail and the remaining building structures. No doubt it could teach and possibly has taught many of our engineers, architects and city managers much today.
As we headed back on our day's journey to Rome, we were fortunate enough to be chauffeured by Assunta again. So blessed by this, as she is a true curator of the historical aspects of Italy, as well as being up on all the latest celebrity happenings taking place. Such as, learning one morning that this amazing yacht that happened to be in port, was home to Tom & Rita Hanks. And they, along with the Jolie/Pit clan on another boat, as well as Jennifer Aniston & her husband on yet another for an award Jennifer received this past week for child based philanthropic achievement at a festival on the Amalfi coast. Such a small world we truly live in. Anyway, our trip back to Rome would not be complete without a stop at Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius. Probably the most emotionally moving of all of our adventures of the trip. The magnitude of the history of this place is something beyond comprehension. An entire city destroyed in a matter of minutes and the remains of not only buildings, art,
Forgot to share the spectacularly delicious and authentic Tiramsu🇮🇹🍷
Catching the train home:):(

29 July 2016

The colosseum at Pompeii
More Pompeii
We bid our new Italian friends and family Arrivederci until the next time. We will remember and savor every moment with only the fondest of memories. From the staff at Hotel St Angelo, to Maria & Guilio, to Antonio, Yuri, Raffael, the TWO Mr. Blacks, Gabriel, our boat mates and tour mates, Assunta, Cristian and the entire Royal Domina Home staff (or as the girls have referred to them all week; the "Dirty Dancing" team). It actually has been a bit like "Kellermans" honestly:) Anyway, until the next time, Ciao

28 July 2016

Known as "per Eva". Our second course consisted of delicious hand made Italian sausages in marinara, eggplant Parmesan and a delicious frittata filled with fresh basil, wild oregano and peppers. Of course a delicious wine to compliment this second course and yet another to accompany our amazing spaghetti and marinara and another to partner with our homemade tiramisu. Topped off with their brut champagne, shots of limoncello and a licorice liquor. My icing was the fact that I asked for and received a hand written recipe from Mama Eva, her family recipe for the tiramisu, complete with autograph, I am so honored. We did not want to leave and I honestly believe they would have rolled out feather beds for us had we asked. In the end I think today was the pinnacle of perfection for the trip and as unfortunate as it is, an amazing way to close out this trip to Positano. We leave in the AM for Naples and then on to Rome to head home.
We were escorted down the terraced path, below the enormous cavalcade of vines, that intertwined above us like a canopy in a deep forest. We learned that the Mother plant is over 300 years old and that this vineyard is one of the very few that survived the "Leafroll Virus" epidemic of 1896. This was miraculously a result of one of the Mt Vesuvius eruptions. It was discovered that the ash, which is comprised of a pumice like substance, actually protects the earth from the invasion of the disease. Anyway, enough technicalities. Mama Eva, prepared our family feast, beginning with our first course of tomato and pane carasau bread salad, drizzled with fresh pressed olive oil from their own trees along with samplings from the cheese factory. With this course we enjoyed a delightful glass of their white wine.
This was nothing short of an amazing family reunion. From the moment we walked thorough the spectacular front doors, we were welcomed jubilantly with embraces and kisses, and most excitedly by Emma, their little four pawed greeter. The aromas of what was to become the most delicious lunch imaginable filled the air with an energy of warmth you only get from grandmas house during holiday gatherings. Not to mention pitchers of ice cold water (hard to find here) to refresh us before we embarked on a tour of both the vineyards, as well as the processing room and the barrel rooms.
As we bid farewell to our new friends at the cheese farm, we had the great honor to meet the current managers father, who is 90 years old and still active on the farm today. In fact, he sat and serenaded us in Italian, as we headed onto Trugnano for an amazing afternoon with the Tranuta San Francesco vineyard and family.
As we ended our journey in a little town known as Tramonti, you can see the farm, along with the cheese production, also hosts some of the most beautiful things dear to me, that of gorgeous hedges, vines and vessels overflowing with every color of flowers imaginable. The landscape was full of many things growing wild and free that I seek daily to provide for my shop and guests at home. I was in heaven already just walking the path from the main road to their barn and I did not even need to go inside, but of course I did.
A day unlike any others yet again! We traveled along the Amalfi coast and through Praiano, Furore, Ravello and Maiori. From there we headed into the mountains into some of most beautiful vineyards of the region. We were escorted by a wonderful lady named, Assunta, named for the Assumption of Mary and met with our private sommelier and tour guide, Cristian. First stop a three generation, family owned Mozzarella & Ricotta Cheese operation. Production still remains on their family farm, complete with their own cows that produce the milk which their cheeses are made.

