And Many Other Places in Italy



The St. Francis of Assisi Cathederal with manger scene for Christmas





Looking for goodies - Assisi sweets shop




Porto Ercole - Monte Argentario Island

Looking north





Looking southeast





From our hotel room terrace on the Island




Castelnouvo di Garfagnana

This neat town is about an hours drive north from our home in Benabbio. Well worth a visit.





The ancient fountain just outside the castle gate





Inside the walls are many streets of shopping, eating and surprises





One surprise was this music academy in which a chamber music quartet was playing exquisite music that flowed out along the streets.





A series of streets were used for marketing goods from antiques to food





Beautiful strolling along every street




An important stop to purchase some of their local vintage





Located just across the bridge from Venice, Mestre is more than just a cheaper hotel room. It is a hidden gem of its own, with beautiful city center and great shopping and resturants. Venice is a fifteen minute, one Euro bus ride away.




A covered shopping arcade.





Located in the extreme northeast corner of Italy, Trieste is not on the typical tourist trail. Until the First World War Trieste was part of Austria, and its port city. As such, it was one of the wealthiest ports in Europe. Since 1920 it has been an Italian city and until the end of the Second World War was the center of Facist and Nazi activity and expansionist plots. It is now a sleepy town with some magnificent archicture.













Centro Storical (Historic Center of the city)





The hometown of Leonardo (di Vinci) is a small village on top of a rolling hill in some beautiful olive and grape country. This is the view from a great restaurant that we all agreed serves the world's best french fries. Superb.





Abbi on the terrace of the Leonardo Museum.





Vinci countryside





Karl figures out how this machine works. Inside the museum. Great displays and scale models of many of Leonardos designs.





Edith and the Earth, on the museum grounds.





We are always the last ones out of the restaurant, after three hours of feasting, fries and all.. The local wine? Leonardo, of course.





Courtyard just inside the castle entrance to Bolgheri. This small village about three miles from the ocean in south west Tuscany is the home of the "Super Tuscan" wine that is now rated as the best red wine in the world. It is spectacularly good. But very expensive.




This village has only one road which makes a loop around several blocks. The village has a population of only about 500 persons. The road is lined with shops and great restaurants selling the magnificent wine.





One of many shops selling wine , bread and pasta.





Lunch in one of the restaurants - great food, and even greater wine.




Forte di Marmi


Forte di Marmi is a wealthy town on the Italian Riveria. The major buildings are architecturally significant examples from the past three hundred years.





Once a week it has a famous street market.





Really good bargains.





There is a marble exibition in the center of town. Marble is the major industry here.





This is the whole scene.





The great sidewalk restaurants are everywhere in this area. We chose the one center left for a really great lunch.






This small town guards the entrance to the harbor of La Spezia, home of the Italian Navy. Portoveniere is also the launching site for boat rides/tours to the Cinque Terra.


































Cinque Terra


Heading out on a tour boat from La Spezia, rounding the point of Portovenere





The village of Manarola





Village of Riomaggiore





Village of Vernazza





More Vernazza




Vernazza cat










Boveglio is the next village east of our home village of Benabbio. It is on the mountain road that provides a shortcut to the autostrada when we head east towards Florence, Bologna and Venice. At Christmas Boveglio provides this striking visual by projecting the shadow of the statue of Christ onto the church tower. It can be seen from several miles away as we climb up the mountain. Sort of a spooky welcome home.



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