North America, Europe · 12 Days · 59 Moments · September 2017

Adventures in Italy

8 October 2017

Safely back in USA... waiting in Newark for flight to Miami. Great vacation - Already planning my next trip to Italy!!

7 October 2017

Beautiful views from rooftop happy hour with music in neighborhood near Spanish steps.
Lunch at small restaurant In Trastevere neighborhood called Hostaria da Corrada. First restaurant we've been to where no English was spoken. We muddled through our order. Can you tell we liked our dishes??!! Full of locals... we were the only Americans. After lunch, we walked out into the piazza and a wedding had just taken place!! Beautiful bride.

6 October 2017

Six appetizers, three entrées, a salad and two bottles of wine = $82.50 Euro. Can't beat the prices at authentic Italian restaurants here in Italy!!! Day 9 of pasta for us twice a day. Going vegan for a week when we get back!!!
Dinner at Taverna del Seminario in Pigna District. Closed down the restaurant at 11:35 pm.
Trevi Fountain by night. Another beautiful site in Rome!.
The Parthenon by night.
Enough said.
When in Rome... why not go to a Steelers bar??!! La Botticelli of Pogi Giovanni in Piazza Navona neighborhood. Had a nice chat with owner Giovanni and drank a few Italian beers.
Hottest gelato spot in Rome! We learned that fluffy gelato with lots of color is not "real' gelato. Air is pumped into the gelato to make it puff up and artificial colors and flavorings are used to brighten the vibrancy of the color.
Unbelievable 4 hour tour of Ancient Rome and the Colosseum today. The tickets that we purchased allowed us to get into the lower levels of the Colosseum where the animals were held and lifted to the floor. There were 28 elevators that were used to raise the animals to the arena floor, which we also toured. The highlight was walking up to the fifth tier, which has never been open to the public before. The 5th level will only be open for the first two weeks of this month. The first picture in this group was taken from the fifth tier.
I'm at the Colosseum!!! This is the most amazing site. It is the second most visited place on earth just behind the Great Wall of China.

5 October 2017

Dinner at Pietro Valentina. Spaghetti Puttenesca and the house red. Delicious meal!! Restaurant recommended by our travel agent, Randy.
Sunset over the Vatican.
Swiss guard in traditional uniform designed by Michelangelo.
Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica tour today. We had no idea of the massive facility and grounds of Vatican City.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 started the day off at a 600 year old perfume factory called Santa Maria novella. These pictures are terrible but the retail store was beautiful. The factory also doubled as a pharmacy at one point in time, and there were old apothecary jars and equipment that were on display.
Next stop was Croce Church where Michelangelo is buried. It was the feast of St. Francis and a special service was going on at the church so unfortunately, we were not able to enter. From there we stopped at Alla' antico Vinaio Sandwich shop for lunch. The line was 30 deep to get in so we knew it must be good and it didn't disappoint. The wild boar sandwiches were all that I hoped for and more. A young guy that was working at the shop was standing out front and let me take a bite of his sandwich so that I could try it before I ordered!!

4 October 2017

An amazing day walking through Florence on this spectacular day and capped off by incredible sunset from Piazza Michelangelo. This picture doesn't do it justice. When we turned around from watching the sunset, the full moon was rising over the hills... could not have planned a better day to do this experience
View of Florence from Piazza Michelangelo.

3 October 2017

Taking a break from wine tonight and drinking some beer on a mini pub crawl through Florence.
When in Italy, why not go to an Irish Pub? @ JJ Cathedral in Florence.
Lots of military police in every city we've visited. They are always in the main piazzas and even on sidestreets and alleys like these 2 who were guarding the fruitstand… LOL! The last picture in this group looks like my nephew Joey.

2 October 2017

This is first of several posts from today. We spent the day at a small, boutique farm called Tenuta Chiudendone. They grow grapes and olives and make small batch wine and olive oil. They only sell their wine locally but will ship to US. Phil took this pic with his cell phone.
Our host Francesco giving us a wine tutorial.
Best tiramisu I've ever eaten. Although it's not my favorite dessert, this one was a huge hit. Light and fluffy. Simple crust topped with grapes, sugar and rosemary, which Carla and I made.
Outdoor table was beautifully set and the meal was presented. Everything was fresh from our hosts garden.
We helped prepare our lunch. There were 10 guests on the experience and we all had a job to do in the kitchen.
Next was a tour of the vineyard and grape tasting. (2 pics)
We started the day by going on a truffle hunt with Tommaso and his dog Asia. Asia only found 2 truffles but it was fun watching her sniff and dig!!

1 October 2017

My name sake Pharmacy at night.
Our Air BNB in Cinque Terre was great and located close to everything, but the street light outside made my half of the bed in our bedroom feel more like an interrogation room.

30 September 2017

Day trip to Monterroso ( resort town) was very touristy. Next stop was Manarola (cliff divers and kitty)... Meow!
Beautiful sights from hilltop cemetery in Vernazza. 20 minute tough hike to the top but worth it. Sun was going down and breathtaking views. Grave stones dated back to mid 1800's
Post haircut snack at Cantina del Pescatore.
My handsome husband with his fresh new Italian haircut from barber in Monterrosso.
A little music along the trail hike from Vernazza to Monterroso.
Beautiful views from the top of Vernazza on the blue trail on our way to Monterrosso.

29 September 2017

Delicious dinner at Gianni Franzi with mom's namesake wine and great server Lorenzo.
Gelato and a little stroll up many steps to take in the local views and surroundings.
View from stairwell at Castello Doria tower in Vernazza, Italy.
We made it to Cinque Terre. White wine and a snack before dinner.
Apparently here wall humping is either very popular or discouraged.
Connecting train from Genova to LaSpezzia. On our way to Cinque Terre.
Early rise to breakfast and Nutella on tap.

28 September 2017

Great first dinner in Italy. (Complimentary of our good friends in Florida. It was such a surprise.) Fantastic meal at a 10 year old Family owned restaurant. Chef Paulo served our table personally with help from his parents Chiara and Aldo. Noblesse Oblige Via Franchino Gaffurio, 1, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Window view from our room in Milan. Just the first night. On our way south tomorrow.
Last travel leg of today. 4 hour train ride to Milan.
We rendezvoused with Carla and Vince in Geneva and took a small train to the main station - Geneva Central. Quick cafe stop for coffee, croissants and sandwiches before a 4 hour train ride to Milan.
Touch down in Geneva, Switzerland. And so it begins....
And we're off!!
One hour, 50 minutes till departure...
Still getting a chuckle out of this handmade Bon Voyage card from my father. Boning up on our key Italian phrases during our layouver.
Should have upgraded for the extra leg room. United = you-tighted. On our way to Newark before 3 hour layover in advance of our 2nd leg to Geneva.
And we're off... Uber on schedule.

26 September 2017

An Italian cordial night cap and a tea for a good night rest before a full day of travel
A pre-trip/send off meal with the Robbins's and the little JJ