Italy Paris 2005 Archives

April 15, 2005

Getting Ready

This is my first attempt at keeping a blog. After reading them (and about them) on the Slow Travel website, I decided that I needed to just dive in and do it. This blog is meant to document our trip to Italy this spring. It will be our 4th trip to Italy and our 2nd visit to Paris. Our last trip was a year and a half ago and we spent a week in Tuscany, a week in Sicily, a couple days in Verona, a couple days in Florence and 4 days in Rome. A great trip, but we were already planning our next trip on the flight home.... just can't seem to get enough of Italy.

This trip we wanted to go back to Tuscany and see more of it and also be there at a different time of year. We've always gone in the fall and this time we wanted to experience the spring.... I love gardens and flowers! We also definitely wanted to get back to the Italian Riviera. We loved Cinque Terre and stayed in Vernazza a couple times (one of which was 9/11/2001, which was pretty unforgetable). It was tough to just pick a few places to go. I always want to go back to every place we've ever been AND add a bunch of new places. But with just a little over 3 weeks, we had to narrow it down. We sort of tacked on the last 4 nights in Paris because my friend, Harriet, will be there celebrating her birthday and we want to get in on the fun. And really, who even needs an excuse to go to Paris?

So, tomorrow it will be exactly one month until we go. I still have tons left to do but the trip does seem real now. The semi-official itinerary:

May 16 - fly to Rome
May 17 - arrive in Rome, stay 4 nights
May 21 - pick up rental car and drive to Tuscany stopping at Villa Lante along the way
May 21 - 28 - a week at Sant' Antonio
May 28 - drive to Lucca, drop car and stay in Lucca 3 nights at Al Toscano
May 31 - train to Camogli - stay 4 nights (not sure where yet)
June 4 - train to Milan, stay one night at Hotel Demidoff
June 5 - fly from Milan, Linate to Paris, Orly - stay in Paris 4 nights
June 9 - fly home

So the things left to agonize over are where to or if to book something in Rome and also where to stay in Camogli. I also need to book the rental car and decide which office in Rome to pick it up at. Driving out of Rome will be a challenge, but I think we can do it.

I think the thing that I like about this itinerary is that we get to revisit Rome, Tuscany, the Italian Riviera but we're staying in some different places. There's lots of new things to see.... Lucca, Camogli, day trips to the Tarot Garden, Villa Lante and I'm sure I'll find all sorts of new places that I'll want to see in Tuscany - from monasteries and hilltowns to gardens and wineries. I'm looking forward to it all. Let the countdown begin!

April 18, 2005

A Slow Dinner

Last night we went to a Slow Travel Get Together at Gisella's. It was a group of about nine people that have met via the Slow Travel message board. We all have a connection to Italy... either planning a trip to Italy, leaving for a trip shortly or in one couple's case about to move there permanently. So it was great fun for me to spend an entire evening talking about traveling in Italy. With this group there's no need to even pretend interest for any other subjects other than Italy... trading tips on where to go, books about Italy, cooking classes in Italy, etc.

It goes without saying that a crowd that loves Italy loves food and wine. Food Note: I had a delicious salad with pear and gorgonzola for my first course and I had a pasta dish with a sundried tomato cream sauce for my main course. But much as I love some of the Italian restaurants in Santa Barbara, there is nothing like eating in Italy. I am counting the days until my first meal on Italian soil. Buono appetito!

