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Arrivederci A2Kers

 
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:11 pm
@mac11,
Oh how lovely. Wonderful birthday prize - enjoy Mac - oh you will enjoy. Will look forward to hearing about your travels. Delighted for you. x Very Happy
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:11 pm
@ossobuco,
As an interlude, here's a favorite article on gelato and sorbetto in Rome -
it has a list at the end of tipico flavors with the italian and english names.

This was from 1990, and most of the gelaterias Maureen Fant describes are still there and hopping, but there are some new ones, e.g. the one I promise to look up mentioned by Frugal Traveler as favorite.

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/19/travel/fare-of-the-country-ice-cream-for-la-dolce-vita.html?pagewanted=all
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:32 pm
@ossobuco,
On the Frugal Traveler - you may have already read about his week or so in Rome recently, but here's the link - and it does have some comments of interest, including restaurants.
http://frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/wandering-beyond-classic-rome/?scp=1&sq=frugal%20traveler%20rome&st=cse

On his favorite gelato (etc) place, it was San Crispino, the one near the Trevi. (There's another, apparently more expensive, near the Pantheon) -
here's the link - http://www.ilgelatodisancrispino.it/
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:38 pm
@ossobuco,
In Travestere, between the (main) tram stop and Santa maria, there's an organic gelateria (forgot the name) which is worth a visit.

(Those in the centre are quite popular, but expensive.)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 02:00 pm
@ossobuco,
Things I forgot to bring up about Rome -

* the Protestant Cemetery - a little off the beaten path, down by Pyramide train and metro stations; I liked it quite a bit, but I can well imagine it wouldn't be on everyone's must see list.

* a few places for views, besides the gianicolo that Walter mentioned -
you can walk upgrade from piazza del Populo to the park above and watch the sunset with lots of other people (St. Peter's dome visible).
- you can, if you visit the top of the Aventine Hill (the Aventino is my favorite neighborhood, have stayed at villas in a hotel group there several times - not as fancy as that sounds, just old and nice), you can look out over the Tiber from a park that is next to Santa Sabina (I think it's S. Sabina, there is more than one church in a row there)
- one other place I'm blanking on right now, back if I remember.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 02:06 pm
@ossobuco,
And, duh, you mentioned music. Do you two like opera? Might be something going on at the opera house (I stayed near it once, well, twice), or at the Baths of Caracalla...

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 09:59 pm
@ossobuco,
I rememberred the other place I like with a view.
If you are up on the Campidoglio (designed by Michelangelo) walk behind the Senate building - you can look over a wall and see the forum stretch out below.


On Florence -

Like the books by Mary McCarthy - Stones of Florence, and Venice Observed.
On Venice, before I forget, like James Morris' Venice.

Back to Florence -

* Favorite gallery, the Uffizi; favorite paintings there, Duccio's Rucellai Madonna, and Uccello's Battle of San Romano
* I also liked the Bargello museo
* probably favorite painting in spot it was painted in - the Fra Angelico at the head of the stairs in the Monastery of San Marco
* favorite sculpture - Cellini's Perseus with the head of Medusa, in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza Signoria.
* favorite piazza, especially around sunset, pz. Santa Santissima Annunziata
* favorite church, maybe Sta. Maria del Carmine
* favorite gardens - the Medici Villas in the suburb Sesto Fiorentino - Villa Castello and Villa Petraia. Wish I'd seen the one I really wanted to see - for the design - Villa Gamberaia, near Settignano. It used to be that you had to make an appointment, which is why I didn't get there, but I think it is open to the public more now (I'm not positive).

Last time I was in Florence (4 days) I mostly walked and walked and ate when I was hungry - and I don't remember much about the places I ate. One on the Alt Arno side of the river, just picked it for the good sounding food on the chalkboard outside. Another day I ate at a touristy looking place, Ristorante Sasso di Dante, somewhere by the Duomo, when it was starting to pour rain. Turned out not to be crowded and I talked with the waitress about piazzas, and she listed for me some of her favorites, thus much of my walking. And.. the ribollito was good.

There's a well thought of (or was) ristorante called Il Cibreo that has a less expensive cafe that I wanted to try; I never did get there. Same with a place I walked by at the wrong time to go in, on Via Tornibuoni. Looked good.. I seem to remember it had something to do with the Antinori family.
Just looked it up and there's a Cantinetta Antinori on piazza Antinori - I'd have to look at a map to see if that's the same place. Or maybe I'm just wrong about it being on Tornibuoni.
Here's a link -
http://www.10best.com/Florence,Italy/Restaurants/Lunch/22588/Cantinetta_Antinori_Florence_IT/

I went crazy and bought a bunch of ceramic dishes at a cookware type store on Via dei Servi (goes between the Duomo and pza SS Annunziata) - they mailed them home for me and all that wasn't terribly expensive, then. They were not the best possible ceramics, but I loved the colors and the heft of them, still love them. (I did get a really good plate in Faenza, home of a lot of ceramic workshops), but that's not near Florence. Also bought some nifty costume jewelry at a little tiny shop on that street. May or may not still be there. There's also an inviting pasticceria towards the SS Annuziata end of via dei Servi. Bought a leather purse at some shop somewhere.. on the Dome side of the Arno - that was fun - and I still have it. (I hardly spent any money on that last trip, Ms. Thrift, but had a wild day there in Florence and another one in Faenza.)

Um, I liked Michelangelo's library that's connected with San Lorenzo church, I think (it's been a while).

Side trips - I love both Siena and Lucca, and am fond of Arezzo too - of them, I'd pick Siena. But, for me that's really another trip re timing. 12 days fly by and you're visiting places that are dense with interesting things to see already.

