From Pisa we drove to the small town of Montalcino in Val d’Orcia Tuscany, part of a World Heritage Site for Humanity. Montalcino is named after an oak tree variety that once covered the mountainous area around the town. It’s also the center of over too producers of the famous Brunello di Montalcino wine. We stayed for three nights at the Palazzina Cesira (Via Soccorso Saloni, 2, 53024 Montalcino SI, Italy). The Cesira is a bed and breakfast run by Robert, an Italian/American and his wife, Lucilla. Lucilla was a little under the weather but we did enjoy the company of Robert, also an accomplishedRead More →

We didn’t want to miss Pisa on the way down to Tuscany, but only managed a half day there, enough time to battle the crowds in the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) and stroll down Via Santa Maria to the Arno River and back.   Walking through Largo Griffi Cocco passing the Ebraico Cemetery, one passes through throngs of tourist junk vendors and some performance artists. Noticed these two ‘mystics’ doing their thing. Quite startling at first glance until it became obvious how they did it.   The Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of Pisa), is a beautiful structure built between 1152 and 1363,Read More →

From Verona, we drove a short 100 kilometers to Modena, Italy to stay a couple days with a friend and her son from Grima’s school days in Chile. It was a treat for Grima to meet Mara after more than 40 years and get to know her son, Dany, who showed us around Modena.   One nice thing about having a car in Italy rather than taking trains or busses, is that we can choose to serendipitously travel and stop in places one normally wouldn’t see. Such was this yellow silo type structure in a field of yellow.   Mara, Dany and Grima on aRead More →

Italy – People of Verona We were in Verona only a couple days. The second night we went to the old town and wandered up the Via Pellicciai to the Piazza Erbe, where we sat down for gelato on the Via Cappello. Had a wonderful time people watching.     The older couple window gazing…   The young couple stealing a kiss…   The family also enjoying their gelato   And the cell phones… God, the cell phones. Everywhere, and starting out young! Earlier in the day we sat down for lunch at a cozy outdoor cafe and a couple with their son and daughterRead More →

Burano is the second isle that we visited and is famous for fine lace and multi-colored houses. The island became known for lacemaking by needle in the 16th century that today would be prohibitively expensive. But the tradition of lacemaking continues with more modern methods, providing an enormous variety of beautiful lace products. The story about the multi-colored houses recounts that it was to help fishermen recognize home when returning from sea. Today house colors are regulated by the local government.   Leaving Murano in route to Burano   Burano is much further out from Venice than Murano – so much longer at sea. ButRead More →

A wonderful thing about travel is you get to meet such nice and interesting people. Here are a few we met in Venice.     Ok, I admit it. We had lunch in the Hard Rock Cafe, but there was a cloud-burst and this was the closest shelter. On the plus side, we met Lauren and Bradley, a very nice couple from the UK.   La Canapiglia in Campo S. Maurizio – San Marco 2604, Venice. This is the artist who paints the masks hanging behind them. Super talented. If you’re in Venice, be sure to go by his shop.   In the Campo SantoRead More →

I’m a people watcher, and it’s especially interesting when traveling to come across folks that represent the area we’re in. Here are some of the folks that caught my attention in Venice.   On our very first Vaporito ride from the parking garage to Piazza San Marco, spotted this lovely lady and immediately felt transported back to what I imagined it was like in ‘Movies’ Venice. Shades of Audrey Hepburn.   I’m always curious about oddities that may make an interesting image so spotted a rusted pipe with little spikes coming out, so spent some time doing some close-ups. This fellow was watching what IRead More →

They say the Gasparilla Parade is the third largest in the U.S. and I believe them. It went on and on and on… Thought it would never end. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it though, along with thousands of other revelers. Enjoy a snippit of images from this year’s event.     So, more to come. Love to hear what you have to say about our travels.Read More →

We were lucky to be in Tampa during the Gasparilla Festival before departing for the Miami Everglades. We were also lucky to have a neighbor in the Tampa East RV park who also worked part time with the Tampa police force. He was able to get us parking close to the convention center so it was a short walk along West Platt Street for good views of the incoming invasion. What a sight – hundreds of watercraft in Seddon Channel escorting an amazing pirate ship filled to the top sails with pirates. It took a good amount of time from our first sight of theRead More →