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.

Erice Village in the Sky and the Clouds

 

 

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Three out of the four have canes. Considering this town is hilly to say the least, it makes for some intteresting walking.

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The fog tolls in to Erice, high above the sea below, it is like being in San Fransisco.

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The bell tower high in the clouds in the previous photo. now the sun is shining on it. I was treated to a rousing bell ringing that was very loud when next to the bells.

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hThe coblestone streets of Ericie.  

Notice the car coming down the street.
 
Stairway in Erice
A quiet setting in our hotel.
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The bell tower in Erice was built in 1315 and is a separate building from the Chiesa Matrice.

PHOTOS FROM THE SOUTH EAST COAST OF ITALY

I always love to view some of my older photos of Italy. My library has about 20,000 photos covering 1998 to 2019.

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Castello Aragonese on the island of Ischia off the coast of Napoli

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Ischia Island

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The real taste of buffalo mozarella , shop in Ischia

 

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Procida, between. Napoli and Ischia

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Trani

La cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta (cattedrale di Trani)

 

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A trulli in Albrobello 

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The castle like roofs of the trulis

Many things come together and these photos bring back many wonderful memories of our travels.

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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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.

How to find a great Airbnb in Rome

We have visited Rome several times and always enjoyed our visits. Location is one of the most important factors. If you have a favorite neighborhood such as Trastevere, Testaccio, or Campo Dei Fiore base yourself there. Save time and money by being able to walk the areas. In 2017 we stayed near Campo Dei Fiore.  It was a perfect place to explore the neighborhoods and walk to some many places. The Vatican and St. Peters was walkable. Restaurants abounded and shopping for food was close by.

When we booked it, the description looked great. The fact that it was on the Second Floor sounded doable.  Keep in mind the Italian way of numbering floors is quite different from ours. The ground floor or piano terra which is what we in the US would call the first floor. The next floor is the first floor, or primo piano, then on to the second floor which piano second but you are really on the third floor.

Keep this in mind as elevators in the older ( but beautiful) buildings are not prevalent. This is a time lapse of the descent which makes it look easy

52 Steps each time you go in or out

 

 

 

Here are photos from Rome in 2017. Not bad, reasonable space and would return if not for the steps ( 52) 

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This year I began my search by indicating the dates I needed, the number or people and I specifically searched °Campo Dei Fiore°. This reduced the number of locations and I then searched from the map.

 

Airbnb map rome

Viewing each listing VERY carefully, I looked for WIFI, KITCHEN, A/C, and NO SMOKING. When I found all of these I looked at all the photos, and at least the first four pages of reviews. It is important to evaluate a review.  As some one who has stayed in Airbnb in the US and Italy I check carefully and recheck with my wife. One bad review does not make a place unworthy of staying. Keep in mind that the map prices shown do not show what the prices really are if you did not fill in your dates of travel. The time of year makes a big difference.

 

This is a review I posited after a stay in Rome for 18 days in 2017″

“Overall we enjoyed our stay with Marzia. She was very quick to respond to our requests. The location is amazing. Walk out the door to restaurants, shops, a wine bar, and Campo de Fiore. Vatican is about 7-minute walk, save with Piazza Navona. Bus stops on Via Vittorio Emanuele. There is a restaurant on the other side of the building is excellent, Polese, we spent several evenings there. Also,check out the Suplizo on the same street as you head to Campo de Fiore. Great for take out. Kitchen is small but fully stocked with pots pans etc. Small frig but grocery store and the market are so close you will always have fresh food. The bed is comfortable. Hot water works well. WiFi good for browsing and email. AC works, but we arrived in mid September and found building comfortable with out it. The rear has a small terrace which was nice for dinner and wine. It does not have a view, but it was very pleasant. This is an older building and you have 52 steps to get to the room. It was not a bother to me at 74 years old, but my wife took a break going up the stairs. Neighborhood is good and safe. Only problem was major construction going on next to us and loud banging on walls starting at 7 am. I believe this is now finished as far as the wall banging goes. My wife and I enjoyed our stay.”

 

I would add that I was give a refund of 300 Euros to compensate me for the noise.  I would return there again, if I could not find something on a lower floor.

 

For this years trip, we found a great place on the Primo Piano which will make things much easier. Located steps from the Campo Dei Fiore, I look forward to walking to so many sights and attractions. The bus stops are close by and the neighborhood is very safe.

The photos below are of our Airbnb for this year.

 

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This is a decent sized apartment and we are looking forward to it. I will review it in full when we return from Italy in October.

 

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