Greg’s Italy   A blog from www.gregsitaly.com

I will be adding this blog to my website.   Www.gregsitlay.com.  Hope you will follow my posts DSC03721.jpg

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CELL PHONE BARGAINS IN ITALY

In September I will be returning to Italy and taking a bike tour from Bolzano through Lake Garda and on to Venice.  I began thinking about my cell phone. I had used all the credits and in the past had to renew through recharge my sim. de but alas they are no longer in business.  So lets look at your options.   TIM has a very simple plan called TIM FOR VISITORS. Google the link and click on the English Flag to change language. TIM FOR VISITORSit  is not a bad deal. For 30 Euro you get 4 GIG data, and 100 min of talk.  You can purchase the voucher in the US an bring it to any TIM store. I used the one at Fiumicino, Leonardo da Vinci,  Rome;s main airport.  It took less than 15 minutes to get me up and running and have the attendant set up my phone. You can purchase the voucher using your US credit card. TIM FOR VISITORS WHAT YOU GET

BUY TIM FOR VISITORS

 

OK, now it  is time to take about recharging your card.  You can go through your minutes quickly and until recently you could not recharge your sim with an foreign credit card.    First go to https://www.tim.it

You will get the Italian language screen, best thing is to use Google Chrome or install the translate extension in Safari.  Right click and you will get the English  language translation. Keep in mind TEXT MESSAGES ARE NOT FREE. You can use iMessage or other apps that will allow you to text for free on the data. Also consider installing Skype for calls back to the US. I have had excellent results with Skype. 

 

TIM IT ITALIAN

ITALIAN, Ricaica means recharge.

TIM IT ENGLISH

English translation. Click recharge after you use pull down to select amount.

TIM RECHARGE SELECT AMMOUNT

MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE BOX MARKED FOREIGN CREDIT CARD

SEND TEST MESSAGE TO CONFIRM

 

At the bottom, you can select the receive email notification. It will come to your email account of choice. There os also a box to insert a TEXT which will be sent to your cell to confirm all is working. 

 

Here is my email confirmation.

 

 

Gentile Cliente,
Ti confermiamo la presa in carico dell’ordine nº xxxxxxxxx del 08/04/2018 23:07:16

 

DETTAGLI ORDINE

User:
Numero: xxxxxxxxx Data e ora: 08/04/2018 23:07:16
Metodo di pagamento utilizzato: CDC
Costo a pagare: 10.00 Euro

 

Ricarica:

Importo ricarica: 10.00 Euro
Numero ricaricato: 339xxxxxxx

N.B. La ricarica sara’ immediatamente resa disponibile come credito telefonico e comunque non oltre le 48 ore dal momento della richiesta.

Ti ricordiamo che sul sito tim.it puoi attivare altre offerte o servizi, acquistare prodotti e Ricaricare. Inoltre, accedendo alla sezione MyTIM Mobile del sito potrai:

verificare il tuo credito residuo
verificare lo stato delle offerte attive sulla tua linea
modificare il tuo profilo tariffario
consultare lo stato dei tuoi acquisti online

There are other options, Vodafone  has a similar plan.  Google Vodafone Holiday for information.VODAFONE HOLIDAUY

 

Keep in mind none of the plans have everything you may need. You need an unlocked cell phone with GSM capabilities.    You will always need your passport when purchasing from a Tim or Vodafone store. 

 

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You can fly to Italy for $400

I have paid a lot to travel to Italy and I have also gotten some reasonable fares.  Recently I subscribed to a site called Scott’s Cheap Flights.  There is a free version and a paid version.  I got an email last week and found a Euro sale. I looked at Milan for $400 and thought this was a bargain.   NewImage

 

I then went to Google Flights, and MATRIX AIRFARE SEARCH

 

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The Air Italy popped up with a $423 Fare from Miami Non Stop to Milan.    Amazing.  The fare actually was $407 with out bags. I ended up booking a flight for $488 with bags and online check in. I was planning a bike tour and needed to bring slightly more than my cary on would permit.   My total price was Total amount passenger $488.06.    To put things in perspective, in 2004 I flew to Naples for $875.  .In 2006 I paid $710 for the same flight  On 2011 the flight cost $762. 
Air Italy is a division of Meridiana. This is the same company that operated Eurofly USA several years ago.  

