Vieste, an enchanting town on the Gargano Peninsula

I am not sure how we stumbled  on the town of Vieste, but we were very fortunate. We visited Caserta and needed a change. Vieste is on the Adriatic and has many beach areas. DSC 1097

We arrived mid afternoon and found a good sized village on the coast which seemed very inviting.  The photo shows the major landmark, Pizzomunno, a vertical monolith standing about 82 feet high on the Spiaggia del Castello. Castle Beach

 

A link to a short YouTube video I did after one of our visits:

 

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There are many areas for swimming in Vieste.  We enjoyed the warm waters of the Adriatic.  

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The Vieste Lighthouse, or Faro di Vieste is llluminated day and night.  You see it from the beaches and the restaurants which are plentiful. 

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CIMG0921This is a  fishing town, many boats are seen in the harbor. Sailboats are plentiful, and charters are available.

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The town is built on a hill and the views from the top are incredible   We attended the festival of the bitter stone, Chianca Amara which had surprising origins. It recalls the 5,000 people who were beheaded when the Turks sacked Vieste in 1554. Not really a happy time, but the festival recounts much more and has many artistic performances. Some photos below depict the activities.

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After the festival we enjoyed the restaurants in the area.

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Like many Americans, we end up being early.  At 7:30 pm we were the only ones there.  By the end of dinner the place was full.

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Our real interest lies in gelato.  So many choices.

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We enjoyed the evening walks and the streets and piazzas were full of people.  

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Love the name of the restaurant “Sapore di Mare” “Taste of the Sea:

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It was world cup time , il mondiale di calcio  Along with the festival crowds, people flowed out from the bars and restaurants which placed TV outside to view the action.

 

You can find a lot of information on Trip Advisor, Wikipedia, and Google. There are additional sights nearby.  The National Park is a short drive. Driving is not a problem but do not speed as cyclists are pedestrians will be on the shoulders.

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Night time on the waterfront.

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The faro at night.

 

 

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Views we saw as we entered the Vieste area.   

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 our first trip we stayed in a hotel directly across from the beach.  Next to this wonderful pool, we found the country just a few feet away. 

 

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You can hear the cow bells at the pool 

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The beach was included with our hotel and it was a short drive to Vieste. 

VIESTE  FOGGIA ITALYFrom Naples figure about 3 1/2 hours using the Autostrada.  From Rome about 4 1/2 hours on toll roads.  You can visit the National Park of Gargano and Monte Sant’ Angelo. Also San Giovane Rotondo to visit the church of Padre Pio. 

I

SCOTT’S CHEAP FLIGHTS ARE CHEAP

I think the money I spend to get the premium version to Scott’s Cheap Flights is  worth every penny.  My only problem is I get so many emails with travel bargains, I want to go to all the destinations.

.  

 

Here is an email I got today.  No Florida origins, but east coast to west coast are here.  You may consider signing up for their email alerts.   The Rome price from NY is lowest I have seen lately.

 

 

PS: I do not work for them.

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Amalfi

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Rome

 

 

 

 

The Europe deals keep coming. Not mad about it.

No bag fees, etc. All prices roundtrip.

 

 

All prices are for roundtrip flights and in USD unless otherwise stated.

TO: Basel (BSL)
Boston (BOS) – $484
Chicago (ORD) – $484
Denver (DEN) – $499
Las Vegas (LAS) – $491
Los Angeles (LAX) – $484
New York City (JFK) – $445
New York City (LGA) – $449
San Francisco (SFO) – $484
San Jose (SJC) – $499

TO: Brussels (BRU)
Boston (BOS) – $458
Chicago (ORD) – $480
Denver (DEN) – $462
Las Vegas (LAS) – $462
Los Angeles (LAX) – $480
San Francisco (SFO) – $480
San Jose (SJC) – $490

TO: Geneva (GVA)
Boston (BOS) – $490
Chicago (ORD) – $490
Denver (DEN) – $505
Las Vegas (LAS) – $500
Los Angeles (LAX) – $490
New York City (LGA) – $449
San Francisco (SFO) – $490
San Jose (SJC) – $505

TO: Luxembourg (LUX)
Boston (BOS) – $468
Chicago (ORD) – $468
Denver (DEN) – $482
Las Vegas (LAS) – $478
Los Angeles (LAX) – $475
San Francisco (SFO) – $468
San Jose (SJC) – $482

TO: Paris (CDG)
Boston (BOS) – $441
Denver (DEN) – $441
Los Angeles (LAX) – $500
New York City (JFK) – $428
New York City (LGA) – $429
Newark (EWR) – $443
San Francisco (SFO) – $443
San Jose (SJC) – $443

TO: Rome (FCO)
New York City (JFK) – $426*
Newark (EWR) – $430
San Francisco (SFO) – $445

TO: Zurich (ZRH)
Boston (BOS) – $464
Chicago (ORD) – $464
Denver (DEN) – $464
Las Vegas (LAS) – $464
Los Angeles (LAX) – $464
New York City (JFK) – $411*
San Francisco (SFO) – $464
San Jose (SJC) – $495

* – nonstop / direct

WHEN: Generally August through mid-December 2018, including Thanksgiving for most routes.

