Blogs from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe

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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna July 22nd 2014

So, the last solid thing on my "to-do list" for this trip was to hike in the Cinque Terre on Italy's northwest coast. Last Wednesday, I set out from Pisa to conquer the trails. There are four separate trails connecting the "five lands" and I ambitiously planned to hike them all. However, with a slow start to the day, by the time I got to the northernmost town of Monterosso, it was 2 pm. This timing combined with high heat and some difficult ascents on the first trail left me DONE after those first 3.5 kilometers. But hey, 3.5 difficult, hot kilometers in 1:10 ain't bad! And in that gorgeous setting, every drop of sweat was worth it. So after eating and gelato-ing in town #2 of Vernazza, I hopped on the train and made my ... read more
Cinque Terre
Lucca
Lucca

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna June 20th 2014

Our next campsite was high up in the hills between Bologna and Florence. There was nothing around it only hills. We had a large spot with lovely views. We asked about travelling in to Bologna, which we had passed through but never really visited. We were advised that the best way was by train. However, the time to drive to the train was 40 minutes! Off we set for the 11.05 down narrow twisty roads and up and down dale, eventually arriving after 40 minutes as advised. The train was good though and deposited us 10 minutes walk from the centre of town. Bologna is a nice city with lots of nice buildings. In fact everything was nice but nothing great. The highlight was probably the Anatomical University and the 16th century lecture room all in ... read more
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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Salsomaggiore Terme June 5th 2014

Day 20, Sunday, June 1 Since our arrival at our farm stay we have talked about walking into the city of Salsomaggiore is about a 2 mile walk. Getting there is not a problem as most of the walk is downhill. It is the trek back that we were not looking forward to. After a cup of coffee and breakfast we headed toward the city center. The road to get there is narrow so looking out for an Italian driver is a must and Lisa is once again on high alert. Not only for drivers, but snakes as well even though we have not seen one since we got here. After about an hours walk we were in the city center but since it was Sunday only the cafes and restaurants were open. On Saturday we ... read more
Jim's lunch at Porchetta
Monterosso
Monterosso

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Parma June 3rd 2014

Day 17, Thursday, May 29 See the pictures from the previous blog, Jim jumped the gun on posting the pictures from our day, he was on a meat and cheese high! This is our first full day in the area and it has been reserved for a full-day food tour to see how Parmesan cheese, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar is made. The email we had received advised us to meet our personal guide at a restaurant just off the Autostrada in Parma but the instructions were not very clear so we left a little early just in case. There are three exits for Parma and our instructions were to exit off the Autostrada in Parma and look for a particular restaurant and wait in the parking lot for our guide. We decided to split the different ... read more
All sizes of porcini mushrooms
Veggie van selling at the market
Lisa in Salsomaggiore

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna June 2nd 2014

Our next campsite was high up in the hills between Bologna and Florence. There was nothing around it only hills. We had a large spot with lovely views. We asked about travelling in to Bologna, which we had passed through but never really visited. We were advised that the best way was by train. However, the time to drive to the train was 40 minutes! Off we set for the 11.05 down narrow twisty roads and up and down dale, eventually arriving after 40 minutes as advised. The train was good, easy to by the €9 tickets. and we were deposited 10 minutes walk from the centre of city. Bologna is a nice place with lots of nice buildings. In fact everything was nice but nothing great. The highlight was probably the Anatomical University and the ... read more
Bologna piazza and Duomo
Bologna and a very pretty fountain

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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Parma May 31st 2014

Day 15, Tuesday, May 27 The weather was not the best but we decided to take a drive north to the Chianti wine region. Again our friendly GPS took us on some back roads but eventually we found the Autostrada that took us to an exit to Greve in Chianti, a small town Jim read about that is in the heart of Chianti. Once again we found ourselves on tiny country roads that meandered through small hill towns with roads just big enough for one car to squeeze through which made Lisa very nervous. In addition it rained on and off, sometimes heavy. About an hour after leaving the farm we arrived in Greve in Chianti, parked the car and found a small trattoria to have lunch. Since it was a little cold the outdoor seating ... read more
Chianti Hill Town
Farm Stay in Salsomaggorie
Farm Stay in Salsomaggorie

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Parma May 30th 2014

Day 13, Sunday, May 25 The weather on Sunday was warm and sunny so it was a chance to sit out on our patio and enjoy the sun. Lisa was on high alert looking for Frank the snake but he was nowhere to be found. There were however a number of small lizards all around us, and ants of various different sizes. Flying insects are of various sizes included some large bumble bees that sound like 747s and Jim swore he saw numbers and letters on the side of one. With no real plans for the day Gianna suggested we visit a small Enoteca (wine bar) in the village of Monticiano to taste some local wines, about a 10-minute drive from our house. So with four good tires we jumped in the car and drove to ... read more
Abbey at San Galgano
Inside the Abbey
Jim next to a big door at the Abbey

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna April 29th 2014

We have our car back. I glanced out the window last night to see it driving into the hotel parking lot so Mel ran down to meet the driver and get the keys. The hire car goes back tomorrow morning so all is well again. Having seen the amazing mosaics in the Basilica yesterday, we did a bit of research. Ravenna has 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city. They are all either basilicas or mausoleums from the 5th and 6th centuries and they are famous for their mosaics. We had not heard of the place but we wanted to see more of these amazing artworks. It is only a fairly small town so a walking tour to encompass all the major sights is the best bet. Central Ravenna is also a ‘ZTL’, which means ... read more
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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna April 28th 2014

We had a bit of a wander around the tiny town this morning. Although cars do get into the houses, the streets are all only just wide enough for one car and the turns are very tight. Still, it does not deter the Italians from their fast driving pace! We are staying in Ravenna for the next couple of nights so we decided to have a look around. The Basilica of Sant’Appolinaire in Classe was built in about 500-550AD and is a classic example of an early Christian basilica with its central nave and aisles each side. It has been exceptionally maintained and the mosaics in the apse are simply beautiful. The colours still shine vibrantly after nearly 1600 years. In the aisles, the carved marble sarcophagi of the archbishops stand, dating from around 550AD to ... read more
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Basilica of Sant'Appolinaire in Classe
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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Parma January 18th 2014

Took the train to Parma. Rainy today. Toured the castle Torrechiara.... read more
Pedro looking for the taxi
Torrechiara
Pedro and Lori at Torrechiara




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