“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” –Anna Akhmatova
I’m still pinching myself wondering if these past two weeks really just happened. It was seriously that good.
I had full intentions of blogging each day about our adventures, but I was too consumed with drinking in every moment of the adventure! So, here are the Cliff Notes:
We took this Trafalgar Tour called Italy Bellissimo . Now, I’ve been on a Trafalgar tour before, and this one put the other to shame. We met THE BEST people there, from all corners of the world – Australia, Armenia and Montreal to LA, Baltimore and New Jersey – and of all ages. But we got along so well with everyone. We made fast friends with about 12 of the 42 on the tour and we would spend our free time exploring and enjoying the cities together and laughing the whole time!
We ate so much great food, but the best night was probably the one night when we veered from the group activities and did our own thing. I planned a special trip to the small town of Felitto where Pete’s ancestors are from. Our driver, who spoke very little English an looked like he was a character straight out of a Sopranos episode, picked us up and drove us the two hours on twisty, turny, cliff-edge roads it took to get to Felitto. Once there, we explored the town a bit. We even saw a war memorial with one of Pete’s ancestor’s names engraved on it! Then we headed out to get a bite to eat. This was the interesting part. Luckily, we had been given a book about Felitto and in it, we learned that Felitto is so small there aren’t any restuarants there. But there were three in the “region” …. so, we closed our eyes and randomly picked the “Trattoria Pizzaria” by the river as the regional restaurant of choice that night. We show the driver where we want to go, and after many U-turns trying to find it, we did finally make it. It was small and dimly lit, but there was a plump Italian man sitting by the fireplace watching TV. After wondering if we were walking into his home, we decided to proceed, and the driver asked if he was open. They spoke in heavy Italian neither Pete or I understood, but the driver said yes, we could eat! And then it happened. The most amazing meal we got to enjoy in Italy. It started with home-made red wine. Then a generous platter of antipasto, complete with cheeses, meats and olives. And then we experienced what Felitto is famous for: fusillo, a kind of handmade pasta. It looks like a long white earth worm, but is hollow in the middle. It was in a wonderful red sauce that makes my mouth water just thinking about. As if that wasn’t enough, the restaurant owner also brought out home-made raviolis and coffees. After that meal, we had smiles that couldn’t be wiped off. What a unique experience!
Our tour guide was so awesome because he would have special accommodations at all of our hotels, as he would call ahead and tell them he had “honeymooners” in his group. We had the best views, rooms and special touches like champagne waiting in our room for us because of this. It was so nice!
Looking back at all the pics, it’s unbelievable that we fit all this in, but here’s where all we went: Rome, Pompeii, Isle of Capri, Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Ravenna, Padua, Venice, Montecatini, Apennine Mountains, Florence, Tuscan Hills, Siena and San Gimignano. All in 12 days!
We took lots of great pics, but here are a few that Pete took. I’ll post a link to all our pics shortly (I took about 1,000, so it’s going to take a while to get mine online! 🙂 Enjoy!
Our first night the restuarant gave us this “special” dessert!
Pete and Me on the Almalfi Coast
Pete and I enjoying one of our many espressos on this trip in Sorrento
Pete and I in Capri
Entering Felitto – of course, we had to get a pic of the sign!!
Venice in our gondola
And the beautiful leaning tower in Pisa! Pete took this great pic!