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.

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. 

Il Viaggio – The Trip

I just returned from an 12 day trip to Italy. I visited Milan, Trento, Bolzano, Padova, Vincenza, Venice, Lake Garda and several small villages which our bike our took us through. It was an amazing trip, but I learned a lesson. DON’T BOOK YOURSELF SOLID.  I had set up so many things withs dates and times that I forgot to live the Italian lifestyle and not rush.  None the less, it was an amazing trip. But I will remember for the next visit. IMG 1186

Pasta with ragu in a small ristorante in Milano. Off the beaten path, not crowded and a great meal. 

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The The Osteria The Full Moon

This was my first dinner in Milano, and you might like to visit this quiet southern Italian ristorante if you have time. Here is the address.  Via Lazzaro Palazzi 9, 20124 Milan, Italy.  If you have not guessed, I am a big fan of Southern Italian cooking and Sicilian Cooking. IMG 1190IMG 1292

 

Bikes are a way of life in Milano and most of italy.  The bike share cycles area all over. It is not uncommon to see some in a dress and high heels, or a business suit riding down the street. In Desenzano del Garda a young man was riding in the rain with an umbrella held high above his head… Sujch is the life of those who commute on a bicci!

The next post will include the Cenaclo and the Canal District.

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Rome in 18 days

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Spending 18 days in Rome and traveling mostly on foot bright this city into a new light. Every time we left the apartment we got closer to the city and discovered new and exciting things. Our first visit was in the mid 80s. We did not return to Italy until 1998. Since then we have made several more trips to Rome if only for a few days. This was the chance for discovery and getting a feel for living somewhat like a local.

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Our Airbnb was close to Campo de Fiore. We walked just about everywhere. The market is picturesque but highly oriented to tourists.  Still many locals go each day, as did we. Fresh produce and fruit came back to our apartment. A small supermarket was also close by to supplement what the market did not have.  There were several salumerie  in the area, and well as several Macellerie for cold cuts and meat.  This became a daily ritual.

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During the next several blogs post, I will be describing the interesting happenings during our stay in Rome.

 

Caio for now.

At the beach La spiaggia 

Knowing that we would most likely be in an August heat wave, we have tried to stay  close to the water. 

We are about 50 feet above the sea and 50 feet away. The views are stunning. Temps have been in the upper 80s and the sun is intense. Really intense. Fa caldo.

This is the perfect spot for diving and snorkeling. When we were in the water yesterday small fish kept checking out our legs.

Access to the beach is free, but if you wish the comforts on a lounge chair, and umbrella you must pay. In this case it was 25 euro for the day, and well worth it. Today we will bring an umbrella from our apartment and give it a try on the cheap side. Means no fresh water shower and sitting on the rocky shore on a borrowed towel. We will see. The water is so clear you can see the bottom  in 6 ft depths.  Fish swim by and not plastic or pollution is in evidence. A note about the beach lounge chairs. They are far superior to the ones found in the US. If you wish to lean back, there is a line with a hook that releases the chair to find a comfortable position. What I really like is the folding sun screen to keep the sun our of your face. Wish they were available in Florida. 

Some scenes from last night as the sun set.

I love the middle photo my wife took took through the window last night.

Below shows where we are in relation to the town of Siracusa in Sicily. 

The money saving word of the day Ridotto

OK this is to all you seniors out there.  In the past senior discounts were restricted to EU residents.  Recently more places are extending the discounts to everyone.  It never hurts to ask, may not work in the Uffizi or other major attractions. Worked in Castelbuono, and in Tindari both in Sicily.   Text from my UltraLingua dictionary.

Saving Money On Car Rentals

Car rental rates have soared in the last several years.  Even using  sites like Kayak and Priceline you tend to get some high rates.  Some time ago I saw a reference in the New York Times to a site called Autoslash.com.   I tried it earlier this summer and was able to get a very reasonable rate for the July 4th week in Hartford, Connecticut.   previously my best rate for the week was about $400. I ended up paying $241 and got the car from Hertz. That was a substantial savings thanks to AutoSlash.

I have booked a 21 day rental in Sicily and did quite a bit of shopping.  I searched Hertz, Auto Europe, and Avis.  Each gave me rates that were in the  $800 range. AUTOSLASH 2 2017-08-11 at 4.04.39 PM.jpgAUTO SLASH SAVINGS.jpg Hertz got down to about $760 and it was looking better. I got a quote from AutoSlash and found that they could get me a $747 rate for the same period and they would continue to search for updates to the rate. Hertz is the provider.

Now  for the really good news! We leave on Tuesday and today I got an email saying they checked rates and it went from $765.51 to $305.89.  This is a substantial savings.  Note the original quote I got was $747 but Hertz raised it. When I brought this to the attention of AutoSlash they contacted Hertz and got the rate reduced.

Give AutoSlash a try and compare with other search engines. Hotwire, Hotels.com, Kayak have been helpful to me in the past, but not have reduced the rates after booking.

You do not pay up front!  Also keep in mind many credit card companies will cover your CDW which can save you several hundred dollars on a rental.

I have no affiliation with any site mentioned above. P1010826.jpg

Always good to have some tape. In Palermo a driver strayed into my land and hit the mirror. He then continued as if nothing had happened.  Luckily I had some tape and we survived.  I rented with Europcar and got it through InItaly.com.  They covered the damage  but still charged me $100.   That is why credit card CDW is better. BUT read your credit card agreement throughly.

 

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