Rome

While you have probably figured out that I loved Venice….my second favorite place is Rome. The sound, the hustle and bustle, the smells…we did most of Rome on foot which I think is the only way to see it. The second time in the Eternal City was as exciting for me as the first….but I think I loved it even more.

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These pictures were take after the climb up the steps of The Altare della Patria also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or “Il Vittoriano” is a controversial monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. Wikipedia.

From the very top, we viewed the Colosseum, the Forum and the Pantheon along with just a wonderful view that gave me chills.

II Vittoriano is the home of Italy’s tomb of the unknown soldier guarded 24/7

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The mustache on the rider is 5 feet across and it is said that 22 soldiers dined in the horses belly when the monument was completed

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Random pictures of the colosseum:

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And the Pantheon:

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And just the people and life in Rome:

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our room…I loved opening the shutters and hanging out the bathroom window in the morning and at night…just listening to the city waking up and going to sleep.

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2014 Italy….can it really be Day 7?

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Row after row after row of Olive trees. I haven’t even taken pictures of the miles and miles of vineyards. Driving to these villages has been a once in a life time adventure….something I’m not sure we could have done without the navigation of the brother in law and his inner italian voice….conoscenza…and the way HE learned to drive italian! While out with lunch with our Italian real estate agent translator, we learned that you, too, could live in one of these little villages for about $200 a month rent which would be living the beauty and being about 30 minutes from the Adriatic and beaches….Vasto is a beautiful small city with the beaches, the historic buildings and the Italian atmosphere. We spent Saturday evening in the heart of the downtown..having drinks on the piazza and roaming the streets and alleys. It may be a place we come back to in the future on a relaxing vacation without a schedule. I would need at least a couple days in Venice…Venezia and it is a short 4 hour train ride away…

Day 8 is a beach day then off to Pompeii tomorrow (Thursday).

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Ciao

2014 Italy Day 6 our version of

House Hunters International.

Met a realtor north and West of Vasto this morning to look at some sale properties in neighboring villages. No…he and I are not looking to buy; but, the brother in law was checking out some options.

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Walking thru the door of some of these homes built hundreds of years ago is like feeling a bit of Italy’s soul!

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Ciao

2014 Italy Day 5…Beach Day

Spent the day at home, Hotel Rio. After breakfast, had nap time. Then it was time for lunch. then it was time for walking along the beach. Did a little laundry. Then it was time for dinner. It’s now time for bed.

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The view of Vasto from the hotel terrace:

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Seems like a waste of time to miss one second of seeing Italy but we needed some down time and I really enjoyed the day!

Ciao

2014 Italy Day 4

After breakfast this morning we headed up the coast and visited several small villages in the “mountains”. What an experience. I took one panorama picture during a photo op stop of three of the villages…I will try to post it. If you can click on it to make it fill the screen and then finger swipe the 3 to make them larger. It is such an awesome picture. Over in the right hand corner is Gena, Him and the brother in law discussing grapes…Gena was going to grab a grape to taste but didn’t want to go to prison for stealing. plus a neighbor and possibly the owner and his barking dog were watching us from a hill across the road.

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Here are a few pics I took:

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And you have to love Italy’s signage…

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The olives are growing…

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Ciao

2014 Italy Day 3…Goodbye Venice…Hello Vasto!

I didn’t get all of my pictures downloaded last night…Here’s a couple I thought were worth mentioning. We stopped at a sidewalk pizza restaurant for dinner. These little restaurants along the streets and sidewalks are so quaint and could not be replicated in the US mostly because of the history of the Italian cities and the atmosphere…I’m sure to the Italians…we are all tourists…but to us, the tourists, it is so easy to fall I into the mindset of being Italian…even for the day…it’s in the air….anyway…back to the pizza place…we were in an alcove with a tree growing in the corner…the ceiling was actually the tree branches and leaves and the night sky was visible between the leaves…Gena was fascinated…she is going to love this picture of herself.

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He has just not been impressed with the Italian beer he has tried
Too hoppy whatever that means…

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I snapped this picture of the boys setting up the water taxi service for this morning before we settled in for the night. Settled In Is not exactly what we did…He and I couldn’t sleep…I think we finally shut off the light around 2 and got our wake up call at 5.

Found out how supplies are delivered to the businesses in this canal city while waiting on a bridge this morning. The long boats pull up to the taxi pick up corners and they unload onto carts and are then pushed around the city for delivery. While I was standing on the bridge taking in the view, one of the long boats slowly meandered down the canal under me and I had a freakish movie scenario go thru my head ….of me….(feel free to fill In The movie characters)…jumped from the bridge onto the boat and ran across all of the boxes and jumped the driver. Shortly our water taxi arrived…couldnt park next to the sidewalk so we had to step down on the delivery boat and walk across it to board the taxi. I had already been wondering how brave I was going to be stepping from the sidewalk down to the taxi. I’m thankful the real scenario had not been entertained in my already fertile imagination.

Still dark, we traveled down the Grand Canal to the train station. It was like a movie!

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Boarded the train, rented the car and fell asleep on the beach of the Adriatic Sea in Vasto…I’ll fill in the blanks later.

Ciao

2014 Italy Day 2 Venice….the good..the bad and …well, the ugly

the bad…started off with a fine mist this morning. Lasted for about an hour but Gena and I got to carry umbrellas with us for quite a few hours. I got a little big bite while eating dinner.

The ugly….In a shop window that flashed Red Cross/green cross sign

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I had to look!

The pigeons on San Marco – St Marks square

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Expensive tea

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The good/awesome
The beautiful Venice

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The beautiful Rialto bridge over the Grand Canal

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Alarm at 5 am…who can sleep…a water taxi up the Grand Canal to take us to the train,,,destination….Pescara

Ciao

2014 Italy Day 1 Home to Venice and points in between…

Because I always bitch about the TSA….I must start out saying #TSA Kansas City are awesome….not a hitch… Easy, organized and professional. US AIRWAYS also a great airline even though they are related to American Airlines! Customs in Rome was easier than the drive through at Taco Johns! We switched planes to Alitalia without a hitch….we had to board a bus at the terminal and take a “hold on for your life” bus ride to board the plane in the middle of the Tarmac. Dave mentioned that even when everything goes well, it is exhausting. The bus trip and boarding the city boat for the trip down the Grand Canal in Venice was stressful…but the sights made it worthwhile. You can rent a private boat to take you up the canal but 2 to 3 times the rate so we were willing to put up with a little bit of CROWD torture for the 15 euros…it was worth it.

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Venice is in it’s full glory at night. It’s hard to top Venice!

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After a great italian dinner, Gena had her first real gelato.

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St Marks square had 4 string groups playing at the same time…it is that big.
It is breathtaking.

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I can see us returning for a week in Venice…maybe closer to the end of a September some time to avoid the crowd. We will be here another day and night. It’s 1 am..everyone else is asleep. Must be about 6 pm in Missouri and Iowa.

Ciao.

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Home away from Home…Solerno, IT

http://www.albergodelcentrostorico.it/eng/home/index.php

Traveling across the pond to another country brings with it some mild anxiety of the unknown…until of course, you find your soft place to land.

Look at our room….



The ceiling…

The TV

The entry

The bathroom and shower

Daily fresh fish


Our corner table…it didn’t have our name on it…but…

If you ever find yourself in Solerno, Italy, this is the place to stay!