Italy was an adventure! Genova is breathtaking...a challenging community clinging to the cliffs of mountains on the edge of the meditteranean sea....we spenta week there - about three days it was sun shiney and one beautiful day we walked along the edge of the world taking in the sights of rugged cliffs and the incredibly beautiful water...it was the coolest color! Deep green blues...clear as crystal....GORGEOUS! If you give me your address i will send you one of the post cards i picked up. We spent a week in Genova meeting the team working there - they are just getting settled in and each family/single took us for a day or two and showed us around the city. the public transportation in Europe is wonderful and after getting use to the technique i so enjoyed it....and it is so feasible being like $2 a day to get on and off trains, busses and subways...the history of the cathedrals and piazza's(sp?), the cobblestone streets, the archectiture and way of life there is cool. I enjoyed going to the grocery store...all the cheeses and breads and meats...wonderfully unique and fresh! That area is known for it's pesto and specialty bread....yummm-O! We did LOTS of walking the whole time....
After Genova we headed towards Rome but on our journey there we stopped overnight in a town called Modena...it was beautiful as well, really refreshing! it was much more flat and easier to walk around the town square - we stayed in a gal's flat that lived right in the old part of downtown...and we enjoyed walking about the old streets and found a delicious pizza place, it was more like american pizza but we liked the price and the pizza!!! The lights were beautiful for Christmas and the next morning i learned not to sit down in a cafe as they charge you for just sitting down! (i was having a cappuccino of course but it was not worth the extra charge!).
We arrived in Rome in a bustle! Having no one meeting us there, we had the initial challenge of finding our hotel. I made our reservations in a place very close to the terminal...so it was not far but when you arrive in a busy train station and in busy streets, it is quite the exhilaration orienting yourself and finding your destination! I found it w/ out too much trouble and all in all it was fun for me - but mom and dad were challenged as they had heavy suitcases...i had my large backpack - so i was more versatile...mom is a little slow wobbler! :-) Like a little duck...i am so glad she came along for the adventure!
We purchased tour bus tickets in Rome - it took us all around to 11 hot spots in Rome and you could get on and off as you liked, explore and then grab the next tour bus on the circle...it was great! We saw all the old ruins and the colosseum, we toured the Vatican and by the end of 48 hours, we knew our way around Rome pretty well! We wanted to see the Appian way and the catacombs but didn't make that...the rain and lack of clear directions hampered that leg of our adventure....so next time! Dad found that McDonalds was the cheapest place to eat... i had more mcdonald's than i have had in ten years...we did eat a few times other places but it was pretty pricey. Grocery stores helped lots....definitely the way to go!
After Rome we departed for Pisa, our final destination...unfortunately....we learned why Italy is known for pick-pocketers...Dad's wallet got picked as we loaded the train...and it was in his front pocket! That was a real bummer....but very exciting as they stopped the whole train just for us, as we reported it and the police came and investigated the suspect we pointed out....it got the heart beating faster that is for sure....we spent more time in the Pisa police station trying to communicate all that happened....in the end, i was thankful to have about 25 Euro's in my pocket that helped us get to our hotel.
We were deflated a bit from that event but dad and i wanted to see the Leaning Tower...we had time as we planned to arrive early just to take in the sites in Pisa...thank goodness the busses are cheap and we didn't have to take a taxi...we got some great pic's of the Tower and got back to our hotel...i picked up some more coffee - cheap in italy - one of the few things that is a bargain - in the grocery store just down from our hotel....and then we were on our way home Jan. 7.
24 hours later, we were happy to be at Gr-ma's house in Minneola...!! As soon as i can download the pictures from dads camera, i will post pictures from our trip! Though i TRIED to get in front of the camera as much as i could ... dad has a habit of taking pic's of every angle of whatever he finds interesting! lol....i settled for the postcards! :-)
Hows that for a review? I came home w/ some new cooking ideas...i did learn to make a wonderful cappicinno!