Waking Up To See A Different View

I follow a Facebook group which features posts on traveling to Italy. This morning I woke up to a post by Keith Mountford featuring a view of an Italian town and I knew I had been there.
I quickly went to my photo library and found the photo I took from the same spot. Keith had painted an amazing watercolor from the same spot.

We both stood on the same spot, and we saw the beauty that was there.

 

My photo is below.  We are taking you to Bellagio on Lake Como.

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Lake Como is in the background. This was taken in September 2019 

 

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This is Keith’s water color. It is beautiful 

Visit Keith’s web site at 

https://www.keithmountford.com

 

Keith has signed limited edition prints for sale on his website.

With everything going on and our all being restricted in what we can do and where we can go, seeing the post of Facebook mad my day a bit brighter.  Ciao,, 

Ci manca Roma. We miss Rome

We have been to Rome 5 or 6 times. Have lost count. Never see enough of the beautiful city. In October we walked most of the city and never stall the trash buildup that was posted on some news sites and in some newspapers in the US. It is a large city, but residential areas and tourist areas were clean. We can to wait to return. Here are some photos of the days in Rome.

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Via Cappellari, out Airbnb was 100 feet away from this photo. The street was made into an art gallery for several days,

 

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Art was hung all along the street. 

 

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\iew from the Tiber to St. Peters

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A wedding im Trastevere

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Museo di Roma

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Piazza Navona from Museo di Roma

Then and Now

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Piazza Navona

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Coppede Neighborhood  Roma

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This area is know for it’s different and beautiful architectureIMG 1317

Below scuderie del Quirinale, the stables of Quirinale 

 

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We first came to the Scuderie del Quirinale three years ago for an exhibit by Picasso.

This time Pompei and Santorini both suffered volcanic eruptions.

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Plaster casts from Pompei

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Below a breathtaking view of Rome from the Scuderie del Quirinale

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From Wikipedia

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WHEN THE STREETS WERE CROWDED

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Milan Italy, September 2019

 

It is hard to believe this city was alive and well when we visited in September.  Vibrant, crowded, and totally alive with people.

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan September 2019

 

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The Apple Store, Milan September 2019

 

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Starbucks, Milan September 2019

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Street Vendor Blowing Bubbles, Milan September 2019

 

It is hard to believe this country has been hit so hard. Hopefully we will return to an Italy that will recover. I have visited Italy 20 times in the last thirty years, and I will return again.

Vicenza

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Vicenza is one of those places that does not get enough credit. My first visit was in 2018 on a bike tour. I enjoyed it but was only there for 18 hours and then back on the bike. As we left our hotel and walked into the center of town we came upon this picturesque scene. Ponte San Paolo crosses into the main part of Vicenza.My next visit was in October 2019 with great weather and no crowds.IMG 1716

The town is filled with many interesting sights

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Piazza sei Signori offers sights, shopping and dining. 

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As night fell we found this wonderful portico. It was worth coming back in the morning.

 

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The Duomo of Vicenza. IMG 0672

My wife wanted to attend service and we just made the mass time.

 

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Corso Andrea Palladio

 

IMG 0983  Palazzo Chiericati houses a collection of art from thirteenth to twentieth centuries. Salvator Dali’s Statue stands in front.

 

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Dali’s Sculpture 

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The Teatro Olympico was the last work by the architect Andrea Palladio. His works are all through the city. I was not completed until after his death. The painted scenery gives the incredible illusion of depth.

FROM WIKIPEDIA Andrea Palladio

Born 30 November 1508
Padua, Republic of Venice
Died 19 August 1580 (aged 71)
Maser, near Treviso, Republic of Venice
Nationality Italian[1]
Occupation Architect
 
Buildings
Villa Barbaro
Villa Capra “La Rotonda”
Basilica Palladiana
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
Il Redentore
Teatro Olimpico
Projects
I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura(The Four Books of Architecture)
Andrea Palladio (/pəˈlɑːdioʊ/ pə-LAH-dee-oh, Italian: [anˈdrɛːa palˈlaːdjo]; 30 November 1508 – 19 August 1580) was an Italian Renaissance architect active in the Venetian Republic. Palladio, influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily Vitruvius,[2] is widely considered to be one of the most influential individuals in the history of architecture. While he designed churches and palaces, he was best known for country houses and villas. His teachings, summarized in the architectural treatise, The Four Books of Architecture, gained him wide recognition.[3]The city of Vicenza, with its 23 buildings designed by Palladio, and 24 Palladian villas of the Veneto are listed by UNESCO as part of a World Heritage Site named City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.[4] The churches of Palladio are to be found within the “Venice and its Lagoon” UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

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The view straight on brings you to the rear and a manner so realistic it looks like a real building.

