Europe, North America · 50 Days · 77 Moments · July 2016

Jennifer's odyssey through Italy

17 September 2016

We bought the most beautiful glasses in Rome at Marioluca Giusti

18 August 2016

Dinner on Wednesday night, great wine selection, good food, customer service lacking
Papal Audience followed by tour of San Clemente, church dating back to 1 A.D. and the Colisseum.
Trevi Fountain
Delicious lunch near Trevi Fountain, Il Falchetto
Il Falchetto, lunch near Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain, last day!!

17 August 2016

Papal Audience, Colisseum and San Clemente Colisseum is a 2,000 year old building, representing Rome at its grandest. It was built as an arena for gladiator contests and spectacles. San Clemente: a church built in 1st century. Floor above floor is a different church. Functioning church now.

15 August 2016

Yesterday, we traveled from Cinque Terre (Monterosso to La Spezia to Roma Termini). After arriving at our hotel, we are lunch at Dilla. The lunch was delicious. We walked to the Spanish Steps and then met up for our walking tour of Rome at Dusk. We saw Pasquino, a 3rd century talking statue, that for 500 years has served as community billboard for grievances. We walked to Piazza Navona where we saw the statues by Bernini (the four quarters of the world). We walked to Pantheon as it was closing, entered Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and San Ignazio with its 3-D Baroque illusions on the ceiling. We ate gelato at the famous Giolitti. We continued our walk to the Sinking Boat Fountain, at the foot of the steps, built by Bernini's father, Pietro. We saw the Spanish steps under construction and the Column of the Immaculate Conception. We finished the tour by walking up above the Spanish steps for a panoramic view of the Eternal City.

14 August 2016

Morning train from La Spezia to Roma!
Day 3: we hiked from Monterroso to Vernazza with the kids. Even starting out early, the trail was hot and steep. We had no complaints and loved it. One lady passing by told Sam, "you are killing it. You are a rockstar." In the small town of Vernazza, we climbed the steps to the old castle and prayed in the church on the sea. We bought slices of pizza for lunch and dined on the large rocks by the water. We started the ascent to Corniglia but stopped after Ry complained that her head hurt and we realized no ferry to return us to Monterroso. We dined at La Tortuga, on the sea. We ate pesto lasagna, sea bass, pumpkin ravioli and pasta with lobster. As we left, we were greeted with a sunset, a wonderful last night on the sea. Side note: fry bread is delicious!!!! It seems to be a speciality in this region.
The past 3 days we stayed in Monterroso in Cinque Terre. We stayed at a lovely hotel, Hotel Villa Steno. The city is divided into the new and the old parts of town. The trains arrives in the new portion. On our first day, we had a late lunch and welcome drinks on the terrace. We had a beautiful view of the city and Ligurian sea below. We dined at Belvedere, our least favorite, as dinner was slow and bees/flies were in abundance. The city park is nearby and the kids enjoyed it as well as our initial walk on the beach. Day 2: We set up on 4 loungers, 2 umbrellas at the old beach (private). We played in the water and made sand/rock castles! We rented a boat with a slide and the kids had a blast until we started spotting the jellyfish! We dined at Miky which was delicious! The kids jumped on the trampolines and played in the park in the new portion of town.
Sunrise in Monterroso

13 August 2016

Hike from Monterroso to Vernazza

12 August 2016


11 August 2016

After a morning of laundry, we took a ferry to the village of Cadenabbia. We spent the day at the Lido. We received many scoldings from the lifeguard regarding tickets and swim caps. The kids said that the water was as cold as Lake Michigan but nonetheless had a wonderful time! We dined at La Punta which provided a heavenly view of the Lake. The grass and beach below was just what the children needed. Ryann made friends with circus girls from the Netherlands while the boys ran around to play tag. A wonderful ending to our stay!
A view to remember, Hotel Florence, Bellagio

10 August 2016

La Punta, Bellagio
Spent the day in Varenna. Easy boat ride from Bellagio. We walked around the quaint town visiting the Villa de Monastero. After, we hiked to the Castello di Vezio. After 30 minutes of steep hiking, we made it to the top of the hill and saw the splendor! We ate lunch at Albergo del Sole and walked down the promenade. The kids had fun collecting sea glass from the water, eating gelato and watching a movie be filmed. We took the ferry back as ominous clouds filled the sky. As we arrived in Bellagio, cold rain pelted our bodies. We ran to the hotel and poor G-Pop managed to fall down the ferry stairs. We dined at the fabulous Enoteca Cava, a wine cellar offering wine samplings, cheese and sausage platters and ravioli for the kids. When we got home, we watched the U.S women take the gold in gymnastics!!!🏅

