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Report 834: There's No Such Thing as Too Much...Pasta and Ceramics

By Palma from California, Fall 2005

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Page 23 of 23: My Thoughts and Observations About Our Trip

photo by Palma Hansen

Il San Pietro Terrace

In some ways this was one of our best trips ever. Certainly it was the most extravagant! It was also a three-week over-the-top shopping spree (which I regret NONE of!) Jan and Les are used to and prefer top of the line accommodations. We usually have a little more balance between more moderate hotels and a splurge or two along the way. Though I certainly enjoyed the service, amenities and luxury surroundings (I dream about those Quisisana thousand count damask bordered sheets!), there were times I wished I had been in my jeans and tennis shoes, with less luggage and the need for fewer accessories like many other comfortable American tourists!

Another observation is that on our last two trips we have traveled with another couple. While it has been great to be with people we enjoy, and have others to share the excitement of planning and pleasureof each of the travel days, it does put us in the role of tour guide and prevents some of the spontaneity Brad and I enjoy. We are fairly energetic and love to explore. We did have some days and evenings where we were off by ourselves, and that is when we are most likely to meet other people, (travelers or locals) and chat or practice speaking our limited Italian. We do less of that when we are with friends.

I was also very new to Slowtravel when we planned this trip. Though I got some great advice on restaurants, just before leaving, I didn't have time to take advantage of all of the resources on this site. I look forward to planning our next trips to Italy with the wealth of experience available here.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Chianti scenery
  • Visiting L’Olmo and returning to Pienza
  • Cortona
  • The finiculare ride in Gubbio
  • Our view in Positano
  • Singing and dancing in the street at Café Positano
  • Ceramic-o-rama!
  • My bell of Capri.

FAVORITE MEALS:

  • Most gourmet/exquisite presentation: Il Gallopapa (Castillina)
  • Best food: Il Canto di Maggio (Penna)
  • Most Fun: Café Positano
  • Most beautiful dinner: Le Sirenuse
  • Best Lunches: La Taverna di Lupo in Gubio and La Toppa in San Donato
  • Most beautiful lunch: Il Falconiere (Cortona).

My next trip to Italy in May 2006 will be very different. I will visit my Italian-American friend, Ida, at her house in a tiny town northeast of Bagni di Lucca called Vico Pancellorum. She speaks Italian fluently and has lots of relatives in the area. We will take a three-night excursion to southern Tuscany, as she has never visited Cortona, Pienza, or Montalcino, and wants to see them with me. There will be no hotels, (except our three night stay in L’Olmo) and I will definitely bring jeans and comfortable warm clothes for her mountain weather. There will be shopping, but I will behave.

My next trip with Brad will be in July, 2007, when we return to Chianti, Florence, southern Tuscany and Umbria. We are going to try to "slow down" our travel!

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