April 24, 2005

Found: An Apartment in Rome

I finally found an apartment in Rome. And I am very excited to say that it is right near my favorite spot - Campo de Fiori. It is on Via dei Cappellari which is the same street we stayed on during our 2001 trip. There is (or was) a great little restaurant a couple doors down from where we stayed that time called Lucifer's. One evening we were lingering outside the restaurant looking at the menu trying to decide whether to eat there or not. The menu was only in Italian (usually a good sign) so I had my pocket food dictionary out and was looking up a couple of the descriptions. A priest walked up and started looking at the menu also and he asked us in English he could help translate anything for us. Well, we got to talking - turned out he was from the U.S. but was living in Rome for a while and he was checking out this restaurant to see if he should take some friends there the following night. We all agreed that the menu looked very good and interestingly enough they specialized in fondue. We decided to eat there that evening and the priest decided that he would in fact bring his friends to Lucifer's the following night. So as he was leaving, Steve asked him with a smile "But it doesn't bother you to eat at place called Lucifer's?" And the priest laughed and said "No, not at all, maybe they need me there!"

The following night we tried to stop by to say hello, but we didn't make it back in time. We ate a restaurant that the priest had recommended in Trastevere - Ristorante Alle Fratte di Trastevere - and it was quite good. I can remember some very good crostini and eating the only all arugula salad I had on the trip. With the possible exception of a Salad Caprese, my favorite salad would be one that arugula features prominently in.

So I am looking forward to being on Via dei Cappellari and hopefully eating another meal at Lucifer's. We had a great meal there on that first trip, but for whatevere reason we didn't try their fondue, so I've felt that I needed to go back. On the last trip we tried to interest my parents into going there one night, but they picked Trattoria der Pallaro, which was a couple doors down from where we were staying on that trip. Great choice. We had one of those fantastic multi course meals where you don't order off a menu they just bring you one delicious course after the next.

We will be in Rome for at least four nights, possibly five or six, depending on when we arrive. The hardest part will be trying to figure out where to eat each evening - so many old favorites and so many more new ones that I want to try.

May 10, 2005

Less Than One Week To Go

It's pre-vacation jitters time... that sinking feeling in your stomach that you've forgotten something terribly important. Even watching the fish in my lovely little pond this morning didn't really calm me. It's Tuesday and they are mating again. This is the third time, but there have been no signs of any of the eggs hatching. There are five fish total (we started out with several more, but that's a long sad story that I won't go into now) - they are named after cities in Italy. Firenze (all orange), Venezia (orange with striking black streaks), Siena (all silver), Verona (orange/red and white) and Lucca (the little yellow/orange one). Apparently Firenze is the female - she gets vigorously chased by Verona and Venezia during these Tuesday morning mating scenes. I guess Siena and Lucca are too young to take part. If any eggs survive, which seems unlikely given their predilection for eating them all up, they could be any combination of orange with white or black markings.

Other than watching the fish, the only thing I can think of to calm me is to make lists of things to do and things to pack and start checking things off. There are still so many little things left to do. But probably the most important at this point is to go over all the confirmations and print them out to take with me. And then to develop my packing list. It's not so much the clothes, it's all the other little things that I have trouble with. I take so few clothes that I know I'm not going to forget something major (although one year I forgot to bring a bathing suit, which was a pain, because that's really not something you want shop for anywhere, even Italy!).

I need to spend a little time going over the camcorder and figuring out what I need to bring for that.... how many tapes? extra lens filter? should I invest in a spare battery? This will be the first time we bring a video camera on a big trip. I debated over whether this would be a good idea. But the thought of putting together something in iMovie did sound appealing - I've been using it alot more lately. So, let's see. It could be a fun thing to have. Italian neo-realism here I come!

May 16, 2005

We're Finally Leaving!

It's about 2 or 3 seconds before we leave or possibly a little more because Steve is looking for his keys. We are packed and ready or at least as ready as we can be, given all the last minute scrambling. We decided to take the new digital Canon camera, so it's digital all the way now. No more slides. And it is amazing to me how once you start bringing one digital gadget, you have bring a dozen more. We decided to bring the digital camcorder and then the iPod (so that we could download the photos to it) and then there all the rechargers. My pack is heavier than ever before and full of cords! Oh, well, it's something new and it will interesting. So, the rental car is parked outside and all I need to do put my pack in it and then we're off to LAX. Ciao.

