Il Viaggio – The Trip

I just returned from an 12 day trip to Italy. I visited Milan, Trento, Bolzano, Padova, Vincenza, Venice, Lake Garda and several small villages which our bike our took us through. It was an amazing trip, but I learned a lesson. DON’T BOOK YOURSELF SOLID.  I had set up so many things withs dates and times that I forgot to live the Italian lifestyle and not rush.  None the less, it was an amazing trip. But I will remember for the next visit. IMG 1186

Pasta with ragu in a small ristorante in Milano. Off the beaten path, not crowded and a great meal. 

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The The Osteria The Full Moon

This was my first dinner in Milano, and you might like to visit this quiet southern Italian ristorante if you have time. Here is the address.  Via Lazzaro Palazzi 9, 20124 Milan, Italy.  If you have not guessed, I am a big fan of Southern Italian cooking and Sicilian Cooking. IMG 1190IMG 1292

 

Bikes are a way of life in Milano and most of italy.  The bike share cycles area all over. It is not uncommon to see some in a dress and high heels, or a business suit riding down the street. In Desenzano del Garda a young man was riding in the rain with an umbrella held high above his head… Sujch is the life of those who commute on a bicci!

The next post will include the Cenaclo and the Canal District.

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Milano

Milan is about many things. It is a modern city with historical routes and contemporary styles.  Saldi, sales are key to visiting Milan. There are designer outlets, and seasonal sales.   I am going back to Milan in 3 weeks and will do a complete update on he city, the museums, and shopping districts.  These photos are from a 2008 vist to the city.

 

ON SALE IN MILAN

 

Window in Milan center.

 

 

Milan La Galleria

The bull in La Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II, Milano

 

Legend has it that if you put your heel on the testicles of the bull and turn around three times, it will bring good luck.  Did not do much for the bull. It is also said that if a woman touches the genitals it will bring fertility.

 

 

DUOMO MILANO

 

The duomo is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Milan. 

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DUOMO MILANO

 

It is worth taking the elevators to the top to get a view of the city and admire the construction of the Duomo.

 Milano Tram

 

I enjoyed taking the tram in Milano. It is a slower and more enjoyable way to see this city. Of course avoid morning and afternoon rush hours. 

 

Here is a link to a youtube video of the street cars of Milano

 

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We are not in Venice. These are the Canals of Milano. Photo from Walks of Italy. The Navigli. 

 

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The canals were built to transport goods to the city from nearby lakes. It is no longer used for transport, but is a tourist destination.  This has ushered in an arts district with restaurants and bars and is worth the visit.

Here is a link to Walks of Italy for tour information. https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/milan/canal-in-milan

 

I am returning to Milano in September for three days. Will be going to the Navigli district ( canal district) the Duomo, and possibly return to view the last supper again. Here is a link to the web site to purchase tickets to visit the Last Upper. It is advisable to book as early as possible. If you can not get through this site, check Viator, Walks of Italy or other resellers.   I advise three months in advance. Link below to official site. 

https://cenacolovinciano.vivaticket.it/?qubsq=716f61bb-85f0-4c5f-8a0b-fe0054980b10&qubsp=42a99ae9-969c-4fd0-894f-0b918799a95b&qubsts=1535228478&qubsc=bestunion&qubse=vivaticketserver&qubsrt=Safetynet&qubsh=fd2fc046714c5951348e9fb15cde1595

 

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Some photos of the area near La Scala Opera HouseCIMG4754

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Amalfi A Gem On The Seacoast

Amalfi is a beautiful and busy town. On the coast is has a history of being a maritime power, and paper making. It is a town with many festivals.  You will enjoy your stay. DSC 4018

Today it still has a very busy harbor.

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We happened upon the Festival of San Andreas by accident.  This was one of the highlights of our trip. Each year on the 27th of June, “This date is remembered for a miracle of Sant’ Andrea that occurred in 1544, when the people of Amalfi prayed to their saint to protect them from an attack of the feared Barbarossa pirates. When the town was saved from the attack by a sudden and terrible sea storm, the Amalfitans celebrated it as a miracle of Sant’ Andrea.” (From Charming Italy, bu Laura Thayer. http://www.charmngitaly.com

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Little did we know hen we sat down that we would be in the middle of the festa.  In Italy it is normal for one of have the table for as long as you want it.  Our views were amazing. 

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Soon it became quite crowded and as the sun began to set, the procession began,CIMG1357

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The parade went through most all of the town.

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Below you see people heading out on to the pier to watch the fireworks as darkness came.

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A fisherman brings in his catch below.

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A tall ship came in for the celebration.

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The duomo the next morning.

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The paper museum makes a nice stop on the way to the hill trails that take you to Ravello and other towns.

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Sample of the paper available at the museum. 

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And do not forget lemons, limone è importate !! Limoncello right? 

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Walking up the hills in Amalfi. 

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A great site for more info on Amalfi is.  http://www.ciaoamalfi.com.   Laura Thayer writes a blog on the town and surrounding  area.  Well worth checking it out. 

Wild and Wet, Plemmirio, Sicily

 My wife’s cousin posted on Facebook an article of Plemmiro as small town near Siracusa, Sicily.   Last summer we spent 10 days in this seaside paradise.  This is an area of lava and coral with a crystal clear sea.  This location is short drive from Siracusa. It is very small town with 2 small grocery stores, a pizza place, and a restaurant.  That being said, we had a ball.  Plemmirio SicilyThis is the view from our AirBnB.  Scuba off the coast Pledmmirio

Scuba Plemirio

Scuba divers in the water across from our rocky beach area.   Do not let the rocks deter you. You can go to public beaches a short walk down the road in either direction and pay a small fee to have umbrellas and beach chairs. They all serve food and beverages.

Plemmiro BeachesPlemirro Beaches

Public beach area a short walk from our Airbnb

Sunset Plemirro

Every night sunset!

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A small church Santa Maria della Rocia del Plemmirio was packed on Sunday

Sunrise Plemmirio

Here is the web site for Plemmirio.  If you visit Siracusa make this a day trip or stay with one of the BnBs in the area

http://www.plemmirio.it

Here is a very short video of the sea in action

From  Youtube here is a  video from the Plemmirio web site

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. 

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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.

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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
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* – 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.
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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

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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!”

 

 

 

 

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