 

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From Wikipedia “Since 1994, the Teatro Olimpico, together with other Palladian buildings in and around Vicenza, has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.”

 

 

Quick video of the Olympic Theater in Vicenza. Italy

There is a lot to see in Vicenza, Take a look on Google for more ideas. It is a pedestrian friendly city. Be careful to read the signs for traffic limitations, you may receive a ticket if you miss the signs to stay out of a certain street. 

Public transportation is good. A number of US service men and their families come to town with our base close by. 

TUSCANY BY BIKE Photos from a great trip.

Last post of 2019, I was off line while transferring all my photos to a new computer and should be doing posts on a far regular basis in 2020, Buon anno a tutti

 

 

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To really see this ups and downs of Tuscany, do it on a bicycle. Above View from Piazelle de Michelangelo view of Florence 

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Always stunning views.

 

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There were a lot of hills on this ride, but everyone finished.

 

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Monteriggioni

 

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Monteriggioni

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Monteriggioni

 

 

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Easy riding through towns.

 

 

 

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Terre del Mangia, Siena

 

 

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October brought fall colors to the region

 

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Land of Chianti

 

 

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A nice days ride, GPS track from San Gimignano to Siena 

 

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Brunello one fantastic Italian red wine

 

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I was riding by a grove of olive trees when a gentleman offered to take my photo.

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Beautiful Cypress trees line the roads into this BnB in Tuscany.

 

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The freshest tomatoes are from Italy. 

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PIENZA IN THE RAIN 8x10

 

Last day it rained in Pienza, but the ride was over.

My Favorite Streets In Rome

This year we returned to Rome for eight wonderful nights.  In 2017 we were in Rome for two weeks, and enjoyed becoming familiar with the city. It was no longer intimidating. On our last visit we stayed in an Airbnb on Via Dei Bianchi Vecchi. It was a great location to walk to many of Romes’s attractions. This year we found an Airbnb that did not have 67 steps to climb to the second floor. It was located on Via Cappellari about 200 feet from the Campo Dei Fiori.

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From our location which was “Via dei Cappellari, 124 primo piano” we were able to walk to the following sights.

Chiesa Dei Stata Barbara Labrari

Chiesa Dei Santa Barbara Dei Librari

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Chiesa Dei Santa Barbara Dei Librari Interior

Well worth the visit, small and beauitiful

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Campo dei Fiori

The Campo dei Fiori is a great place to wanter and view the sights night and day. Surrounded by restaurants and shops, it transforms from a daytime tent city to vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and other items to a huge area wandering people. 

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Stalls and shops at the Campo

St Peters is about 10 min from the area. Walk down Corso Vittorio Emanuele and cross of the bridge by Castel Sant’Angelo and make a slight left and you will see it ahead.

 

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St Peter from the dome

 

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On to lunch in Trastevere

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The chiesa of Santa Maria in Trastevere was another short walk

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Always a wedding seven days a week

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Crossing the bridge headed back to our Airbnb a beautiful view of St Peters in the distance 

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T-Mobile in Italy and USA

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NAVIGATING USING MY IPHONE AND T-MOBILE 

 

For my last two trips to Italy I have purchased a TIM SIM card from their web site and brought the printed voucher to a TIM store in Italy. In both cases all went well at the stores and in about 10 minutes my phone was up and running in about 10 minutes.  Cell service with TIM was excellent and never had problems. The plan allowed 15 Gig data and  200 min of cell service.  For some reason the cell minutes seemed to disappear quickly.  The cost was 25 Euros (Now 20 Euros)  and it was good for 30 days.

Down side was you got a new local phone number (Italian 39 country code), The plan is not renewable. 15 Gig of data can go fairly quickly if you do not have access to Wi-Fi. 

 

 

TIM FOR VISITORS

 

T-Mobile plans include 2G data and 25 cents per minute calling.  My wife made many calls relating to her business while we were on a month long trip to Italy.  This was included in our $70 a month plan for two phones. The 2G data plan was adequate for her to send texts with photos, read and send email, but it was noticeably slower than what we were used to hear. Considering that AT&T plans for international use were exorbitant this was not a problem. Service was good from Rome to the Dolomites. No problems.