May 18, 2005


We are in Roma! The flight was quite uneventful. As Harriet said about Swiss Air... they are on time and they give you chocolate, what esle do you need? Well, a little more leg room would have been nice... it's hell flying coach. I have to give a disclaimer here upfront... my typing skills on these keyboards is limited, so pardon the typos. Ok, so we arrive in Roma and are picked up by Roma Shuttle. A very nice and attractive man in a suit was waiting for us with a sign that said "Mr. Brawn," well, we knew what he meant. After a pleasant ride into the city in a private Mercedes car, we arrived at the apartment. The guy from Real Rome wasn't at the apartment when we got there, so we tried to use my phone to call him... didn't work, but just at the point where we were started to get pretty peeved about the whole phone situation, he showed up. Perfect timing. He (Tim, like the phone card) was extremely helpful. The apartment is pretty basic, but fine for our needs.

So, for our first night, even though we were dead tired, we decided to go out to a restaurant that Tim suggested. Da Francesco on Vicolo de Fico. It was fantastic. We has some bruschetta, I had a delicious fungi tortellini and Steve had pasta al arrabiata (of course) and then we split the eggplant parmesan. With wine and water, it was the perfect introductory meal in Roma. We walked back to the apartment and then just crashed out.


We slept in a little this morning and then headed out to just wander the sights... Campo de Fiori, Piazza Navona (pictured above), Pantheon and we managed to get in a little shopping. We also registered my sim chip (apparently the reason the phone didn't work was that the chip needed to be registered). It was easy and quick at the Tim store on Corso Vittorio. Now we are settled into Roma. The refrigerator at the apartment is stocked and we ready to have fun. Ciao for now.

May 19, 2005

Another Day in Roma


It is Thursday and it is just another day in Roma. We are in Alex's old neighborhood (his door pictured above) and just had lunch at Pizza Leonina (his recommendation) and I have to say that he did not steer us wrong, it was the best pizza I have ever eaten... in my life. We had the spicy potato pizza and the zucchini mushroom... fantastic. We walked up his old street and managed get a glimpse of his old apartment building. Now we are going to the Munch exhibit at the museum in the Vittorio Emmanual monument.

Yesterday it was rainy off and on, but the evening was beautiful. Today it is mostly sunny and perfect weather. We had our first casualty today when Steve lost his sweater... not really much of loss really. I think he secretly wanted an excuse to buy an Italian sweater. And our first gelato was yesterday, tiramisu and cappucino for me. Steve had amoretto. So, now it really feels like we are in Rome. We've had pizza, pasta and gelato. We are quite content. Ciao!

May 20, 2005

Final Friday Night in Roma


It is our final night in Roma and it will be hard to leave tomorrow. Yesterday we saw the Munch exibit and it was extremely good. I never appreciated the variety of work that he did... the funny thing was that his most famous piece was not there... The Scream... I guess they would not let it go. But it does focus your attention on all his other work.

Today we started off by going to the Castel Sant Angelo. They were closing for a strike, but we got there in time and it was free admission, too. The views were amazing. It was perfectly clear, warm and sunny, but thankfully with a breeze. After touring St. Peter's and paying our respects to John Paul II, we sought out Dino and Tony's, which was recommended (by I can not remember who) on the Slow Travel message board. The information desk at St. Peter's looked it up for us and gave us the address and I am so glad we asked about it. We had an amazing lunch. The mixed antipasti was the best I have ever had. The entertainment during lunch was that a woman parked right in front of the restaurant wanted leave and was blocked in by someone who had double parked. She ranted and raved and honked her horn for about 15 minutes and when the guy finally came out, she gave him a major piece of her mind. I thought for a minute there that she might haul off and hit him. But she drove away.

Tonight after dinner we stumbled into a classic race car parade coming from Piazza Navona. Our friend Rob would have loved to have seen this! There were so many amazing cars... Mercedes Gold Wings, Fiat, Porche, Jaguar and many we had never seen before. I attempted to catch it on video. So, Rob, you will have to view it for us and let us know what they all were.