NORMAL PRICE: $850+

AIRLINE: Air France, Delta, KLM

BUY BY: We think these fares will last 1-2 days

 

 

HOW TO BOOK

Reminder: Scott’s Cheap Flights does not receive referral fees from Google Flights, Momondo, or any other booking sites. Our only incentive is to find you a good deal 🙂

To find the cheapest available dates, search in Google Flights using the sample search below. Book directly here.
Sample Google Flights Search
Notes:

These fares could disappear anytime, even within a few hours. If you’ve clicked the sample searches, played around with a few dates, and not seeing fares close to those listed in this email, it likely means they’re gone

General advice on how/when to find cheap flights

How to use Google Flights & Momondo

Should I book via Momondo or nah?

 

 

If you end up booking this deal, hit reply and let us know!

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Amalfi, Feast of Sant Andrea

One Hundred Of The Best Things To Do In Italy From Jen Reviews

MAP OF ITALYH

I just received  a copy of Jen Millers 100 Best Things to do in Italy and was fascinated by the diversity of the list. Almost every day we are bombarded with the “10 Things You Must Do” that usually link to a bunch of JUNK. This is not that type of list. 

Of the 100 items on the list, I have only visited 39 that I can recall. That leaves quite a bit to see and do.   Here is the link to Jens site which is entitled  Jen Reviews.  Take a look at it and you may wish to subscribe. This is not just a travel site, she does reviews on various products for he home and other items you may find of interest.  Give it a look.

 

 Here is the link to the list  :

 

https://www.jenreviews.com/best-things-to-do-in-italy/

 

Here is a list of the table of  contents of Jen Reviews The 100 Of The Best Things To Do In Italy

Contents 

1 1. Colosseum (Rome)
2 2. Pompeii (Naples)
3 3. Venice Gondola Trip
4 4. Duomo Milan
5 5. Sistine chapel
6 6. Climb Mt. Vesuvius (Naples)
7 7. Leaning tower of Pisa
8 8. Solfatara (Naples)
9 9. Cinque Terre (La Spezia)
10 10. Vatican City (Rome)
11 11. Blue Grotto (Naples)
12 12. Trentino Winter Sports
13 13. Gardaland Fun Park
14 14. Nuraghi Sardinia
15 15. Murano glass factories (Venice)
16 16. Medici Villas and Gardens (Florence)
17 17. Arona/Lake Maggiore
18 18. Tremiti Islands
19 19. Siena
20 20. Catacombs (Rome)
21 21. Assisi
22 22. Ferrari Museum (Maranello)
23 23. Sicily
24 24. Sibillini National Park
25 25. Bridge of Sighs (Venice)
26 26. Bolzano
27 27. Castellana Caves (Bari, Puglia)
28 28. Museo Nazionale dell’Alto Medioevo (Rome)
29 29. Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (Stadio San Siro, Milan)
30 30. Alberobello
31 31. Aqualandia Jesolo (Venice)
32 32. Napoli Sotterranea (Naples)
33 33. Kite Festival Cervia
34 34. Civita di Bagnoregio- The Dying Town (Orvieto)
35 35. Pantelleria (Sicily)
36 36. Trevi Fountain (Rome)
37 37. Chocolate Festival Perugia
38 38. San Galgano (Siena)
39 39. Valley of the Temples (Agrigento, Sicily)
40 40. Lake Garda
41 41. Rabbit Beach (Lampedusa) and Rabbit Island
42 42. Valcamonica Rock Drawings
43 43. Etnaland (Belpasso, Sicily)
44 44. Santa Maria delle Grazie (Milan)
45 45. Gran Paradiso National Park (Aosta)
46 46. Palazzo Reale (Palermo)
47 47. Rainbow Magic Land Valmontone (Rome)
48 48. Acquario di Genova (Genoa)
49 49. Medici Aqueduct (Pitigliano)
50 50. Safari Park Pombia
51 51. Archiginnasio (Bologna)
52 52. Castel Nuovo (Naples)
53 53. Treviso Talking Tree Park (Venice)
54 54. Walk the Via Francigena
55 55. Capri
56 56. Ostia Antica (Rome)
57 57. I Sassi di Matera
58 58. The Pantheon (Rome)
59 59. Venice Carnival
60 60. Abano Terme (Padua)
61 61. Bioparca di Roma
62 62. Byzantine Mosaics Ravenna
63 63. Verona
64 64. Cinecitta Studios (Rome)
65 65. Santa Maria in Trastevere (Rome)
66 66. Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti (Rome)
67 67. Riserva naturale orientata dello Zingaro
68 68. Porta Palatina (Turin)
69 69. Peggy Guggenheim Museum (Venice)
70 70. Lucca (Pisa)
71 71. Galata Museo del Mare (Genoa)
72 72. Orto Botanico (Padua)
73 73. Castelmezzano
74 74. Castle Moncalieri (Turin)
75 75. Positano (Naples)
76 76. Parma
77 77. Caserta
78 78. Amalfi Coast
79 79. Dozza (Bologna)
80 80. Campo del Ghetto (Venice)
81 81. San Lorenzo Cathedral (Genoa)
82 82. Portofino
83 83.Bergamo
84 84. The Ruins of Paestum
85 85. Rialto Bridge (Venice)
86 86. Nora (Cagliari, Sardinia)
87 87. Punta Prosciutto and Torre Lapillo (Porto Cesareo)
88 88. Anzio (Rome)
89 89. Italia in Miniatura (Rimini)
90 90. San Leo (Rimini)
91 91. Tropea
92 92. Cortina d`Ampezzo
93 93. Museo Stibbert (Florence)
94 94. Zoological Gardens, Pistoia
95 95. Basilicata Adventure Parks
96 96. Frasassi Caves
97 97. Sorrento Ice and Pizza Cooking Course
98 98. La Scala Theatre and Opera House, Milan
99 99. Regata Storica (Venice)
100 100. The Chianti Wine Trail