 

I opted for a 30d high speed package with unlimited calls. We used our cell phones for driving directions on Apple or Google maps every day.   I had great refresh rates on web pages and never lost a signal while driving. The package was worth if for me. It is also renewable for 30 days. You will get a text when you arrive overseas in any of the 210 countries T-Mobile includes in the plan allowing you to choose several options for calling. My $50 and an slower priced plans IF YOU WANT FASTER DATA SPEEDS. Otherwise you are all sent.  From their web site “The Magenta®, Simple Choice™, New Classic, and Select Choice plans provide unlimited 2G data, unlimited texting and calling at $0.25 per minute in 210+ countries and destinations”

International Pass: 512MB of high-speed data at up to LTE speeds and unlimited calling, to be used up to 24 hours, for $5/day.
5GB International Pass: 5GB of high-speed data at up to LTE speeds and unlimited calling, to be used up to 10 days, for $35.
15GB International Pass: 15GB of high-speed data at up to LTE speeds and unlimited calling, to be used up to 30 days, for $50.

 

T-Mobile served us well on our trip. Less problems than TIM.  Check out the various plans, especially the over 55 plan.

 

Hard to believe that AT&T would push their inflated rates on travelers and continually raise the monthly cell plan rates.  Their plans are very restrictive and expensive.

Cost $70 per month. 

Coverage for as long as you need
Unlimited texts to the world
2GB or 6GB of data included
$0.35 per minute for calls
Available in 200+ countries

 

A lot of money for little return.

 

 My T-Mobile bill arrived and there were no surprises.

T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom. 

 

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GREAT SIGNAL ON LAKE COMO

Lost In Rome, Again

Being lost in Rome is a treat, not a problem.  We dropped our rental car off in Venezia, how amazing  it is to drive to the edge of this cluster of islands. After leaving the car inform of the Hertz office, we walked across the street and closed a bridge to Venezia. IMG 1172

Next we walked to the Santa Lucia station to get our high speed train to Rome. Reserved seats and a great ride. IMG 0982

Italo provides fast and nice transport, It was a pleasure to travel by train.

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Beverage service was provided and restrooms were spotless.

After arriving at our Airbnb on Via Dei  Cappellari i, we head one block to the Campo Dei Fiori. We chose this location as it was near our last Airbnb and enabled us to walk to most of the destinations in Rome we wanted to see. 

 

IMG 1009Campo dei Fiori at night. The market is gone, now it is dinnertime and people watching. A full moon came to welcome us.

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Quick walk to the Vatican 

DSC00444We were located so close to so many wonderful sights ant things to do.

 

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The downtown market was filled with food and wines. 

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A Rome market. 

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This small Filetti di Baccala is a tiny space which specialized in Cod Filets which were delicousIMG 1059

One man runs the kitchen. Everything is prepared while you wait. 

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Find  at Largo dei Labari, near the church of Santa Barbara

 

Some more walking and another wedding. First of several we saw.

 

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A walk across the tiber to a new area of Rome. Trastevere, another jewell.  Trastevere translates to across the Tiber

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An uncrowded street in Trastevere. Via del Moro. 

 

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This post will be continued.

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Caico e Pepe, Osteria da Fortunata , Via  Pelligrino

MILAN, ROME, LAKE COMO AND MORE ONE MONTH FOR TWO $4500

In five days my wife and I leave for a month in Italy. The cost is about $4500 which includes airfare, car rental for fifteen days, Airbnb apartments with wifi, ac, and kitchens, one extra night in Miami on return.  A similar tour from Globus costs $5,400 and does not include airfare. And it  is for 10 days, not 30.    I have not included meals in my trip, and Globus usually does include some meals. Globus states it’s meals as follows “Full buffet breakfast daily; 2 lunches in Gabiano and Vercelli; 2 three-course dinners at a local restaurant in Milan”  So that is two lunches, two dinners, and breakfast each day.   

If we were t compare the Globus tour to mine, it would cost approximately $15.000 plus AIRFARE to get close to mine. PS, I purchased my tickets from AirItaly in February. I flew with them last year and it was a perfect trip. 

The best way to travel so inexpensively is shoulder season,  We fly out of Miami on Sept 19th and got airfare for $780 round trip non stop for two people.  Flying into Milan less expensive than going to Rome. You can get rail or air transit to Rome at very reasonable prices. So why not see more, do more and enjoy more with the $10,000 you can save by doing it on your own.

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Our Airbnb in Milano. Elevator service and lots of windows. 

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Our Airbnb in Vicenza

Each of our reservations has reasonable rates. Rome was the most expensive costing $120 a night for a first floor apartment in the Campo Dei Fiori neighborhood. We like this area as you can walk to the Vatican, the Ghetto, Piazza Navona, and many more locations. Bust stops are just a block away. 

IMG 1714Vicenza, Italy last fall.

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Milano, trams are the best way to travel.

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Prada, Milano

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II , Milano

Prada, Versace, Pasticceria Marchesi, Luisa Spagnoli. Tod’s , Giorgio Armani, Gobbi 1842, all these and more await you at the Galleria 

Follow the blog next week as I report on our trip. Airbnb review, dining, shopping, and doing it on a budget.

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