A little fashion report for those that are interested... beige is really in right now, I am seeing all the women wearing cute fitted short blazers in light fabrics. White is everywhere, despite the fact that it is still before Memorial Day (which obviously does not apply here in Italy). Long dangly earrings and rhinestones are big also. Not so many pointy high heels, but that could be because everyone is wearing sandals. Once I get to Milan, I should have more to report.

We are off to Tuscany tomorrow, ciao for now!

May 22, 2005

The Road Out of Rome

The city just did not want us to leave. We picked up the car at the Tiburtina office... took the bus and the metro to get there, but it did not take too long. Getting to the ring road was a piece of cake, but a few minutes later we got caught in the most horrific traffic jam I have ever seen. People actually got out of their cars and wandered around the freeway talking to each other. It took over an hour to crawl to the next exit and then it started moving slowly so we toughed it out and made it to the exit toward Viterbo. A couple wrong turns later and we made it to Villa Lante:


The garden rewarded us... it was absolutely beautiful. I wish we could have spent the entire day there, but we had to get back on the road to Tuscany. We made great time on the A1 autostrada and got to Sant Antonio by about 5:30, and what an amazing place it is.


Nico was there to greet us and make us feel at home. Sant Antonio was another one of those Slow Travel finds. There were a number of glowing reviews and I can see why. We are perfectly content here. And those of you who were considering coming with us (and you know who you are!) well, all I have to say is that I wish you could be here to experience this with us.

We are staying in number 7, it is a one bedroom unit with everything we need... fireplace, kitchen, good size bathroom, private little terrace, even CNN on the TV. But we have not had much time for that.

Last night we were pretty tired. But also starving, so we took Nico's suggestion to eat nearby at Il Covo di Obelix. We had a fabulous dinner with an equally fabulous view of Montepulciano from a lovely terrace. We started off with a plate of mixed bruschetta. I never realized how good it can be with just olive oil and garlic. I had the pici pasta with a wild boar sauce and we split a couple side dishes... white beans and the spinach with garlic and olive oil. Steve had a pizza. It was a great dinner. And we slept quite soundly last night.

First Day in Montepulciano


First of all, I love it here. We spent a week in this part of Tuscany in the fall of 2003, so it feels familiar yet with so much more to explore. This morning we went straight to Montepulciano. It is a gorgeous day, warm but not too hot. And there is all this light puffy white cottony stuff floating in the air. I finally asked someone about it and it is from the flowers of the Poplar trees. There are also some beautiful trees with white flowers that look like a Robinia or locust tree, but they might be something altogether different. I will have to look into this. The scenery really is different in the spring than it was in fall.

Today we had a simple but tasty lunch at Trattoria di Voltaia... started off with panzanella, a bread, cucumber and tomato salad. And then I had some ravioli with a sage butter sauce. Delicious. And both things I think can be replicated when I get home (with the help of my neighbor, the pasta queen, of course). Last night's wild boar sauce, I fear, is going to be bit trickier to replicate at home.

Ok, so after lunch, we did a little wine tasting—and buying (just a couple bottles for sipping back at Sant Antonio on our little terrace). Then we wandered around town seeing the sights, taking pictures and then popping our heads into some of the shops.

Well, one ceramic shop in particular caught our attention because we could hear them playing Cat Stevens. Another small group of Americans walked up commented on the music, too. And Steve noticed that the group included Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas. He had to point this out to me because I never recognize anyone. They walked right by us and then we went into the shop to talk to the shop keeper. As we were talking Marlo Thomas came back and asked about the music. Apparently she was looking for some Italian music. So we all talked about music and Phil Donahue came up and started singing. The shop keeper gave Marlo a CD of Italian music. She wanted to pay him for it, but he refused. So, the two of them left and then the couple that they were with bought some lovely ceramics to have shipped to Marlo and Phil as a surprise. We struck up a conversation with the woman and it turns out that she has just moved to Summerland! (for those of you who are not local, Summerland is a small community, a couple minutes from Santa Barbara, where we live). Yet another of one of those 'small world' moments. The week promises to be an interesting one.