Or, again, maybe not. Siena's another city I like to walk, a city I'm fascinated by the history of, and I love the countryside all around there (don't get her started). But, the first time I was there, my husband and I just went to Siena to cash a traveller's check (long story), had a cappuccino and left again. Not only did I have to go back one day, but have been back twice. Talk about art.. art that makes me weep. On ceramics, there are inviting ceramics on the walls in a lot of the shops..

0 Replies
 
the prince
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 01:33 am
Happy bday mac !!!!!

What a wonderful trip. I have heard that italian men are yum....
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 06:00 am
@mac11,
Ciao bella -- tracce felici!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 11:37 am
On Venice, my list is short, we were only there a short number of days, and that was my only visit. I've read a lot, especially about the history of pz San Marco over the years, and some other research, but haven't much in the way of personal place favorites. I could work up a list of what I'd like to see, starting with visits inside some of those palazzos. (Some are open to the public). I'd like to see the Frari, and the Scuola di San Rocca, with the Tintorettos. I'd like to go to Torcello..

Book I'd like to read, even have it, but haven't - Stones of Venice, by Ruskin.

We stayed in Dorsoduro (which I like) near the Accademia and the Accademia bridge in an old and wonderful pensione w/garden. But I know you don't need hotel names.

As usual, we liked walking, walking, walking.

My favorite place, one that's on my list of all time favorite places anywhere, was the Accademia Gallery. We were there when it opened in the morning, thus getting a lot of the paintings, even rooms, to ourselves (that was in March).
Hard to pick a favorite painting, as there are so many greats with different styles. Probably the big Veronese Last Supper.

There's not much outdoor sculpture of people in Venice, for a reason in that they didn't want to promote people to that level as a political philosophy -but.. more of non-people sculpture. I liked the one in the little piazzetta inland side of San Marco cathedral. I have a photo of a woman sitting at the edge of it with the most amazing fur coat (March, again). Then there are The Horses (their history told very well by James Morris in his Venice book). When I was there, the horses were still in place in their spot in the duomo facade..

Loved the colorful transport boats in some canals.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 12:00 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

In Travestere, between the (main) tram stop and Santa maria, there's an organic gelateria (forgot the name) which is worth a visit.

(Those in the centre are quite popular, but expensive.)


That reminds me, I really liked Sta Maria in Trastevere, interior and exterior - and it's large mosaic of the Wise and Foolish Virgins..



Maybe my last comment - an opinion - is that I liked that in many cases I never saw photos of places or art before facing them in person. So, piazza Navona was a complete stunning visual surprise as I turned the corner from a very narrow street into it at something like seven in the morning..
Since my early days of going to italy, more and slicker travel guides with lots of glossy photos have come out - the books even heavier because of the good sturdy paper - and in some way I feel like that's a spoiler. That feeling is mixed, in that I like having an idea of the background story re what I'm looking at. So, I liked guide books like Richard Saul Wurman's Access books - the Rome one maps out street systems, and then tells you over the next pages what you are looking at as you walk down the streets of that area, with ink drawings and lots of history of specific buildings and places, w/no photos, just the drawings.
So his guides (also does Florence and Venice) are my long time favorites.

0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 02:54 pm
Thanks everyone. And osso, thank you for all your memories and information. (I know you're enjoying the reminiscing!)

We're not going on any side trips except the one to Pompeii. But I'm already starting a list of places to see the next time I go. Whenever that might be...

We looked at opera possibilities, but decided against it due to ticket prices. S was really hoping to find a dance performance somewhere, but there don't seem to be any options for that while we're there. We will likely find some live music, preferably outdoors. There appear to be lots of options for that, so we'll look into that when we're there.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 03:40 pm
@mac11,
Yes, I have enjoyed it!

Glad you have thoughts of going again - it takes pressure off, in a way, which I'm sure you know.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 03:52 pm
@ossobuco,
With promises to be quiet until I say arrivaderci - I just looked up Villa Tatti, Berenson's old place - it's a garden/library, etc run now by Harvard - that I wish I had checked out in Firenze.
0 Replies
 
islandgirl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 04:33 pm
I was in Italy last December and also visited Rome, Florence and Venice. Looks like I only have a few small things to add to the incredible list of things to do that have already been mentioned.

Rome: Don't forget to send out a few postcards from the Vatican Post Office.

Florence: After visiting the Accadamia Gallery to see The David I was really interested to learn more about the Medici Family from all of the wonderful musical instruments and artwork that had been donated. It was a wonderful walk across the Ponte Vecchio (the gold prices were not quite as bad as I had heard) to Pallazzo Pitti where the Medici family resided. The architecture and artwork is amazing. Lot's of history including when Napoleon had resided there.

Venice: Just getting lost in Venice is so much fun, just be sure to have a good detailed map so that you can find your way back to your place. Make sure that it includes the names of all of the waterways. Visit the Murano glass factory.

Have a great trip!
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 08:46 pm
@islandgirl,
Thanks for the tips, islandgirl. We're all about the maps.

Ok, last post for two weeks. See y'all when I get back. Ciao!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 08:49 pm
@mac11,
Savor..

0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 09:43 pm
I can hardly wait to hear the stories and see the photos!

Ciao, mac!
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 11:45 am
Ciao bellos!

It was a wonderful trip. Great food - ate lots of pizza, pasta, gelato. Hardly any rain, practically perfect weather really - though a little too warm for me in the afternoons.

I took no pictures, but my friend, S, took lots. She has emailed me a few, and mailed a disc with the rest, so I'll have more in a few days.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 11:48 am
@mac11,
Welcome back!
0 Replies
 
 

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