Italy vacation thread

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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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    That's the view from where you park the cars, just below the house.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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    When you come for a visit, you never leave empty handed, as the generous neighbors provided. They also provided the Pomadoro Tomatoes for that Brushetta pic I posted earlier. Now this is the Italy I crave....
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    edited September 2016
    By the way, a few posts up, that pic of my wife sitting with her 2 aunts. Notice that stuff growing out of the wall behind her ?

    I ask her uncle, Ricardo, what is this stuff, has little berries on it. Never seen anything like it. He tells me they are edible but only the little ones, not the big ones. So....I eat one. Ricardo has a smile on his face....you like ? Eh, it's ok, nothing to write home about. He says..."you will", and walks away.

    Now, when an old Italian says stuff like that, you have to wonder if you should be glued to a toilet somewhere waiting, or have your last will and testament all lined up. Add to the fact, I'm in an area nobody is ever going to find you, and I'm starting to wonder if the wife had a previous arrangement. Sure....come with me to Italy, up in the mountains, meet the family, don't worry we'll have a gas.

    Well Ricardo was right. 20 minutes later I had a rock hard Johnson. I was stuffing those frickin' berries in my pockets for later. The wife saw me and says, wtf are you doing ? Oh, Ricardo wanted me to pick some for him. Holy banana's Batman, this stuff worked better than Viagra.....and it grows out of the frickin' walls up there.

    I love Italy.....

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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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    One more from Rome.....you do know that's a giant p e n i s your laying on....right ?
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  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,563
    Awesome vacation.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    edited September 2016
    We also visited the town's cemetery which is obviously small. Small because people only die every 90 or so years up there. All filled with her family, and marriages with people from the same town.

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    Believe it or not, it was a good place to visit when searching out your family roots. Puts things into focus. I asked her aunt, because we were so high up in the mountains, "Did the ****'s make it all the way up here during the war ? " I asked because I saw a lot of war time deaths on grave markers.

    She said yes, in the few small villages on that mountain, they lost over 500. She also told me they would throw babies and small children off the side of the mountain for fun. She started to cry as she told me this. Hard to react to something like that, all I could do was hug her.
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  • Jesus Tony, What a trip! Can you make it through Customs with a sack of those magic berries?
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    Jesus Tony, What a trip! Can you make it through Customs with a sack of those magic berries?

    Dude.....you have no idea. I couldn't get an open bottle of Coke thru customs. Rat bastages.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    Btw....that drip you see on the label of that wine.....it's not wine. It's a tear from my eye because it was fantastic to begin with.....and it cost only 30 euros.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    edited September 2016
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    Why....is that a sausage in your pocket ? Well of a matter of fact, it is indeed. Just a few wieners from a food fare in Florence. For a guy like me, I could have dove naked over that counter.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    Well, it was time to say goodbye to the family, catch the train to the last leg of the trip. We had planned to save the best for last, sort of a work up to it as we toured Italy.

    Cinque Terra....considered the Italian Riviera , rivaled only by the Amalfi coast in the south. What a place.....our Hotel was in Porto Venere, which is the place all the boats run out of and is considered the 6th town of the Cinque Terra region. You can see from the previous pics I posted, our view from the room and that it's no slouch of a town either. Originally, we wanted to stay in Monterosso, but they were all booked up and we made plans for hotel rooms 3 months in advance. So beware, if you plan a trip there, a good hotel is a must, expensive, and has to be planned well in advance. My Hotel in Porto Venere, nice as it was, private balcony.....550 a night.

    Now, each town deserves a day, however I didn't have a week to spend in the region. If there is one town you have to see of all of them, let it be Monterosso. Taking the boat from Porto Venere, you'll stop at all the cities along the way for photo opps, but stay on the boat until Monterosso. That's where you want to spend a day or 2. Food shopping....beaches, you have it all and some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. If you don't have time for dinner at Porto Rocco, eat lunch there. The boat ride from where I was at to Monterosso is only about 20-30 minutes depending on how many stops you make along the way. You can take a train or bus too, but believe me....you'll want to take the boat. Another word of caution, the last boat to leave Monterosso to bring you back is at 5:30, so don't make dinner reservations at 7:30. Found that out the hard way.....and luckily caught the mistake early enough.

    From the boat, you'll see even smaller towns, on cliffs, steep mountain sides with vineyards....roads at 45 degree angles. You have to wonder, should I have ordered something from Amazon just to screw with them. How do these people get anything ? You can hike the trails in between towns too, but by the time you reach the next town, you'll be tired and each town warrants more walking. So unless you have lots of time, take the boat....it's fairly cheap too.

    This was our crown jewel of the trip, and we both had our jaws on the ground most the time in amazement. Pics don't do it justice, it's something you have to see for yourself. Be warned though, once you see it, you'll be trying to figure out how you can live there. The food is amazing, the wine cheap and also very good, dog friendly everywhere, shopping galore.....and beaches. Gelato is a given anywhere. Monterosso is actually 2 cities in one. One side is the older part of the city, the other side is the newer. Both offer up anything you desire. Enough blabbering, here are some pics of just Monterosso, maybe a few from the boat trip getting there also.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    edited September 2016
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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    BTW....That is a DHL driver....in Italy. lol
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    I'll wrap this up later with the good, the bad, and the ugly of this trip. Later....
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,717
    Ok, lets start with the good.....

    Obviously the food, wine, culture and historical aspects. Scenery, digging into family roots, meeting a few you never have before. Really makes you process your life and re-think how you live it. I simply can't say enough about the quality of the food, wine, Gelato.

    Their train system is top notch. Really, if your into touring the country, use the train system. Most stations have help desks and people who speak at least a little English to help you with tickets. All have automatic ticket machines too and at the bottom you can choose the language you desire. Be aware though too with these machines as some only take cash, while others take cash and credit card. The one's that take CC's require you to use the pin number associated with that card so have it with you or simply use cash. The train system is fairly cheap too, offers 1st and 2nd class, with one car dedicated to eats. Yes, you can enjoy a fresh brewed Cappuccino on your ride. All have big windows to view the countryside as you go by. Ample room even in 2nd class and places to store luggage, back packs, etc.

    Very dog friendly place and people actually pick up after their dogs and train them...go figure. They know if they abuse the privilege they'll lose it. Dogs are allowed on trains, busses, boats, outside eatery's.

    Customer service in most Hotels are top notch. They can arrange most anything for you from making reservations, train schedules, calling taxi's, airport info. Most everywhere you go has wifi too. The Capo D Africa in Rome was most helpful when we had problems with our tours we scheduled. Incidentally, the Capo D Africa stands for the captains of Africa and was built on the grounds where the African gladiators trained.

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