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. 

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.

What I Loved About Tuscany Part 2

Siena is beautiful. From the towers to the countryside, it is full of beauty. 

Torre del mangia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

 Torre del Mangia towering above of the Palazzo Pubblico
 
Torre del Mangia.
The Torre del Mangia is a tower in Siena, in the Tuscany region of Italy. Built in 1338-1348,[1] it is located in the Piazza del Campo, Siena’s premier square, adjacent to the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall). When built it was one of the tallest seculartowers in medieval Italy.[2] At 102 m, it is second tallest after Cremona’s Torrazzo (112 m (367 ft)) the Asinelli tower in Bologna at 97 m being third.

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Piazza del Campo

 

IMG 5336From the top of the Torre. 

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My favorite lunch. 

 

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We found a wonderful BnB just outside of Siena

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The Duomo

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A small salumeria we picked out our lunch. 

DSC03671No crowds on the street at lunch time.

Siena is a good home base for touring around Tuscany. It is definitely car country to access all these beautiful spots. 

To be continued. 

Bargain Airfares To Italy

It s that time, lower airfares for fall travel. Just booked my fall trip for my wife and I. 

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Now is the time for searching the fares. My two tickets cost less than one several years ago. No baggage, but we travel light.

Try Google Flights, Momondo.com, and be flexible.  Use the flexible dates that can lower your trip quite a bit.

 

My flight is on AirItaly which I used last year and was very pleased with them.

 

Good hunting.

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Cycling Bolzano to Venice, 2018 Complete Video

I left Miami on September 26 to fly to Milan and start a wonderful vacation. I had three days in Milan and then I would take the train to Trento where I would meet my group to begin the tour. 

 

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Lift off from Miami.

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Highspeed train to Trento from Milano.

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I mounted a GoPro on to the handle bars of the rental bike.  I did get some vibration, so I had to adjust it using the video editor on my Mac.  For the most part this did well with the exception of cobble stones. 

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A bike path through the vineyards and down to the lake. 

The cycling was amazing, of the 230 to 240 miles it was about 90% on bike paths, some with the most amazing views.

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Riding along the Adige river

With the Dolomites in the background the trip got better by the mile. 

The video gives a riders perspective of riding from Bolzano to Trento, Riva del Garda, Verona, Vincenza, Padova, and arriving in Venice ( Mestre)  I had three nights in t Venice/Mestre which was another wonderful experience.

 

Here is the link to the video which in on Vimeo.  https://vimeo.com/305380233

 

 

I hope you enjoy it.  

Greg 

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The opera house in Verona, Italy

Wandering Milano With Caterina

This was my third trip to Milan.  I wanted to see and do some different things.  Airbnb experiences helped me make the most of my time for a very reasonable price.  I had arrived in Milan only 5 hours ago, found my Airbnb and was headed over to where our small group would meet to see some of the unique sights that are not always on a guided tour. As I was walking around, I got a text saying they were ready to start and where was I. Seems I did not read the start time but the end time ……MENO MALE. I was just a block away so I got there on time.  It was a small group with only 4 people and Caterina, the guide.  Two were from Belgium and one from Great Britain. Once again the only American.Caterina

Caterina, our guide.

We  met near the public gardens (Indro Montanelli) for what would be a 2 1/2 hour walk. We would go from the old to the new. And some of the most ultra modern architecture with prices that would make Manhattan look like a bargin.

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One of the classic residences.

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Amazing art decorates the outside of these residences.

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Our vintage tram a great way to see any city at a slower pace.

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Some of the modern building with high price tags.

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A Tesla showroom.  No price tags.

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Piazza XXV Aprile – Porta Garibaldi

 

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I have visited Eataly in Rome and New York City. No I had a chance to roam the one in Milano.

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If only my local Publix in Florida would have some of these delicacies. Ho fame. 

 

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Search out Catalonia’s walking photo tour of Milano on Airbnb Experiences. Here is part of her description “The Neoclassic and Art nouveau district of Porta Venezia. A residential area that represents the true everyday life of the Milanese. The brand new, sparkling and luxurious GARIBALDI’s area which is our ending point where you can easily take subway, tram, train or taxi. CUSTOM EXPERIENCE: If you would like to participate in the experience but on a different time or day, write to me and if I can I will try to organize one with your availability.”  

Here is a link 

https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/263117?euid=0af081a7-e582-7ee2-6cf1-0c7842fdc298

 

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!”

 

 

 

 

ISCHIA, a small Island Off the Coast of Napoli, a must visit location

CASTELO ARAGONESE

CASTELLO ARAGONESE

My wife Angela suggested a visit to the island of Ischia, which is a short ferry ride from Napoli. At first I did not know what to think about this. Having never heard of it I began to do some research. The online photos looked good and we have always liked islands.  Getting there was an adventure for us as we have to drive from Napoli to the suburb of Pozzuli. We were bring our rental car as this is a good size Island.  There were no problems and a pleasant voyage with a quick stop at the island of Procida. This is also a place Iw Ould like to visit when we return to Napoli.  Spend time at the beaches and enjoy the warm waters. Find a spa with hot springs feeding it. Walk or take the bus. This island is doable. Scenes from the movie, “the Talented Mr. Ripley” were filmed in Ischia. Also “While We Were Here” with Kate Bosworth.  See all the films that used ischia as a location https://www.ischiareview.com/ischia-in-the-movies.html

PROCIDA

 

THE ISLAND OF PROCIDA

ISCHIA ISLAND

ISCHIA MAP IN CERAMIC TILE 

Once on the Island we started to explore.  At  on time we were on a small dirt road when it got narrower and narrower. Eventually had to back up and work our way into town, 

MINERAL POOL

HOT SPRING MINERAL POOL

Ischia is know for its hot spring fed mineral  pools.  The springs feed the pools and they are drained out each night and left to fill overnight. At least in the case of our hotel.

HOT SPRINGS FEED POOL

HOT SPRINGS FEEDING THE POOL

 

SAPORI MOZZARELLA BUFALA

The Old Butcher Shop Selling Everyting

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Ristorante Lo Scoglio, Sant’ Angelo d’Ischia 

We headed out to dinner and found Lo Scoglio. It is located in Sant’Angelo and proved to be an excellent choice.  The name translated to THE ROCK.

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Photo from the restaurant  web site.

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View from the dining room 

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My wife’s choice,  fruit dal mare.   

 

 

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Lo Scolgio in the daylight.

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Il centro

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Peperoni

 

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The teenagers had no problem diving off the rocks. 

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View from our hotel. 

 Here is the link to the Wikipedia description of Ischia. It is definitely a destination not to miss  in Italy   https://wikitravel.org/en/Ischia

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