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.

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

 

 

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.

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. 

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