May 25, 2005

Tuscany is Beautiful


We keep having one gorgeous day after another. On Monday we went to San Quirico and to Pienza. Yesterday we rambled the day away at Montichiello and Montefollonico. It was in Montefollonico where we had the most fabulous lunch. I had one of my favorite dishes... Ribollita, and it was one of the best I have tried so far. We also had a dish of Verdure Sotto 'olio... vegetables in olive oil. They were lightly grilled and somewhat marinated in the olive oil with a delicate and delicious flavor. Steve had the Pici al Sugo, a pasta dish with a meat sauce. The handmade pici pasta are everywhere in Tuscany, they are a thick round noodle and work well with many different types of sauce.

We also had a wonderful dinner here in Montepulciano the other night. I will have to walk by and get the name because I did not write it down and it is one that I would highly recommend. The menu is all in Italian and the food is inexpensive and amazing. The proprieter is alot of fun, too. We had artichokes that had been roasted with a little cheese on top, then Steve had the ravioli (2 giant ravioli filled with a ricotta herb mixture) and I had pici with an asparagus sauce. For dessert we had a kind of fresh cheese with strawberries on top. The place was very lively and social, too. The woman next to us was a vice consul for Canada in Milan and we also met a couple on their honeymoon from Florida and another couple from Chico. We were having such a good time that we were the last to leave the place that night!

And it turns out that one of the other guests at Sant Antonio found out about it from Slow Travel, too. A couple with their little girl. They are from Paris, she is British, he is French and their delightful little girl will be completely bilingual.

Today we are off to see some Abbeys... 1 or 2 or even 3, however much we have time for. It is so relaxing here that we don't try to do too much each day. And unfortunely I don't think we are going to make it to the Tarot Garden (it's just too far to drive). But we are seeing plenty and enjoying every minute.

May 26, 2005

Quick Update


Yesterday we went to Montalcino and sampled a little Brunello wine and saw a great exhibit at the museum. And we also managed to top that by having the BEST meal of the trip in Bagno Vignoni at Osteria de Leoni. I will have to write more details later, my time is almost up here at the internet point. And tomorrow we meet fellow slow travelers at La Porta in Montichiello for lunch. It is hard to believe our week in Tuscany is coming to end, but we have had a fabulous and relaxing time. Will fill in more details later...

May 28, 2005

Sant' Antonio, we will miss you!


A week in Sant Antonio is just not enough. I think I should ask Nico to have 2 week minimum, at least when it comes to me. Because I know we will be going back. It was so relaxing and beautiful, but somehow we manged to do so much, as well. We visited quite a few towns... our laundry list: Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, Cortona, Montichielo, Montefollonico, Sinalunga, San Quirico, Bagno Vignoni, Sant' Antimo. Many were towns we had been to before on our last trip, some were new. Some favorite moments...

We saw an amazing exhibit at the Museo Civco e Diocesano. They have quite a collection of d'arte sacra (sacred art), triptychs, annunciations, crucifexes from the 1300s through the renaissance. But then they have a huge collection of modern sculpture by Giuseppe Gavazzi meandering throughout the museum and the combination is spectacular. His sculpture are mostly people, life size and some smaller.



We also tasted some Brunello in Montalcino (of course!). We tried 2 at the Enoteca la Fortezza: La Serena 200 and Argiano 1999. I preferred the 1999, but we decided not buy any because it would be just too difficult to lug around for the rest of the trip. Grappolo Blu was closed, so for lunch we ate at Ristorante Il Moro and had a very nice meal of tortellini and marinated red peppers. Later that day we also visited Sant Antimo, the abbey and it was quite lovely.

