Back to

italy, again.


Santa Margarhita


Siena – Palio

Go early.  To get a decent spot in the campo, you have to be staked out by 1pm.  Find a spot where you can hold onto the rail, as close to the finish, or the left of the finish (the good side) as you can, because when they close it at 4:30pm, the crowds will surge periodically, and you must have something to hold onto, as it’s a serious incline for standing 7 or so hours.  But very worth it. 

Also, lunch at Da Trombicche was an adventure.  They wouldn’t let in any tourists on Palio day, but we lucked out, and got in.  So nice. 

Amazing food, once again.  A total find.  Ask for the vin santo made by their grandfather.  It’s really good.

Cinque Terre

Best Food:  Corniglia.  Gnocci that made my friend cry, it was so good.  Stay in Vernazza once, but really, Corniglia is the bomb. 

And not many tourists.  Walk the trails really early, too.  And then drink the chilled local white wine

(6 euros, and outstanding with the grilled white fish for three Euros) with lunch, and have a long nap before walking it back.


Elba is a bit of a trek, but once you’re there, it’s an amazingly beautiful island.  Rent a scooter, and drive it everywhere.  100km in a day – a total blast.


Awesome city.  Need 10 days just to see some of it.  Walk it and then walk it some more.  Oh, and rent a scooter there to, go to Via Appia, to see the catacombs,

the villas, sit down in a field to view Rome as it was 3000 years ago, and check out the

Circus Maximus.  It seated 240,000 people.  We have never done that in modern times.


Villa Borghese – 3 Caravagios, and the Bernini is not real.  It’s a mirage.

Capitaline Museum – 3 Caravagios


One day in Rome, I walked the following:

Santa Maria Maggiore - the best mosaics (2.9)

 Church of Santa Prassede – (2.8)

Santa Prudenzianna – (2.10)

Lunch on the Via Delle Quattro Fontane, just across the street from where V.S. Vitale meets with it.  Great little bar.  Best lunch food.

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane “San Carlino” – tiny church by Borromini (3.5)

Sant’Andrea al Quirinale – tiny church by Bernini (3.4)

Barbarini Palace – Galleria Nazionale d’arte Antica – the place is falling apart but make sure you go to the upstairs apartments,

and when in the back section ask the guide to point out where the Barbarini family live now…

“What the barbarians didn’t do to Rome, the Barbarini did.” (3.7) – 2 Caravagios

Il Pincino parc along Viale Trinitina del Monti/D’annunzio (near 3.6)

Dali Exhibit behind Santa Maria Del Popolo

Santa Maria Del Popolo – (4.11) – 2 Caravagios

San Luigi dei Francesi – (6.18) 3 Caravagios

Granita con panna (the only decent one I could find in Roma, at the Panthenon on V.D. Panthenon) – almond and espresso mixed


Streetcar to Avetine

Avetine to Parco Savelli – (9.1) – one of the best views in Roma

Santa Sabina – cool church with beautiful floor (9.2) and don’t forget the back garden…

Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta – a secret view (9.3)

Walk to Trastevere down a hidden path, to Alimentari on Via D. Lungaretta 31, for the best hazelnut biscotti you will ever eat, and the best bressola ever

Tiber bridges - (7.1)

Cesar’s neighborhood around Piazza Monte Savello

Drink at Da Pancrazio – where Cesar was killed (7.16)

Rooftop restaurant, with 360 degrees of sunset over Rome, Hotel Raphael.

All in one day.  One of the best days there.  About 12 miles, but it was 85 degrees, and if you keep going into churches to see the art, or stopping now and then, it’s really a perfect day.


Around every bend there is something in Rome that is so amazing, you think, that’s it, there can’t be any more.  And then the next block has another one of those.