 

I highly recommend  Scott’s Cheap Flights and feel the $32 per year to get al their updates is well worth it.   My blog is not commercial and I get no remuneration from them.

Here is their web site https://scottscheapflights.com

 

Here is a sample fare to Rome from Miami, non stop also.  

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La Canonica, Catania Sicily a great ristorante.

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My wife Angela took this one at La Canonica in Catania Sicily.  Angela has a great eye for composition.

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My eye heads for food. Antapasti is my desire when we are in Italy.

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I can not remember how many times I have consumed Pasta Alla Norma. My favorite from Sicily. Egg plant ( melanazanie) and salted ricotta plus tomatoes and some spices make this a favorite of mine.

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Of course, seafood is plentiful on the island.

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I highly recommend this ristorante.  We enjoyed the food and the service. In the center of Catania.  Just off Via Vittorio Emanuele.

Help Support Hungry Children

I have never tried to monetize this blog and I do not intend to. Life is good in retirement and now I try to pay back and pay it forward.

That said, please consider a donation to the PAN FLORIDA CHALLENGE.  This is a 200 mile ride I will be doing next week from Naples, Fl back to my home town of Vero Beach, FL.

Consider the following:This is our mission. Our creed. And our battle cry. Call it our manifesto –It moves us.  Hunger in Florida’s children is solvable. It’s doable and we are the ones doing it.  Here and now. Today. And we are not too few. We are thousands already. And we are starting a movement. The Pan-Florida Challenge to end childhood hunger. This is a call for you and thousands of others just like you to join us. End hunger in our local kids with us.  All together, once and for all, we will End Hunger in Florida’s children.  We know how. We have cracked the code. And We have been doing it already. Join us.

WHAT WE BELIEVE.

If every child in Florida was fed, no local children would go hungry.  Not one.  

This is no longer a wish or a far-off dream. It’s here, today. For just such a time as this.We can solve this problem. It’s doable and we are doing it.  We are the Pan-Florida Challenge. We are a movement – not another cause. We are on mission to get to No local kid hungry.  Not one. This is our creed. And It moves us.  How about you? Step up and become the hero to Florida’s next generation of kids who need you. Find your spot. We have been waiting for you. Great things will be done here. This is your chance of a lifetime. Step into your spot. Do something extraordinary. Become a hero to kids. Legends will be told about us all years from now.

Take the Pan-Florida Challenge. No Local Kids Hungry, Not One!  

On Friday, March 10th, I will embark with several hundred other fund raisers on a ride acorss Florida, from Naples to Vero Beach. A two hundred mile challenge for  mdy 75th birthday.  My wife and I have donated to the cause. So have some wonderful friends who have helped me come close to my goal.

Please consider donating to the cause. One Hundred Per Cent goes to feeding children.  All riders pay the cost of their ride and meals.  If you would click on the link at the bottom of the page.  Please enter my name Greg Speck which will help be get some credit for your kind donation. This goes in the search participants section.

The Pan Florida Challenge is 501 3 c non profit.

Thank you and keep on enjoying gregsitaly.blog

http://support.panfloridachallenge.org/site/TR?fr_id=1040&pg=entry

 

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Monterosso Al Mare and Up the Coast

So many beautiful sights to see.   I have been having some software problems, so sorry for the delay in posting.

 

 

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A Quick boat  ride to Monterosso Al Mare made for a nice day trip from Vernazza.

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We were  here in April and it was warm enough to enjoy the beach. Totally uncrowded at this time of year.

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Perfect spot to unwind and relax from travel stress.   Cinque Terre is best reached by rail. It is possible to drive, but parking and access is difficult. We parked up at the top of a hill in Vernazza, got a shuttle and then had two walk about half a mile to reach our hotel.

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Fishing boats by the shore.

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Places to shop and stroll.

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Cinque Terre is definitely worth a visit.  Plan ahead and avoid the peak travel periods of June through August.

We stayed an additional night in Santa Margherita and were able to take a boat trip to Portofino. A beautiful seaside village.  Helps to be a bit on the rich side.

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No margins here and these are 2007 Prices. But it is worth doing some window shopping in Portofino.