Best Meal
We stopped off at Bagno Vignoni and soaked our tired feet and then wandered through the town. We ran into Nico and asked when his restaurant opened for dinner. It was an hour and a half later, but we had no trouble filling the time with a leisurly walk around the town. The borage is blooming and I just love it—must put some in my garden.


Did you know that there is huge new hotel-spa right at the edge of town? We did not notice it last time, so I think it is very new. Not sure of the name, but it looks very swanky - it even has its own helicopter pad.


Ok, so dinner at Osteria de Leoni was by far the best meal of the trip (and we have had some very nice meals). One of Nico's partners, Edgar, recommended a couple dishes to me and I have to say, he did not steer me wrong. Antipasto was an absolutely amazing bit of puff pastry with melted cheese, tomatoes, and a type of sauteed green, like a Swiss Chard. My primo was the risotto with, brace yourself, lardo.


Yes, it sounds strange but the lardo was delicious. There were also some tomatoes and it was the most delectable risotto I have ever had. For dessert I had a semi freddo with a slight caramel crunch to it and surrounded by pear slices and edible flowers, as beautiful as it was delicious. I am just sorry that we waited until the end of the trip to eat there, because I fear we might have gone back every night!

We also met a very nice couple, Jo and Rob, who happened to be staying right next door and above the restaurant (lucky couple!) at a very nice looking B&B called Locanda del Loggiato. Rob is a fellow slow traveler, so hopefully he will write a review of it when he gets back.

On Friday we had a mini slow travel get together with Kim and her husband Chris and Kathy, Kelly and Charlie. It was so great to meet them all. We met at La Porta in Montichielo and had a very nice lunch on the terrace (breathtaking view).


I am so impressed by Kathy and her family taking off for a 14 month trip all over Europe. They are incredibly smart to do such a thing. They are just beginning a month in Tuscany and I will look forward to hearing about their adventures. Kim and Chris were unfortunately wrapping up their trip, but it sounded like they had a great time.

And who wouldn't in Tuscany? Just one beautiful drive through the countryside after another, one great meal after another. Oh, but then there's the driving. I think Steve was quite happy to get rid of the car. Driving in Italy is a little insane at times. The quiet roads of Tuscany are all very good and nice, but try driving into the middle of a hill town looking for parking. Some are a bit challenging. But we love it all the same and are sad to be moving on.

Lucky in Lucca


We drove to Lucca this morning (about 3 hours) and dropped off the car. The directions were fairly useless, but we found the drop off without any trouble once we stopped to ask. We are staying at Al Tuscany, an inexpensive and charming B&B right in the center of town that I found through Venere. It is very warm here, so after a light lunch of panzanella for me and caprese salad for Steve, we took a little siesta and now we have ventured out to explore Lucca. I think evenings in Lucca are going to be fabulous. Will write more later...

May 30, 2005

Lovely Lucca

Lucca has been absolutely lovely. It is very warm here... I guess some sort of heatwave or early summer. I am used to this time of year in Santa Barbara being gloomy and foggy, but here it is so warm that you can wear a tank top in the evening... at 10:00 at night! For those of you who are not from Santa Barbara, that is a rarity something along the order of a 100 year flood. We are managing to survive this heat with 2 key strategies. 1) The siesta. After a nice lunch with plenty of wine and water, we head back to the room for a nap until about 4:30 when it becomes lovely again. 2) Gelato. Those of you who come to Italy regularly know the soundness of this strategy. We have sampled some very nice gelato here in Lucca and my current favorite was this afternoon at Gelateria Veneto, on Via Veneto near Piazza Napoleone. The chocolate and the tiramisu were particulary tasty.


