About a week ago, but some years ago. We celebrated our retirement and explored new areas of Italy.

Arena di Verona

It was July 5th, 2008. We arrived in Milano and started to explore. We learned about the trams, the buses, and getting lost. It was fun.

Our trip went everywhere, Verona, MIlano, east, west, north south. At one small town, Tessimo, the innkeeper spoke only German

Now it is 12 years later,and my and possibly your world has been changed by the Covid19 virus. American are not welcome in Italy. I understand this and the need to protect the citizens of Italy.

It has not stopped our planning for out next trip. Sicily is our next destination.

Capri

Angela and I have visited most of Italy. From the north and Cortina di Ampezzo to Calabria and Reggio. Sicily has heritage for my wife’s family. That will be our next return is it. It is also amazing. So much is on this island we will never discover it all

=Plemmirio SIcily Sunrise

The duomo, Siracusa

Siracusa

It was a one hour walk to the top to Castelmola. When I got down to the bottom, una birra e una pizza. I was definitely wiped out, but the view was beautiful.

Another Hill Town
Castelmola

The walk was worth it. At the top a festa was I progress.

A happy wave from a woman in Palermo.

Published with WordPress on an iPad as we are in Connecticut away from the virus hitting Florida so are.

I Never Forget A Meal

I am borrowing the title of a book by Michael Tucker who also fell in love with Italy and has always loved food.  Italian food and Italian meals are to be savored and enjoyed. His book was great and you can find copies on Amazon. Also recommended is “Living in a Foreign Language” also by Michael Tucker which is similar to Under the Tuscan Son, but with more humor and a bit of attitude. 

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We are on the island of Ischia, a small island off the coast of Napoli. We stayed in a small hotel with great views of the area and had a pleasant lunch of  Prosciuto e Melone.

 

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We also hand Insalata Capresse with fresh mozzarella di buffala

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At anolther ristorante in ischia we had frutti di mare. As fresh as you can get.

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While staying on Lake Carda in the town of Brenzone we had a waterfront dinner of Cacio e PepeIMG 1785

Lunch at a winery in Vicenza IMG 1787

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Below is home made pasta in Milano, I took a pasta making class. 

Felt is was time to lear how to do it, I had a pasta making machine at home that my bother bought about thirty years ago.

 

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Nothing like your own fresh pasta

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IMG 1445Pasta alla Norma 

 

 

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Mixed fruit that we bought at the market in Siracusa  Sicily

Below is beefsteak Florentine

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You start with aged meet. This is from Il Pandemonio, Florence Italy

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It comes rare to medium rate, It is a think steak, about 1.5 to 2.0 inches. 

There is nothing like it.

 

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Back in Catania, Sicily

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An entire meal of antipasti 

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My wife Angel and I after a wonderful meal.

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Il Torre Del Mangia, Siena

Piazza  del  Campo

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Insalata Capresse

Pasta with Pesto

There are more to come. This Brunello from 2011 met it Demis in 2020 as we reminisced about Italy.

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More Photos From Past Trips. The Daily Market in Siracusa, Sicily

AT THE MARKET IN SIRACUSA, SICILY

 

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Cipolla di Tropea.: The Calabrese cuisine is a reflection of its history – it is not refined or elaborate, normally simple, using most of the time vegetable such as the onions, in particular the red onion, the red onion of Tropea. These famous red onions are grown in an area which stretches in both directions along the coast from Tropea. Important enough to be sold in Sicily. (Google)

 

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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.

Italy’s Travel Restrictions, What Does It Mean?

The blog The Points Guys starts out there post with a line from the Kenny Rogers song

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run”

 

 

With all the headlines it is difficult to figure out what is happening and what to do for your international trip planning. Yesterday I said I was canceling my trip to Spain for the Camino de Santiago. My age group is more susceptible to flu and coronavirus. For detailed and good non panic advice on Italy I always go to my favorite Italy Blog. An American in Rome by Natalie. To quote her blog “-If you are a citizen of another country and not a resident of Italy, you can freely leave the country. You are not “stuck” here. Just be prepared for screenings at the airport departure and requests to self isolate when you return home.”

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This is the link to her blog 

https://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2020/03/thank-you-for-thinking-of-us-italy-on-lockdown/

I have followed her advice for many years, she even directed my wife to a great hairdresser in Rome when we were traveling to Italy for two months.  Check it out.

 

Another useful source of information it the blog The Points Guys.  Normally they guide people through maximizing the points value of credit cards but todays posts include canceling trips because of the concerns for Coronavirus. 

Here is the link to their post of today”

https://thepointsguy.com/news/cancel-trip-coronavirus/

 

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There is a lot going on out there. As a trips draws close check on what you can and can not cancel or change. As the situation becomes critical, carriers and hotels may be more amenable to allowing changes on flights and stays.Keep checking the US Govt Sites for CDC and  the US Dept of State Travel Advisories

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

 

 

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Line outside Starbucks in September 2019.  Before the need to keep 1 meter apart rule. 

Photo Greg Speck , 2019

 

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La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in September. 

Photo Greg Speck 2019

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La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II yesterday

Photo NY Times, Getty Images, France-Presse

Stay or Go?? Travel in the Time of Coronavirus

When we were on our month long trip to northern Italy in September, my good friend invited me to join him and his son on the last leg of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria to Santiago de Campostela Spain. After seeing the move The Way, is had been on my bucket list. I asked my wife if it was ok and when she said yes, I brooked my ticket to Barcelona  (bargain fare of %436 US on AA).

I began walking with a 14 lb back pack to get my 77 year old body back in shape. Having done a lot of cycling it did not take long.  Our goal was only 12-15 miles per day. Everything was going smoothly until the news of the Corona Virus started to make the headlines.  At first I dismissed it as a problem for me as it was not in Spain and I was not going to stop at any other airport outside of Spain.

Then came the headlines, and the CDC advisory cautioning people to consider the ramificatons of travel during the time of Corona. 

It was a hard decision but I have decided to cancel my trip and hope to do it next year when things should be a more under control and vaccines “might” ve developed.

My decision was based on how it would effect me and my wife.   I am sure many others out there will have to make the same decisions and I wish you all luck.

I look forward to doing it next year possibly combining it with a week or two in Italy

Unless American Airlines allows me to cancel the money bill be lost, but I can sleep at night. 

 

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From Bloomberg News

Spain Mulls Emergency Steps as Coronavirus Cases Almost Double
ByCharlie Devereux
March 9, 2020, 8:04 AM EDT Updated on March 9, 2020, 9:13 AM EDT

Pedestrians wear masks in the subway in Madrid.

 

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We’re tracking the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and the global response. Sign up here for our daily newsletter on what you need to know.

 
 
Spain is considering drastic action to contain the spread of the coronavirus after the number of cases almost doubled overnight.

 
 
Authorities are responding to a worrying acceleration of cases, which jumped to 999 on Monday from 589 on March 8, with the outbreak focused on Madrid and the Basque country, an industrial hub.

 
 
The health ministry is locked in an emergency meeting with the Madrid regional government to try and get to the bottom of why there’s been a sudden spike and a government official said Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is aiming to present a package of measures at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday

 

 

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.

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