Beautiful sights big and small in the Italian lakes!
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How is that for a hiking trail? This section is on the trail linking the 5 towns of the Cinque Terra in Italy. Back and forth down we went for a very long time. It didn’t matter – the views were incredible! Turquoise water with the charming town below. This is not strenuous hiking by any means. If you are a die-hard hiker you might be disappointed here. You are not out in the middle of nowhere nor are you walking any great distance. But you are walking time-worn paths amid ancient olive groves and grape vines. This is hiking for pure pleasure, any exercise you get is an afterthought. And the pizza, pesto and farinata at day’s end ain’t bad either! In October, 2011, this area was devastated by horrible downpours of rain that caused flooding and mudslides. Thankfully, the trail has been rebuilt and reopened and many people are still working to restore the hillsides and to build better water drainage systems. This area is too wonderful to lose!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
This morning with a temperature of 10º F outside and steel gray skies above I trip through my pictures of Rome.
I remember walking through the streets and marveling at how it was hard to tell we were outside. The air was so still and warm.
It was November! It was about 65º F most days and the Italians were walking around all decked out in heavy winter wear. Yes, boots, parkas, hats, scarves, gloves!
I could use a little Rome right about now.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
In Rome you will be immersed in the ancient. And then you will be smack up against the here-and-now when you enter one of these contemporary design shops! Italy is known for excellent contemporary design and to walk through these shops is a visual treat. The contrast of the old and new is a nice break for the eyes.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
You might walk right by this sculpture fragment known as the Belvedere Torso, but it was known as a favorite of Michelangelo himself. It likely dates to the 2nd century BC and who it depicts is unknown. The powerful musculature, though, was studied and incorporated into other works by many artists over the centuries.
It gives me a feeling a bit like time travel to be right there in the same space as this piece of marble that was so inspirational to Michelangelo. Legend has it when the Pope asked him to remake the limbs and head he said, “No, it is too beautiful to alter.” One wonders if this response was truthful in sentiment or a way to wiggle out of an unpleasant job!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Being claustrophobic I didn’t know how I would do climbing the many steps to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The walls curve in and they actually become narrower as you go! I had to try, though, how often does one get to Rome?
What most amazed us was the coffee shop on the roof where we enjoyed an espresso! Everything at St. Peter’s is enormous, so we shouldn’t have been surprised by an entire coffee shop on the roof or the fact that the roof we walked on seemed like a street complete with buildings of its own.
The view is magnificent owing to the ordinance that no building in Rome can be higher than the Vatican dome. It was a very blue sky and perfect day for the climb.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Cairns in the Dolomite Mountains of Italy are different than other places I’ve been. The stones are blockier, it seems to me. Here is a big field of them built over time, I’m sure, by many, many hikers.
It was hard not to stop and spend some time looking at these many small sculptures. I really, really wanted to make one too. But, alas, we could not take the time to play here on this day. Sigh.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I know, it makes a nice place
to sit right down
and look at me with your wistful eyes.
You ARE pretty sweet,
coming and going
into and out of the shop.
And stopping to greet me in this funny way.
What’s your name?
White Devil!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
This is the Sistine Chapel from the outside. It’s pretty plain considering the treasure inside. I had recently read Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. This was right before seeing it with my own eyes and the book really brought it to life for me. I love Ross King’s books! I often read one right before or during a trip when I’ll be seeing the very things he is telling about. Here is a very cool website where you can navigate your way through the whole room and inspect anything close up without the crowds: Sistine Chapel. Enjoy the beauty and the mesmerizing music – a great little computer escape!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
The couple that got out of it were like rock stars. People swarmed around snapping photos and asking them questions. They were very gracious. I’m sure they are used to the attention.
It’s the funniest thing how the whole front of the car opens and that’s the only door! The steering wheel actually has to pivot with the door. That’s the little motor there above and to the right of the back wheel. It sounded like a lawn mower when they pulled up!
You do see the most interesting things while traveling!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
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