Yesterday we had a real treat. It was an exhibition of flag throwers, drums, etc. Just like all the pictures I have seen, but never seen in person. This was a competition between Lucca and 2 two other neighboring towns. They were fabulous, one of those classic pinch me I'm in Italy moments... drums, trumpets blaring, men in tights, pretty girls in medieval costumes and flags everywhere.


Today we got bicycles and rode the wall. Lucca has something fabulous that I've never seen in any other city. They turned the old fortified wall into a pleasant bike and walkway. There are great views and it is about 2 and a half miles around, so it is a pleasant bike ride.

We also stopped at the Botanic Garden where I saw a couple of great ponds. Now, I have been feeling a little homesick for my little pond and especially since Harriet wrote me and told me that our fish had babies (that will be something to look forward to when we come home). But this pond, well, this pond was in a whole other league... gorgeous waterlilies, all sorts of marginal planting, lots of BIG fish and a very nice, simple fountain, that I wouldn't mind copying. I took plenty of pictures.




We leave Lucca tomorrow. And much to Steve's dismay, we will miss Crosby, Stills and Nash, who will be playing in the Piazza Napoleone on July 6. I am also disappointed to miss Van Morrison who is playing later in month. I guess this is why they aren't making it to the Santa Barbara Bowl this summer.

Starting tomorrow, I'm not sure where we will be for a couple days. This is the part of the itinerary that we are 'winging'... we may be in Vernazza or Levanto or we may go straight to Camogli, where we will be after that. With this heat wave, the beach will be great, I just hope that not everyone else in Italy has the same idea. Luckily it is the middle of the week, so we think we will find some sort of room somewhere.

June 3, 2005

Beach Time

After leaving la-la-la Lucca, we took the train to Vernazza to see how it was and to possibly stay there for a couple nights. We did not have a reservation, but I had called someone who said to try back in case he had a no show. We had been to Vernazza a couple times before (the last time was on Sept 11, 2001) and we were not sure how much it may have changed. We arrived and when we called Guiliano, he came to meet us at the train station and took us up to his rooms, where he had a spot for us. It was almost too good to be true. A beautiful room with an big patio up above the town looking down on the ocean.


We stayed for 2 nights and it was perfect. But I have to say that Vernazza has changed. If we hadn't had such a perfect spot to stay, the crowds would have probably bothered us. There were TONS of American tourists, more restaurants and shops and it was just plain more hectic. But up on our patio, it was serene and blissful. We met some great people staying next to us, we hiked a couple of the trails, and we just relaxed. We ate plenty of seafood, but it seems to us that in general Vernazza is not quite as nice as it was when we were there before. I guess nothing stays the same. But I am very glad that we went there, we had a great experience, and we had to see the town for ourselves.

But then after just 2 nights it was on to Camogli. This is not the slow part of the trip, but it has been interesting. Camogli is such a contrast to Vernazza. There are TONS of Italian tourists and hardly an American or English speaking tourist in sight. Yesterday (Thursday) was a holiday, so the beach was packed. I have never seen anything like it. Just wall to wall sun bathers.


I guess it is just like summer. The weather sure is. Yesterday evening we sat at a small bar right on the harbor and had a drink and snacks and watched the sun set. It was one of the most beautiful moments of the trip. The town is absolutely amazing after dark. Most of the people here are daytrippers and we feel like we have it to ourselves when they all leave. Today it is yet another gorgeous sunny day. We will explore Camogli a little more today and then tomorrow we are off to Milan and then Paris. The trip is starting to come to a close.... hard to believe. But we still have a couple more days of Italia to enjoy and a lot to look forward to in Paris.

June 4, 2005

More Camogli Photos




June 5, 2005

A Quick Stop in Milan



We happened to be there during a gay rights parade.




June 6, 2005

Final Stop: Paris

We only had 5 nights in Paris, but we made the most of our time there.



At the Picasso Museum


I loved the walls of this little cafe where we ate lunch one day. The chocolate torte was memorable.

There was an Apple store right across the street from our apartment.


With our friends... best part of the whole trip!

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