I'm stealing Jerry's idea of a top 10 list from our recent trip to Italy.
1. Dinner at Agata and Romeo in Rome...exquisite!
2. THE POPPIES! Oh my goodness, I love Italy in May. The first time we visited Tuscany in May was 2003, and I bet I made Brad pull over 100 times, and took hundreds of photos. I have a whole guest room in my house devoted to poppies!
3. Wine bars in Rome. We had so much fun eating and drinking at Cul de-Sac and Vinando in Rome. Rome at night is magical anyway. Our first evening in Piazza Navona just brought me to tears, it was so beautiful with a full moon, a glass of wine, and the person you love!
3. Coffee Bars: I had the best coffee of my life in Rome. LOTS of it!
4. Hanging out with my friends in Montisi. DUH!
Jerry and Paul travel a lot like Brad and I . They are up and out early, like to keep busy, eat well, and are lots of fun. OK, maybe they go to sleep earlier than we do.
Sandi and Holly (and a few days of Rick) were wonderful villa mates.: thoughtful, funny, helpful, and fun. It is so lovely to see what close sisters Sandi and Holly are. They share everything, and really enjoy each other.
Of course, Gail and John were the whole reason we were there. I spent lots of breaks outside with John in a smoking area. You can certainly see Gail loves Montisi and her friends in town. She is happy and relaxed when sipping wine with guests, playing with Liz, or down at Roberto's after dinner. I'm sure her next groups will pale in comparison with our lively crowd!
5. Volpetti's cheese shop. Everything for me usually comes back to food. This place is a dream come true.
6. Our neighborhood in Rome and Campo dei Fiori: The Rome-is-Home apartment was a perfect place to spend time in Rome. It was convenient to everything, centrally located, and in a beautiful little neighborhood on Via Chiavari. There was a wonderful bar for coffee right on our corner, and wonderful food (both shops and restaurants) just steps away. We were a less than a 5 minute walk from the Campo dei Fiori. I am missing the busy morning market, the middle of the day calm, and the evening energy.
7. Orvieto and San Gimignano: During our hectic week in Montisi, we enjoyed our two getaways and some alone time. the shopping was great too! (Shopping blog coming soon...) Here is a charming window in Orvieto.
8. Painting (scroll back to yesterday's blog)
9. "The Unofficial Angels and Demons Tour" with Tony da Roma:
This was a wonderful way to spend a few hours, and we now understand why it is the "unofficial tour". Tony gives the "real scoop" and shows the inaccuracies and false impressions in dan Brown's book at locations all over ancient Rome.
10. COOKING: I've written a lot about this already, shown photos and shared recipes.
There were some challenges, but it was so much fun! I logged in 49 kitchen hours, and Brad was right behind me with 40. We survived, and learned that food costs LESS in Italy to eat well! Oh for a trip to the COOP for my company this weekend!
Just for fun, I asked Brad to write me his top 10 list. He hadn't seen mine.
2.Agata & Romeo
4.Time with Slow Travel friends
6. Going off with the ballooners and watching them prepare and take off.
7. The Italian butchers we met in Rome and Trequanda
8. Our afternoon in San Gimignano
9. The wine he drank at Apollonia
10. The Angels and Demons Tour