The Decline and Fall of Rome????

From The NY Times here is a quote “Rome is in danger of becoming a dump. I don’t mean the rubbish heap of history, which is how the poet Petrarch envisioned the city in the 14th century. I don’t mean a precious junkyard of alfresco antiquities, Renaissance gems and Baroque treasures. I mean a dump.

No it is not!

I read a long detailed article in the New York Times Travel Section detailing how Rome has become rundown, and filthy with garbage and trash. It so easy to find everything wrong with a place. Northing is ever perfect and Rome certainly has some areas that could use improvement.

In 2017 we spend eighteen days in Rome staying in an apartment near the Campo dei Fiori. This put us in a neighborhood of mostly residents rather than tourists. Of course my wife and I were tourists, but the people we met were mostly locals and it felt very comfortable.

The area was mostly clean and well kept. I found none of the garbage nor graffiti that the article spoke about. Not to say it was perfect, some time trash bins were not emptied promptly but nothing like what the article depicted.

Many time we strayed to other neighborhoods and found similar situations. Reasonably clean and friendly people. This most trafficked tourists areas had some people soliciting for money, but ignoring them worked perfectly.

Here is my response published in the online version to the Times:

I have traveled to Italy 17 times since the 80s. Last year was our longest trip, two months. Eighteen days were in Rome, near the Campo dei Fiori. We walked 5 to 8 miles a day, took the bus and metro ( thanks to Google maps) and never saw the disaster that was depicted in the article. My wife and I visited several areas away from the center and found them to be clean and free from trash. There will always be some graffiti, but much less than in the mid 1980s. The Campo dei Fiori market closes each afternoon, and the entire piazza is cleaned up in about an hour to become the center for the evening nightlife. Our only encounter with major neglect was in Napoli during several prolonged strikes. Rome is still una bella citta

Do not be discouraged, visit the Eternal City and enjoy its beauty. You will not be disappointed.

Buon anno a tutti. Greg

Milan’s Stunning San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore – An American in Rome

My favorite travel blog about Italy is An American In Rome.  Natalie has been helping travelers to Rome for a number of years. But she does not stop there. Look at her pos on the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore in Milan.  I was fortunate to visit this amazing treasure at the end of September.  Her blog has some amazing photos and more information.  Here are some of my photos.  The art work is amazing. Go to the link at the bottom for Natalie’s great blog page on this church. 

 

 

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The depiction of the ark is beautiful. 

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Natalies blog link is below.

 

https://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2018/12/san-maurizio-al-monastero-maggiore-milan/

 

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

Venice, Sometimes the Best Things ARE Free

Venice can be expensive. The view from the Campanile is amazing. High up with no obstructions. But you have to pay 8 Euros.  Yes that is not much for such a great view.DSC05036The Campanile of St. Marks Basilica, Venice

 

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The Island fo San Giorgio Maggiore from the Campanile

 

But for free you can visit the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and take the lifts to the top of this amazing retail complex. The literal translation is the warehouse of the Germans. Goods came in from the Gand Canal and could be stored in the building. The entrance is free, and here is a link and you can reserve you time from the web site.DFS group has over 400 stores on 4 continents. . 

https://www.dfs.com/en/venice/t-fondaco-rooftop-terrace

Below are some of the photos taken from the terrace.  
Some photos have a watercolor filter.

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VIEWS OF THE RETAIL AREA

 

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The Canals of The Navigli district Milan You Should Not Miss This Amazing Attraction

Everyone knows the canals of Venice.  A much smaller version that is a must see is in in Milano.The Navigli.    Once used for transportation, it is now an entertainment, art, and foodie attraction.  It really comes to life after dark, music seems to be everywhere.  Restaurants are along the canals and have aperitivo   dining. It varies from restaurant to restaurant, but you can enjoy yourself for less.  One light I stopped at a little wine bar near my hotel and sat down with a good glass of Italian red and snacked of chips, veggies, and crostini. My total tab was 1.50 Euros.

Here is a link to my Vimeo video of the Navigli 

https://vimeo.com/300588264

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Restaurants abound in the area. Bars offer happy hour deals where you can nibble you way through dinner if you buy a drink or two. 

 

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Milano has a wonderful transportation network. 

Access to the Navigili district is easy to reach by tram or metro.

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I took the number 9 tram for a scenic and interesting ride. Exit at the Porta Ticinese stop and you can walk the entire district. 

Here is a link to the Things To Do In Milan web site and the page for the Navigili area. 

https://news.milanocard.it/navigli-district-milan-the-charming-canals-of-milano.html

I ate dinner at Locandina deii Navigli as I had to get my fill of Risotto Milanese. 

 

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