27 July 2016

OMG day trip to the Isle of Capri. More to follow, but just saying, Aristotle Onassis had nothing on some of the yachts, sailings vessels, schooners and homes. Each one more magnificent than the one before it.
Green grotto
Back on land and diving in the shower to cool off and think about dinner. So wiped out from 10 hours in the sun, water and salt air, but so good!

26 July 2016

Another evening in paradise...,
It's a very warm day today in Positano. Girls headed to the beach, I am cozy at the pool. Still recouping from last evenings trek down and back up those 700 steps. Whewwww, 300 down and 400 back up, of course the lower level resort gate was locked by the end of our excursion! So still resting my adult calves:))))
A fabulous day at the beach.... Now on to another spectacular sunset, dinner and evening at Chez Black with the Mister himself.

25 July 2016

Another fabulous dinner, view and evening with my two girls.
400 steps down to deliciousness. Can you believe these amazing roof top gardens!!!
The best morning ever... My little man greeted me with kisses and hugs this morning thanks to Auntie Yonna:)
Did someone say "Extreme" adventure! I would say someone is definitely livin large in the Mediterranean... GUESS WHO.... Learned it was Tom Hanks and family in residence...

24 July 2016

A perfect ending to another perfect day!
Fabulous dinner last night at "Chez Black" not only delicious but amazing views right on the beach!!!!
A day of R&R at the resort!
Morning on the bay, church bells ringing and a marching band on the street. An amazing awakening.

23 July 2016

Cocktails on the mountain
Evening falls in Positano!
We have arrived'

22 July 2016

A fabulous ending to another amazing day! The Vatican City is a world all its own. So moving and humbling. Tomorrow we head down the Amalfi Coast to Positano! Cannot wait.... More then my friends, Arrivederci!
More passion of spirit
Breathtaking and very humbling. Such a sacred place, which easily moved me to tears.
More of the amazing experience of the day!

21 July 2016

Every path and every view was more amazing than the one before it... No words can express the magnitude of what we are experiencing. An Abby built in the 1600's, which is still a functioning Abby to the Franciscan Friars, to a church built in 8AD. Amazing vineyards and incredible wines at the Brunella Vineyards. A delicious lunch in their barrel cellars and I could not resist purchasing a case to share when I get home. Yum!!! More to come once we down load more photos. Off to clean up for dinner, ciao for now!
A visit to "Under The Tuscan Sun" I am ready to make this a regular summer place!!'!
Waiting for our bus to Tuscany
One of the great masters museum
Just touched down, 78 and gorgeous!
Sleeping beauty 👸🏼 still out 💤 about 2 hours remaining from touch down. Good morning Atlantic✈️🛥 Thinking of my little man and missing him... All is quiet on this air ship. All my neighbors are snug as bugs in their little cocoons... It is 4:45 AM Roman time, but only 10:45 PM in Cincy. Somehow I can't get my sleep on, typically just about to get my second burst of energy!

20 July 2016

Not to mention ending the day with some delicious wine and nibbles, along with a cappuccino and gelato!
I can hardly contain myself..., it is all beyond imagination and to think it is all over 2000 years old. Not only did we visit the Roman Colosseum, but we also visited a 17th century Franciscan Monastery that is still an active church and sanctuary and was also one of the original working water containment facilities providing running water to the oldest area of the city of Rome during that period of time. It also provided the opportunity to experience the "stations of the cross" as you climbed to the top of the ruins, all intricately hand carved into the limestone along the way. So very moving!
We have arrived
About to leave the gate in Minneapolis/St Paul.... 9.5 hours from now we should be on the ground in Rome.... Thank you to all who have supported us as we prepared for this journey. More to come in the morning!!!! Arrivederci for now, love d&t
On our way to tour the Italian countryside! Until we reach the other side, Ciao

18 July 2016

Time to finish packing as Grand Vic has finally called it a day! Going to finish packing and rest my eyes and brain myself. Leaving for airport at noon and the journey begins!