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Seaside dining.

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Beautiful view of the port area.  There is much to do in the in the area from Portovenere to Santa Margherita Ligure  is good for several days of exploration.  This is a great place to visit, Hope you have the chance  to visit and enjoy all the attractions. Next time I will bring my hiking gear and explore all the trails.  Ciao

BIKING THE HILLS OF TUSCANY

In October of 2015 I did a bike tour of the Tuscan hills. Besides being a physical challenge, it was one of my best trips to Italy. Watch the video, words can not do the trip justice. Vermont Bike Tours provided great guides and wonderful accomodations. Some of the many photos I took are

If you like Italy and Toscana, plus some great food, this makes for a wonderful trip.

Here is the link to the video

https://youtu.be/0yhwOCtQebg

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Cinque Terre , Vernazza Seven Day Trip To Italy

In 2007 we had a weeks  vacation to visit Italy.   What can you do in 7 days?   We visited Orvieto, Lucca. Vermazza. Santa  Margarheita, Portofino, and an afternoon in Rome. And a couple of towns in the Cinque Terre. 

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Vernazza from the hillside above 

Vernazza was our introduction to the Cinque Terre.  A hillside town with terraced gardens and vineyards.  Our visit was before the flooding, but the town has been restored and the tourists have been back from quite some time. 

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A fishing boar was pulled up on to the shore.

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This is the piazza for the nail gatherings.  We visited in April and were treated to some very mild temperatures. 

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View from our BnB, Gianni Franzi. Not a bad place, but like many BnBs you will climb up some steep steps. The location was a quick walk to the center of town.

 

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The colors of the piazza.

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Views of town from the seaside. Lots of places to sit and enjoy the views. Vernazza and Cinque are know for their hiking trails. Some can be strenuous, but all are beautiful. 

Here is a link for information on the trails. Make sure to check to see if you need a pass to use the trails. 

http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/footpaths-cinqueterre

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Local fishing boats by the pier.

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Line art, or clothesline art.

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Coastal view.

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The train station as we headed down towards Riomaggiore, where we learned an expensive lesson on train travel. When you purchase  ticket for the trains, or busses for that matter, you must validate (convalidare) your ticket. We were taking the 5 minute trip to Riomaggiore and had no clue.   As the conductor approached I handed our tickets to him an he new he was going to make a killing with some naive tourists.  It cost us 30 Euros for the mistake. Original tickets were 2 Euros each!  Many train tickets on the high speed system are marked for a time and date and do not need to be validated. It does not hurt to ask.

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A view from the pier as we prepared to take the boat for a short tour of the nearby towns.

Vernazza is a must see, but try to avoid peak tourist times. April, and May are good and late September through mid November are less crowded. 

I will continue our trip in the next post.

 

Image below is from http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en

 

Testaccio Market, Rome. Food, clothing, relaxation.

We strayed from our Campo dei Fiore market to seek out the Testaccio Market. It has moved from a covered stall environment to a new modern clean building. It proved to be a great day trip. Google maps gave us the correct bus line to make and after that is was a short walk.

 

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This is a large comfortable space with many vendors, both food and clothing. We enjoyed looking and eating at the market.

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Fresh seafood is abundant. 

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Fresh vegetables with very affordable prices.

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My favorite porchetta! Delicious.

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Tripe is a favorite of many people, ma non io.

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Bring your own bottle, look at the prices. 2.40 E for a liter. 

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Arancini or supple are a favorite of mine.

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We enjoyed lunch from this stall

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It was a great lunch.

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Clothing is also sold.

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The market is well worth the visit. Lots has been written about it and there are no exaggerations. Enjoy the many markets of Rome. I am back in Florida and our weekend markets do not come close to the Rome markets.

 

An unexpected find: THE CHURCH OF SANTA BARBARA DEI LIBRAI, Rome

While wandering the far end of the Campo dei Fiore and came upon Largo dei Librai, a small dead end street. But it was not a dead end, it was the beginning of a great find. With children kicking a soccer ball in front I came upon the  THE CHURCH OF SANTA BARBARA DEI LIBRAI.

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This tiny church is located on Largo dei Librai, just past Alice Pizza and the Filleti di Baccala. Alice Pizza is a great and inexpensive lunch stop.

