Embarrassingly, this trip was over two months ago now… too many guests and fun times to catch up, but I will plug away.
We said goodbye to Rocky after a fun week in Ireland with Kim and Rocky, then Kim and I jumped a plane for Bologna. It was a quick flight and a slow train ride to Ravenna, where we got to stay at Kim’s friend, Jackie’s lovely villa for a few days. Kim’s friends, Kate and Diane had already arrived and we stayed up late chatting and eating Jackie’s delicious cotoletta. It was a late start the next morning, but Jackie dropped her kids off with their grandmother, so we could have a full Ladies’ day of wining, dining, and shopping. We drove up to Tuscany for the day.
This is the little town where we stopped for lunch, San Piero in Bagno:
An old village in the middle of the beautiful Tuscany countryside:
A road side winery:
The damage at the end of the day:
The next day, we toured the incredible town of Ravenna. Ravenna is in the Emilia-Romana region of Italy on the Adriatic coast of Italy, south of Venice. The town was has been the capital of the western Roman Empire, the capital of the Ostrogothic kingdom, and the seat of the Byzantine government in Italy. It has also been occupied by the Lombards and sacked by the French… so their is a lot of history and relics of multiple cultures. The town is pretty much paved with incredible mosaics. From the sound of it, every time they go to build a foundation for some new structure they find thousand-year-old mosaics buried in the ground. Hence it is the sight of eight UNESCO World Heritage sights! I think in the US, they would just close off the whole town. Here, the past is a part of the everyday life and Jackie’s daughter was even able to bring her scooter into San Vitale, a 1500 year old church!
She moves too fast for me to get a good picture. Here are some pictures of the mosaics:
Here are some pictures of the outside:
These mosaics are in an out building:
We also visited the National Museum next door. Here are some highlights:
We had one more lovely day in Ravenna, touring the historical sights (and shopping), then Kim and I were off again for an afternoon in Bologna. The leaning tower of Bologna (yup, Pisa is not alone)
A chastity belt for wine (I think we need one of these)?
The next morning we took a high speed train to Milan and slow speed train to Lake Como. Our first views of the lake and the Alps in the background.
The view from our hotel room in Argegno!
We spend the next couple days hiking around from village to village in the incredible countryside (and of course eating delicious food and drinking fabulous wine). Here are some highlights:
We made it up to Pigra, a mountain top village, that seemed largely abandoned and took a tram back down to Argegno.
We had an adventure the last day, as we tried to navigate the Italian bus system with our limited Italian and zero idea of where we going. We somehow made it to Bellagio for the afternoon before turning around and ferry, bus, ferry, train into Milan for our last night.
It was a bit windy.
But, don’t worry, we found some wine.
Kim was off early the next morning, back to reality after a lovely break. The fun was not over for me though! I jumped on a plane later that afternoon for Santander, Spain for a few days of exploring with my husband!
Wow – so gorgeous. Your travel 2014 map is getting nicely filled in!