 

https://www.jenreviews.com/best-things-to-do-in-italy/

 

The introduction from Jen Reviews

“It is difficult – if not impossible – to limit a list of things to do in Italy to 100, and even more difficult to put them in order of descending significance or entertainment value: home to Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans, with islands as diverse as dour Sicily and African-influenced Pantelleria and cultures as far apart as Renaissance Venice and the prehistoric Trulli in Alberobello, Italy is a vibrant and colorful hotch-potch, a land of stark and passionately defended contrasts.

Famous for its ice-cream and its wine and with such characteristic culinary specialities as pizza and pasta (to name but a few), Italy is a land of lovers, of (often tragic) romance, of beautiful churches, ancient ruins and smoking volcanoes, of vendettas and grand opera. It is very child-friendly – Italians love children – and very relaxed with regard to organization and punctuality, which means there is no point getting upset when your train fails to show up. When in Rome, do as the Romans do; take a siesta and enjoy La Dolce Vita. If you are travelling by car, be aware that this cocktail of attributes shows up in their driving, too. Rules are made to be broken, signalling is haphazard and you will rarely see a car without dents. That said, there are few countries better equipped as a holiday destination for all tastes. Buon viaggio!”

 

 

 

 

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. 

 

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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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

 
Façade
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

 

 

 

Crazy and Interesting Italian T Shirts

The crazy and  different Italian T Shirt  fad, During our seven week travel through Sicily and Italy it was impossible not  to see how many shops had T Shirts, but with English language text and a bit of profanity. IMG 9759

I amazed that anyone would really want to wear this, but they sell them.

Some of the others were even more outlandish.

 

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OK we get the point.

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Softer tones this is a nice one.

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Simple, but why?

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Profanity is accepted in both Italian and English.

Thats all for today.

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Climbing Up To The Cupola Of St. Peters Basllica, Vatican City

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No matter how you decide to go, you will get a lot of exercise. Option one is to climb the entire 551 steps to the top. Option two ( my choice) you cut the trip down to 320 steps. Most people took the elevator to the 320 step route. Hours are from 08:00 – 17:00   from October to March 31st.  From April to September 30th, it is open till 18:00. Keep in mind, it is a climb and make sure you are in reasonable physical condition.

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It gets a little tight on the staircase.

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On the way up there are several viewing locations.

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This was an early morning visit in September..

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As I zoom into the mosaics the details will become visible.

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How detailed they are.

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Now on to the top.

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360 degree views of Vatican City and Rome

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Many details of the basilica become visible when you are on top.

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At the end of the trip catch the stairs to the elevator an complete your tour of the basilica at your leisure.  The rope serves as a handrail.

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Cost for your excursion is 5 Euros if you climb, and 7 if you wish to take the partial ride in the elevator. I arrived at about 08:15 with no lines. It was worth the climb. Look for the signs directing you to the cupola as you enter and there will be a ticket booth.

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