Deruta Home of the Beautiful Ceramics

fullsizeoutput_157c.jpegGrazzia is one best places to purchase high quality ceramics in Druta. We arrived during lunch and the owner took us on a tour of the factory. fullsizeoutput_f4c.jpegThe outside is a virtual musuem. It continues on the inside. DSC_0754.JPGDSC_0756.JPGThis is an amazing place. Each item is painted by hand.fullsizeoutput_1001.jpegThe design is painted by hand. fullsizeoutput_604.jpegEach item is unique.

fullsizeoutput_9f4d.jpegThe bottom of each creation tells that it come drom Deruta and is painted by hand.

DSC_0765.JPGHappy day, we made our purchase and had it shipped back to the USA.

Secolo means century in Italian.

fullsizeoutput_10b5.jpegThis is our order and purchasing documents. It all arrived home safely.

Navigating on your trip to Italty

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Getting from one place to another in a foreign country, and even here in the USA can be a challenge.  On our first trips we had THE MAP OF ITALY. It was a big as a kitchen table, and once unfolded, it never returned to the same size nor appearance.

I thought I had the answer when I purchased a TomTom GPS and it had all of western Europe on a built in hard drive.  As we pulled out of the airport in Roma, I turned it on ready to set my destination and all I got was a satellite view of the world.  It took a week before I found that I needed to go to settings and change the map.  Those days are long gone and dedicated GPS or the APS for your phone are much easier to use.

I like the advance planning ability to set up a route before you leave for a trip. fullsizeoutput_d368.jpeg

Above are the screen shots from the TomTom western Europe  APP.  It shows the instructions as well as a map of the entire route. This come in handy, as on occasion turns come quickly and can be a sharp right or left. fullsizeoutput_bcb4.jpeg

On the way to Cortona ( Under the Tuscan Sun) we came upon a bunch of switchbacks. This is common with the hills in Italy.   But when you get there it is always worth the trip.

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Bella Italia!!!

 

Airbnb Montepulciano and Orvieto, Italy

We had a wonderful time at the Airbnb lodgings through out Toscana. Each one was unique in its own way. My wife and I would return to each place we stayed with no  reservations. Do your research, look at the reviews.  Smoking or non smoking, air conditioning, kitchen, etc.  Read all the reviews.  New listing may not have a review, it could be a crap shoot so look at the description throughly.

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Our dinner on the table in Montepulciano.IMG_0630.JPG

Our bedroom in Montepulciano. Door led outside to sitting area. Above was a full kitchen and living room. IMG_0729.JPGOrvieto provided us with a small efficiency apartment with a fireplace.  There was a pool and many gardens to stroll through.  It was quick ride to finiculare with free parking to go to the centro. IMG_7236.JPGThis was the Airbnb lodging in Orvieto. Breakfast was served every morning with an amazing selection of foods.  IMG_7142.JPGIt is impossible to start the day with out cafe. Espresso and cappuccino fantasticoIMG_0760.JPG

The duomo in Orvieto  AMAZING.

For more information, check out

Wikipedia link to duomo in Orvieto

 

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The town of Orvieto from a distance. It sits high up on a hill.

I highly recommend Airbnb for lodging. None of the places we have visited had been disappointing. Give it a try, read the reviews. Look at the map locations. In Italy free parking is a bonus and not always available in major cities, or even smaller ones.  Do your research you will be rewarded.

The next post will be on navigating through Italy

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6 minutes it said, but after making so many wrong turns while trying to read road signs, it became a half hour. 

More Air BnB Sienna, Tuscany

IMG_0360.JPGOur Air BnB in Sienna. This was an amazing place in the country about 2 miles from the center of Sienna.

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This Air BnB had a pool and a wonderful view. fullsizeoutput_d13a.jpegThe surrounding countryside was beautiful.

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Our room was spacious, This is a view from the garden next to several rooms. We were free to get tomatoes, basil, etc so we could make salads.  The tree in the distance was full of figs. They were sweet and ripe so we picked them daily. fullsizeoutput_b6fc.jpeg

Redering of the Torre del Mangia in Sienna.  How beautiful it was. I climbed to the top and saw the entire town and countryside. fullsizeoutput_a7a2.jpegfullsizeoutput_a7a9.jpeg

Thats it for Sienna.   The next post will show our next two stops, Montepulciano and Orvieto. Two beautiful town and wonderful accommodations with Air BnB.  We never encountered nay major problems on our trip and this year we are doing it again.

Air BnB

You get a different experienced when you stay at an Air BnB lodging in Italy. Combining apartments, agriturisimos, and just a bedroom in a home one feels in touch with the real Italian life style.  Our first stop was in Florence.  It was on the 2nd floor which really means the third floor but easy yer heck.  We only made the trip once a day so we could live with it. It consisted of a bed and bath and access to a small kitchen. Our hosts were gracious and the location was in the Oltrano section of Florence.  The room was clean and comfortable. Air conditioning worked and it was very quiet. We were able to park our car across the street. It cost 10 euro a day with the coupon provided by our hosts.  This is a bargain in the city. 

Each day we walked across the Arno into the heart of Florence.  In our neighborhood there were grocery stores, pharmacies and some nice restaurants.  It took about ten minutes to get into town and the walk was pleasant. For value it was great The cost for three nights came to $ 326.  I consider this a bargain.

The next post will feature Sienna in which we stayed in a small BnB just outside of town. 


Each morning we walked the 100 fee to for coffe in this little bar.  After a few days they knew what we ordered and as soon as we  arrived they brought out our order.

  • Across the street a flower vendor get ready to begin the day. These three wheeled trucks called Ape (bee) are ubiquitous in Italy and work well in the narrow streets.

Coming very shortly, traveling in Italy with Air BnB

We have enjoyed staying at various Air BnB locations across Tuscany and Umbria. Each one was great and I will finish up[ a review very shortly.Montepulciano, a nice Air BnB just a short walk or drive to town.   Olive trees, a pool, fresh eggs from the chickens in the back and a great host.