9 August 2016

Dinner in Bellagio
Varenna 2
Lunch in Varenna
August 8th and our adventure from Venice to Lake Como!
The next day, we toured the beautiful city of Venice with Eleonora and took a water taxi to Murano and Burano. The kids had the opportunity to blow glass and we saw lots of beautiful pieces. We toured Burano and saw the colorful homes and ate at a great restaurant, the Black Cat.
On August 6th, we bid adieu and took the train to Venice! Once there, we took a water bus and walked to our delightful Hotel Flora. It had a beautiful garden and European charm. We walked around the city and took a lovely gondola ride. We had dinner at La Feluca and celebrated my birthday!!!
Our final day in Florence was a free day. Of course, we got some last minute shopping in within the city and some swimming at our pool. We celebrated our trip with a delicious meal at Buca Mario, our favorite restaurant! We had our own special room and loved every bite! We toasted to Nana and G-Pop for their 49th anniversary!

8 August 2016


7 August 2016

Venice, Murano and Burano
Murano and Burano

6 August 2016


5 August 2016

Week in Florence!
Lunch in Siena
The day finished with a tour of Chianti Clasico producer, tenuta lornano. Our group received a tour of the beautiful property and wine tasting! Nuova fattoria lornano SA
Beautiful Siena, with its Campo and Cathedral, high above the rest. Amazing features within the Cathedral such as sculptures by Bernini and frescoed ceiling. Il campo is known for the Palio-- a horse race that still takes place twice a year. The next is August 16 and proves which neighborhood of the 17 is victorious.

4 August 2016

Tenuta lornano
G-Pop's 70th birthday, epic Jen fail. Todd, Carrie and Brandon came through...steak, asparagus, peppers and the most delicious cake ever with Panna and cream ice cream.
San gimignano, medieval town with 13 of 72 towers remaining.
Road to San gimignano and siena

3 August 2016

Gelato stop, Pisa
Lunch stop, nana ❤️ lunch!!!
Pisa highlights
Pisa bound
On our way to Pisa
La Giostra for dinner, late night dessert at Magnum
Happy hour, Gilli Cafe, Piazza de Republica
Tour of Academia and Galeria Uffizi.
Cooking in Chianti, pizza lab at the villa. Buon appetito!

2 August 2016

Gilli cafe
Michelangelo, Davinci, Boticelli, Carvaggio
Cooking in Chianti

1 August 2016

Thai Foot Massage, a great end to the day!
Boccadama Piaza S. Croce, 25-26r Tel. 055.243640, Firenze Great food and service
Thai foot massage
Delicious meal!
Ponte Vecchio
Day 2
2nd day in Florence: Palazzo de Vecchio, piaza Della signora, Ponte Vecchio.
Tour of Firenze: San Maria de fiori, Campanella de Giotto, Duomo of Buchinelli...
Duomo, Firenze

31 July 2016

Fiorentina vs. Real Club Celta de Vigo Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze
Gelato and a stroll through the market in Florence
Sunday afternoon
Lunch at L'Oopera Bistro Wine Bar, Firenze.
Todd's pick!
A slow start to the day with Sam not feeling well. Guys head to the supermarket--carts for a premium and Brandon scolded for touching the nectarines with an ungloved hand. Kids playing Uno and adults reflect on last night's dinner and Todd's requests for digestivos! Headed into town for some adventures...
The view from our house
First day, July 30: we arrived in FCO in Roma and immediately boarded the train to Florence. After storing our luggage (via Boni 5), we walked to the Market where we lunched at Tosca. Food was average and I would recommended dining from vendors rather than doing the sit-down. We arranged transport to our villa. We were pleasantly surprised by our accommodations. After hanging out by the pool, we went to a delicious dinner at alla vecchia bettolla. The penne bettolla was divine!

30 July 2016

Piazza deal mercato centrale
Train FCO to Firenze