Blogs from Italy, Europe - page 4


Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 27th 2019

It is an hour and a half train ride into Florence, ITALY where the language spoken is Florentine. This city is where opera started in the 16th Century. It is also the birthplace of fashion, which you can still see exists today in the shops. Ponte Vecchio allows for beautiful views. It is the only bridge that was not demolished during WWII. Being Sunday, the area is packed with people, most who are enjoying the delicious food available from many of the markets. Wanting to see Siena, ITALY, it is back on the train for a short ride. The countryside is just like in the movies with rows of vineyards, cypress and stone pine trees, and medieval towns built on hill tops. On arriving in Siena, we purchase two bus tickets, get on a bus, and ... read more
The Baptistery of St John
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Brooklyn Bridge! (Just checking to see if you are reading the captions!)

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome October 25th 2019

Hit the pavement see the most prestigious ranked Papal Basilica in Rome (even over St Peter's). And we were not disappointed. Obviously dedicated to St John the Baptist. As the Cathedral of the Pope as Bishop to Rome.. it ranks highest. Found our way through the Roman City Walls to S. Giovanni. Huge & moderately ornate compared to St Peter's. So many Masters of the Arts were commissioned by the Basilicas & Churches to paint frescos, mosaic, they were able to produce some magnificent pieces at no cost to themselves...hence they became so good at their own skills. There was demand for art in aiming to be prestigious as weatlthy families commissioned artists to adorn their churches & palaces. So the beginnings of the Renaissance. A walk onto Santa Croce in Guresaleme 325, a ... read more
Outside the wall
Inside the wall

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 24th 2019

Supposed to rain today...back packs all sorted last night...out by 9.30am to Santa Maria Novella Stazione to beat the rain. 161,000 people a day move through the station. Our high speed train at 10:52 took 90mins to Rome....travelling at times 251kms per hour! 😯😲 didn't feel a thing!! Arriving into Roma Termini Stazione we were armed with our prepurchased metro tickets from our last visit so we were straight onto the A Line metro, 4 stops to San Giovanni's 'Re di Roma'. About 8 roads to choose from to find Via was of course the only one unamed! Our host was waiting for us. Alessandro greeted us & showed us around. We chatted for about half an hour (he spoke very good English). A great restful night in a quiet neighbourhood. Friday there is a ... read more
Santa Maria Novella
High speed train
251km per hour!!

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 23rd 2019

Our last day in Florence...a bit nostalgic.. Why go to a Museum when the whole of Florence is a Museum. Art comes out to meet you. The Masters of Art City draws numbers of art minded people. We met a couple from florida yesterday, (he approached us this time :)) She has a degree of sorts in Literature having taught English at Uni level, co-ordinated Tampa teachers to Japan for International Schools. Right into her Art having lived in NY for many years. She does Writing & Art so we chatted for half an hour & exchanged contact details. Many Composers & Artists also lived in Lucca over time. Firenze is a hub of artists from all over the World who want to achieve an extremely high standard of fine art. Like cooking you have to ... read more
A brighter day over the Arno
Top of the Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio jeweller-the boards fold over to shut shop

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome October 23rd 2019

Two and a half hours and we are in Rome, ITALY, which is a very busy city with a population of almost five million. This is a picture snapping haven for Chris. In front of the Trevi Fountain, the tourists are 10 rows deep to view the marble center figure of Neptune standing on rocks. SNAP. The Pantheon is a temple dedicated to “all the gods”. Light emits only through a nine meter circular opening in the dome. SNAP. Of course it is important to walk up the 12 flights of the Spanish Steps. SNAP. A new day and onto the subway to arrive at the Vatican. While standing in line, a fellow convinces us to join a group with a guide and a four hour tour. Good decision as 38,000 people visit per day. The ... read more
Pasta Pasta Everywhere!
The Pantheon
The Pantheon

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Torno October 23rd 2019

Since neither Lindsey nor Dana had ever been to Italy and we wanted a road trip, we decided to drive the 3+ hours to the Italian border, near Lake Como. Road trip We did not start too early, took the gondola to our car and took off. Dana drove on the way there and we took a road through the mountains. And holy crap were there mountains, long windy roads up through the hills, lots of switchbacks, curves, narrow two lanes... It was beautiful though! And not very busy of course. At one point at the top of the pass, we went through a tunnel where we had to wait while workers seemed to be barricading the top. In preparation for winter perhaps? Most likely since we looked when we got home and as of last ... read more
Gorgeous views
Torno, Italy
Vegetable ravioli

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca October 22nd 2019

We made it this time! It was the one place on our 'want to do list' while in Florence. Caught the bus that goes straight past our door, DD Lucca €9ea one way. An hour drive on the toll motorway. Not so many cars due to the tolls but plenty of trucks. Checked the weather before & expecting 28°😎. Lucca is located on the fertile plains of the Serchio River. We travelled past many plant nurseries on the way into greater Lucca. It is well known for it's pretty old town inside some well maintained Renaissance City Walls. There is evidence of a settlement in 3rd BC called Luk...meaning marsh & of course giving the city it's name. The Rampart has 12 bastions & since there was no military importance anymore became a tree lined promenade ... read more
From the wall looking into the city
From the City wall
The wall itself

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence October 21st 2019

And there we were out earlier today....tried to catch a bus to Lucca on our street....that didn't eventuate so moved to our plan B! An adventurous climb for me however a very pretty walk up (emphasis on up!) on slow mode to San Miniato & David's square. The view over Firenze is just magnificant!! San Miniato 1013-18. It has an adjoining Monastery run by the Olivetans since1373. Can hear them chanting prayer. The pavement in photos dates 1207. The Fresco cycle dates 1387 of saint Benedict. The Monks here make Benedictine Liqueurs, honey & herbal teas. Did you know: liqueurs are historical descendants of herbal medicines which were made as early as the 13th century by Monks. Just some sceneic photos today then back down..(emphasis on down) through some Florence streets.... read more
Santa Maria Novella
Shop of replica statues

Europe » Italy » Tuscany October 20th 2019

We're getting lazy now....11am before we hit the pavement.. what is really great is that we are within walking distance of accessible, no buses or automobiles required here! And so it was to the Palazzo Strozzi first up...up, down, up the pavements, down the pavements, side step, back step, doorway step, road glad we were not here in July we probably would have just been in a jamb fullstop!!! saw a couple of people trip their ankles on the uneven paving stones....hence our technique of road use for walking when possible...look out for the scooters & those 3 wheel vehicles....AND especially the no noise electric cars! Onto Santa Croce 1294-1385 Gothic style 'Temple of the Italian Glories'...buried here are Michaelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Ghiberti, Bartolini... It is the largest Franciscan church in the world. Many ... read more
Santa Maria Novella
Marble facade of Santa Croce
Palazzo Strozzi

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Rimini October 19th 2019

Are we RICH? In order to take a trip like this? We don’t consider ourselves rich, but we are grateful that we can afford to pay our credit card bill each month. For timely payments, Capitol One grants us options: points or cash back. We choose points. We saved until we had enough points to pay for both airline fares AND a rental car for three months. Through, we found a person to care for our dogs in exchange for a place to stay for three months. Through SERVAS, we meet people in their own environments. And when all else fails, we use to find a really cheap place to stay...we aim for under $50/night, and that often, but not always, includes breakfast. We carry a box of cereal, cheese, etc., and of course, ... read more

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