Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our Trip to Italy

We returned last week from our dream 'adventure' trip to Italy. Spent 3 days in Rome, 3 days in Florence, 2 days in Venice and 5 days driving around the beautiful Tuscany countryside.  We learned how 'not' to buy train tickets and how 'not' to get on the right train,,,ahem,,,a long story.  But had fun riding 3 very fast trains and were happily surprised to learn that Ed could drive and I could navigate the highways without knowing much of the language. Each night ended with wonderful local and fresh pasta, cheese, wine and gelato.  Our short but very busy week in Tuscany was the highlight for me. We stayed in a wonderful villa at Fattoria Armena, located at the end of a dirt road, 3 km from the small town of Buonconvento.  So hard to select a few of our over 1000 pictures to post here, but I want to share a very small sample of what we experienced - - CIAO  y'all !

When in Rome -  We 'did as the Romans did' - visited the Vatican, Forum, Colosseum, St. Peter's, Sistine Chapel, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and I closed my eyes while we rode in some very fast moving taxis. Our feet were sore after 3 days of some very serious walking, and, did I mention the pasta, cheese, wine and gelato?  

The Forum and City Hall 

The Colosseum

Piazza Navona

Then on to Venice, it was so nice to escape from the fast moving cars and taxi's for 2 days.  So much water and beautiful glass art everywhere.  Our room overlooked a canal that was filled with gondola's and wonderful music.  Although we didn't spend a lot of time there, it was a beautiful view - - -  

View from our room window

Words cannot describe Venice at night - it is truly magical

Then it was our week to explore the Tuscan countryside.  Our rustic but wonderfully modern villa was perfectly perched on a hillside and we could see Montalcino in the distance.  We visited Montalcino, Siena, Pienza, Montepulciano, Volterra, San Angelo, St. Antimo cathedral, Bagno Vignoni hot springs,  Asciano and the abby at Monte Oliveto Maggiore.  One day we got lost on purpose and ended up at the unbelievably huge Banfi winery. 
It was very warm with record setting heat everyday of our trip.  The days were sun filled and hot but the nights were very comfortable.  We needed our air conditioning at night while in the cities but did not need it in Tuscany.
The entrance to our Tuscan villa.  Each room had a beautiful view of the rolling hills
Absolutely some of the most beautiful landscapes we have ever seen !

Every morning we visited with our friendly neighbors who were very happy to see us and our carrots.

And everyday we discovered new places more beautiful than the last. 

One night Ed had dinner with a 'boar' - - - and I enjoyed gelato in Siena - - -

Our last three days were in Florence.  We enjoyed seeing the gigantic Uffizi Gallery and also visited Accademia where Michelangelo's famous impression of David is proudly displayed.  We visited the huge street market and fresh food market, the beautiful Duomo and Santa Croce church and strolled across the romantic Ponte Vecchio bridge.  

Florence Duomo

'Mirror view' from the Ponte Vecchio bridge

Spectacular art inside the Duomo Dome

The overwhelming amount of history, wonderful art, religious symbolism and sheer beauty in this part of Italy was inspirational and breath taking at times.  This was truly a wonderful life changing vacation.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful trip! So happy that you had a great time; no doubt you've returned inspired to paint! Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos.

denise clason said...

what a GREAT trip! some day!!!