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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Parma April 28th 2015

A jigsaw puzzle that is Castell Arquato Can you imagine the perfect Italian hilltop town? Well you need to start with a jigsaw puzzle. The perfect picture of the Tuscan or Umbrian hillside town is on the box. A Rocca. A palazzo publicco and a pretty Romanesque church . All you need to do is find all the pieces and put them together to form the jigsaw picture . We drove into Castell Arquato and saw the hilltop medieval town from the distance. As always it bodes well . But you need to open the box and see the pieces within. Will they make up the perfect picture ? The first thing you need to do is find all the straight pieces and put them to one side . Castell Arquato has all the pieces from ... read more
The Rocca
The perfect town hall and square

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Modena April 24th 2015

Where is the world is Suzy Sundance ? She is parked up in a motorcaravan club sosta in the town of Modena. After another relatively peaceful night on the sosta only disturbed by the gentle trundle of the train, a lorry driver running his engine and a family with three year old in tow . She played football on the empty car park until the witching hour . Had she been mine she would be long gone to the land of nod. And we did what we never do which is set our van alarm off waking us but the rest of the town slumbered and did not bat an eyelid. Today was going to be Parma day. Parma Violets those lovely dragees that smell of perfume, taste like perfume and are pure perfume. Beloved of ... read more
The Romanesque part of the Duomo
Duomo Modena
Protecting the duomo

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Ravenna April 17th 2015

In mid-March I got on a train with few belongings and fewer expectations. To set off so unburdened confers a freedom I have sought to replicate in my life over and over again: the freedom of travel. On this day, success. We set off early in the morning in a group of six: my family of four, a student, Katie, and our R.A., Matt, on a train bound for Bologna. I stepped off the train at Ferrara, alone, and sent them on their way. Once on another train, this one headed to Ravenna, I found that feeling of utter freedom steal over me. I had no responsibilities for the moment, and was bound by nothing but my own whims and desires. I was, briefly, a traveler once again. The Italian countryside unfurled before me as the ... read more
Floor of St. Vitale
Floor mosaics
S. Vitale apse mosaics

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna November 23rd 2014

You’ll remember my posts from 2013 when within one month I decided to visit Hungary and Italy. Scorching hot yet laced with the winds of change that were to reveal themselves through the months that were to come. And so this year, when life found me visiting those same two countries again, amidst a mild European winter, I reflect on just how much has happened since my last visit. My inner journey has taken me farther than any passport ever will and for that I am grateful. First stop: Italy. A place so passionate about food will never fail to lure me to its land over and over. So this time I went to Bologna, armed with a couple of foodie friends and carefully drawn out maps marking the best eateries in the city. I also ... read more
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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Misano Adriatico September 15th 2014

Where have the last two weeks gone? Perhaps now is the right time to do a precis of the holiday so far. It has been a funny one. We have felt we haven’t reached our destination but then where is our destination. You could say it should be Croatia but we may not get here due to poor weather next week. The long range forecast gives thunder and more rain. You could see each place we do to means we have reached our destination. We have been on the road 14 days and have travelled over 2000 miles. We have stayed at a number of campsites ranging from large and crammed in to tiny ones where we have been the only motorhome. The weather has been largely poor for this time of year. Most years we ... read more
MotoGP 2014 Misano Adriatico
Memorial to the late Marco Simoncelli
Moto GP

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna August 24th 2014

Italians don't understand queueing. Having arrived in Italy on very little sleep it was a challenge to make it to our train from Ancon to Bologna on time. We hadn't anticipated that the queue to get off the ferry and through passport control would be quite so chaotic. However, with 20 minutes before our train was due to leave we made it through and attempted to find the bus stop which would take us there (we knew it was a 20 minute walk so had given up on that idea), but without success. We finally jumped into a taxi and, for once in my life, I'm grateful that Italians are such crazy drivers. After a slightly hair - raising but oh - so - smooth ride, we got to the station with time to spare. Amazing! ... read more

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Rimini August 7th 2014

After a long travel from Lithuania, finally we reached Italy. My purpose was to visit Rimini. Rimini is a really artistic city with ancient Roman and Renaissanse monuments, this city is the hometown for well-known film director Federico Fellini. When I arrived in this city, I noticed, what it's is really vibrant. A lot of people, lights and sounds. The city itself is really diverse, because in daytime Rimini is peaceful and silent place, but at night Rimini shows the other side. In the daytime I enjoy the spellbinding view of Rimini. Firsly, I visit Malatesta Temple. It was built in around 1450, by Leon Battista Alberti. I really interested in Romanesque style, so it was nice to visit one more building built in this style. Another object I visited was The Arch of Augustus. It ... read more

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




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