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I came upon this by chance and then read about it in detail in the Blog “An American in Rome” which was my go to resource when we were there for eighteen days last summer. 

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This tiny space contains so much beauty.  The small size of the church keeps it from being overwhelming.

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I came back a few days  later with my wife and found it was closed. The hours did not seem to be posted on the door.

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If you visit near the Campo dei Fiore, head towards the far end and continue down the street. After passing by a number of shops, you will see Largo dei Librai on your left. The church is at the far end.

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Tale a look at the American in Rome blog. Stephanie is an American living and working in Rome. 

https://anamericaninrome.com

 

From Wikipedia: 

Santa Barbara dei Librai, Rome
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
Coordinates: 41°53′41.32″N 12°28′25.49″E

 
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Santa Barbara dei Librai[1] is a small Roman Catholic church in Rome, Italy. It was once known as Santa Barbara alla Regola after the rione in which it was located. Today it now considered within the rione of Parione, near the Campo de’ Fiori.

History[edit]
Giuseppe Vasi dates the consecration of the church by 1306, although it is probable that a church existed at the site since the 10-11th century. Inscriptions inside claim that the church was established by Giovanni di Crescenzio de Roizo and his wife Rogata, who was a senator of Rome in the second century. In 1600, it was granted to the confraternity of the Bookmakers (bookbinders, publishers, and scribes) or Librari, who titled the church after St Thomas Acquinas and St John of God as patrons.

During the papacy of Innocent XI , the church was restored. In 1634, after a fire, the confraternity of book makers bought out adjacent properties. The baroque façade was remade by Giuseppe Passeri. The statue of St Barbara over the door was sculpted by Ambrogio Parisi, and the angel painted on a wall is attributed to Guido Reni. The church has paintings by Luigi Garzi; a fresco of St Saba by Giovanni Battista Brughi, pupil of Baciccio, in the chapel of Specchi; and frescoes by Francesco Ragusa and Domenico Monacelli.

The church was used by the confraternity till 1878, but fell into abandon and was deconsecrated. In 1982, it was restored and.[2]

The adjacent oratory is sited in the ruins of the Theater of Pompey.

 
Tryptich by Leonardo da Roma
Among the works of art inside the church are:

Tryptich of Madonna and child with John the Baptist and Archangel Michael (1453) by Leonardo da Roma.
Crucifixion by Garzi
Sources[edit]
Jump up ^ Diocese of Rome
Jump up ^ Itinerario istruttivo per ritrovare con facilità tutte le Magnificenze di Roma e di alcune città, e castelli suburbani. Settima Giornata in Romeartlover.it
Morelli Gonippo, la chiesa di sants Barbara dei librai, Roma 1927
C. Rendina, Le Chiese di Roma, Newton & Compton Editori, Milano 2000
C. Cerchiai, Rione V Ponte, in AA.VV, I rioni di Roma, Newton & Compton Editori, Milano 2000, Vol. I, pp. 335–382
Mariano Armellini,Le chiese di Roma dal secolo IV al XIX, Roma 1891
C. Hulsen, Le chiese di Roma nel Medio Evo, Firenze 1927 F. Titi, Descrizione delle Pitture, Sculture e Architetture esposte in Roma, Roma 1763

 

 

 

SALUMERIA AND OTHER FOOD BONANZAS

A salumeria is traditionally meat and sausages (salsiccia) are sold at the butcher and other meat products are sold at the salumeria. In more recent times, salumerie often sell various products including cheeses, eggs, pastas and ready-to-eat antipasti. These shops are spotless works of art! Amazing.

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Just like the Boars Head Provisions in the US, this little shop has it on the wall. Norcineriaviola in the Campo dei Fiore, Roma.

 

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Nothing but the best.

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You can visit this shop in Campo dei Fiore. Located at the left side towards the Farnese cinema.

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A macelleria in the Campo dei Fiore.

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More goodies in another salumeria in the Campo.

 

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And lastly, EATALY is alive and well in Roma.

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Porchetta, always delicious.

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My wife ia a trip lover. She cooked it and enjoyed it in our apartment near the Campo.

 

Buon appetito. 

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