Audrey Kadis


Audrey Kadis

We just came back from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris with the MJs (Matt & Jess and Madeline and Josh). Great food, great experiences and best of all great company.

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan June 6th 2015

Today was our last day in Milan and on vacation. I felt so ill that I cancelled the tour I had booked because I couldn’t imagine walking around in the heat for 3 hours. I rallied a little in the late morning so we headed downtown to the highly reputed La Rinascate department store so I could look for something cute and unusual for TDB. What we found was Bloomindale’s with more high-end goods. There were more designer names than I’ve ever seen in one place, although since I buy almost everything online I'm not usually in settings with lots of high end clothing stores. Like high end department stores I've been in, La Rinascate was organized into little “boutiques”, one for each designer with a salesperson attending to each of the “boutiques”. In the US, ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan June 5th 2015

We had high expectations for the Milan World’s Fair since they expect 20 million visitors over the course of the event. Plus, the opening provoked violent protests by 30,000 people so we figured there would be some content, maybe even politically incorrect content. The theme of the event is food sustainability and accessibility. A lot of countries exhibiting don’t have much to say since they can’t feed their population today and certainly won’t be able to do so tomorrow, in other words food is neither accessible or sustainable in their countries. Scant attention was paid to the issues of hunger and if you don't even talk about problems, how can you contemplate fixing them? E ven in the US where hunger is problem for 1/3 of the children in this country, you would have thought everyone ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan June 4th 2015

We had a whole day that we hadn’t planned for in Milan and decided to focus on photography, which is harder than it sounds. Our first stop was a major show, “Inside Italy”, in association with the Expo. It was terrific. Neither one of us had ever heard of any of the photographers and so we saw a lot of works that were both excellent and new to us. We were especially taken by the work of Luca Campigotto. This was the first of a two-part show in conjunction with the Expo that displayed the work of Italian photographers; the second part will include photographers from other countries who worked in Italy. What made it extra enjoyable was that there was an excellent audio guide that explained the background of each photographer. We should have quit ... read more
Oppressed woman opting for lung cancer

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Como June 3rd 2015

Lake Como is as beautiful as it is reputed to be. We boarded the ferry at 9 AM and for Varrena, but when we got to Bellagio it was a long wait for the next ferry so we decided to go to the Melzi Gardens. I have always said, "seen one tree…seen them all", but this was different. I need to eat my words, since the gardens were spectacularly beautiful and the trees were not like other trees I’ve seen only in a different place. Also, the gardens were pretty much empty so we could enjoy the beauty without fighting other tourists. I know we are also tourists, but I perceive us as better behaved than a lot of our colleagues. We do not cut in line, talk loudly, or yell at clerks when they are ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Como June 2nd 2015

We were on the road by 8 and had a completely uneventful drive back to Florence. We had to get the car back by 10:15, but all the trains from Florence to Milan were sold out so we had time to kill in Florence. We couldn’t find a place to drop our bags so Jack offered to sit and wait. Since he doesn’t like all the walking I figured it was an OK deal. I went back to the Duomo to look inside, but quickly determined that I would be in Milan before I would get to the front of the line. Plan B was to go back to the market and buy some yummy food for lunch. The bottom floor of the market with the vendors was closed and the vendors of prepared food on ... read more

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Orvieto June 1st 2015

Yoav and Orr, our Israeli friends who lived in Rome for 2 years, said we had to visit Orvieto. I took their advice, but only left a day for sightseeing and it was not nearly enough. We started by driving to Bolsena Lake. It is a huge lake formed from volcanic activity. The town of Bolsena seems to have minimal tourist activity. The market was really a market more for locals than tourists. In one area there were stalls selling used clothing. The people at these stalls were all North African immigrants. It really struck me that 600 years ago the sellers would have been Jews. I couldn’t resist some booties for TBD and replaced the sort-of leather belt I had with me that is falling apart. The woman who made it, adjusted it for me ... read more
Market at Bolsena
The woman fixing my belt reminding me of Woodstock
Pigeon nests in the caves in Orvieto

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Orvieto May 31st 2015

We left Florence mid-morning in our brand new Fiat 500. There have been remarkable improvements in the past 40 years and according to Jack it is a fun car to drive. As we left we realized that we had plenty of time to make a stop and still arrive in time for our 1 PM lunch reservation at Alforno's. The restaurant was recommended to us by Yoav and Orr who lived in Italy for two years and have great taste in food. Leaving Florence, I said that I didn't want to go back to Siena or San Gimignano, not because I had been there and checked them off a list of places I've been, but because I have such good memories of being there with the kids and I wouldn't want to tarnish them. We spent ... read more
Local church near San Gimignano
Our new Fiat

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence May 30th 2015

When I wake up and the sun is shining, I’m so appreciative of warm, sunny weather. At home the weather doesn’t matter that much, but we are traveling it has a huge impact on how we spend our time and enjoy the place we are visiting. Today is an especially good morning to appreciate the sun because we are going on a 4-hour Vespa tour in the hills surrounding Florence. OK, we were going on a 4-hour Vespa tour until we got on the Vespa and Jack decided he wasn’t comfortable with me on the back. So we traded our Vespa for a teeny, tiny 1970’s Fiat 500. You can see how little it is in the picture. There were 3 other couples on the tour. Two were sort of our age and they both used ... read more
I don't think an Escalade would fare very well on these roads
Just like on the postcards
Following the other Fiat off-road in an olive grove

Europe » Italy » Tuscany May 29th 2015

We met Laura Greenblatt, our guide for a tour of Jewish Florence at 10. Writing about our time with her reminds me of how appreciative I am that we have had four wonderful women guides. They have all been well educated, insightful (they can do more than recite facts) and friendly. The two women in Venice are Italian and the two women in Florence ex-pats who are married to Italian men and have been here 15+ years. While there were all excellent guides, it was easier to connect with the two Americans. We began our tour on the south side of the Arno where the original Jewish settlement was located. There has been a small, generally a few hundred, Jewish community in Florence since 200 BCE. Most of the time, they experienced plain vanilla anti-Semitism and ... read more
Fried artichokes at Ruth's
If only I had a place to wear them...

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence May 28th 2015

We met Alexandra at the Horne Museum. This is a small palazzo from the 15th Century that was fully restored by Herbert Horne in the late 1800s. As the restoration was completed, he died of tuberculosis and left the museum and his entire collection to the state. It is now managed by a foundation. The palazzo was charming and most of the time we had the museum to ourselves. Leon Battista Alberti in his Della Famiglia laid out the rules for family life (even though he was not married) and the Palazzo's layout clearly reflected the rules. Husbands and wives had separate bedrooms with a connecting private corridor so they you have discreet visits. Men had safes or entire rooms where they could stop papers that their wives shouldn't see. While holding several banquets each year ... read more
Bedroom in the Palazzo Strozzi
Imitation drapes
Guild from the 14th Century

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