All posts tagged: Italy

The Cinque Terre

Two years ago as part of a nine week trip we spent five days with friends in the Cinque Terre, one of the most spectacular slices of paradise in Italy you are ever likely to see. “The Five Lands” comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the time I took plenty of photos, but never did them justice in the editing suite until now, courtesy of migrating over to Lightroom and its amazing bunch of sliders that transform the images from dull to vibrant. So, here’s a revisit. We stayed in the old town section of Monterosso al Mare which was a great place to base yourself, being the largest village with plenty of good accommodation and plenty of choices for both food and drink. It also had the only beach which was much sort after, all the prime positions having been reserved weeks in advance! …

a quick reminisce before the next trip…

Before we head off again next week to see some of Spain, Portugal & France…here are a few photos from our last trip. Hopefully with another two years practise, and some fancier gear, the shots will be better, and will tell the story of our time away.      Notre Dame will be visited again, and I’m pretty sure we’ll see another of France’s iconic vehicles!               The cafe scene in Paris, to the stunning light show in Reims. One of the highlights, ballooning over Burgundy. Pompeii was breathtaking, a must visit if you’re anywhere near.       There’s quite the art to walking on the beach in Amalfi, and a lot of walking in Rome.                     A strategically placed Vespa in Assisi, and a misplaced Boar in Chianti. In one of the most wicked “butchers/deli’s ever!!     The rugged splendour of the Cinque Terre, and the majestic beauty of Lake Como.      Venice, before the madness …

Uffizi and beyond.

Uffizi and beyond. Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Our day started with a visit to the Galleria degli Uffizi. Our plan was to get there early so as to avoid the torrent of tourist buses/cruise ships. We joined the relatively small queue but had to jump ship as the PDF Voucher on our phone would not download in time before it was our turn. Back in the queue with Voucher downloaded and we were away. Tickets in hand we then joined another relatively small queue to enter the museum and just beat a group of Japanese tourists by the slimmest of margins. All going to plan beautifully. The building of the Uffizi was first a palace begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de’ Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates — hence the name “uffizi” (“offices”). Over the years, further parts of the palace evolved into a display place for many of the paintings and sculpture collected by the Medici family or commissioned by them. The gallery had been open to visitors …

Nude & Food

Nude & Food Florence, Italy Florence, Italy Today we are doing something different and taking a food tour, “nude & food” so called ‘cos we meet at the Galleria dell’ Accademia which houses “David”. Everyone’s seen pictures of Michelangelo’s statue of a nude David, slingshot ready to slay Goliath, but until you see him in the flesh, or should I say ‘marble’, it’s not hard to see why everyone loves this iconic piece of art. He is 17 feet tall, standing on a platform 6ft high, so he is very imposing. The girls seem to be quite enamoured by his…um, his…. physique!?? The tour group comprises 12 intrepid souls from Canada, USA, Russia, England and Australia, plus our wonderful guide, Sam. Sam is a native Florentine married to a Kiwi, so there goes half the joke package! As long as we don’t have to try any Sauv Blanc! The tour was terrific, lots of laughs, good conversation, and plenty of great food and wine. We started at David, then headed off for coffee and pastries …

Damn sunglasses!

Florence, Italy Florence. Time to pack up and leave our lodgings in Cavriglia for Florence, but not before another visit to our new favourite butcher in Greve. On the way to said slaughter house we bypassed to the tiny hamlet of Volpaia, an 11th century fortress town high in the hills of Chianti. Lovely town, but our bovine shop awaits As I navigated our journey through the winding roads of the Chianti, my brand new mirrored sunglasses just snapped at the bottom of the rim. Devastated, cannot believe a €30 pair of sunglasses only lasted a week. Obviously too aggressive on the corners with my driving. Time for a decent pair, as these cheap sunnies are starting to add up!! I digress, our old friend Cleve recommended checking put the dried pigs penis riding stock at the butchers, who could resist? But sadly we could not find one! Seriously, this shop is so great it was sad to have to head off to Florence, but head off we did, sans GPS. Eventually we had to …

Another hot day…

Tuscany, Italy Another hot day in the Tuscan sun that started with a run up and down the hills in searing heat. Straight into the swimming pool after the run so as to avoid heat exhaustion, and to give the body a jolt back to normalcy. With that done we got ourselves ready and headed into Siena. This town is a lot bigger than we had anticipated, and being amongst the tourist groups again, was an indication of what crowds we were in for. Grabbed a copy of the local map, which of course set us back €1, nothing for free when tourists are involved, and set off to explore Siena. The map was a relic of ye olde days and looked like it had been drawn using crayons, but managed to get us through. The main road Banchi Di Sotto, was packed with tourists and lined with the ever increasing popular souvenir shops, suffice to say this was going to be a quick visit for Hughy and I. We walked to the local Duomo …