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Italy: Where to go? What to do?

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 16 Aug, 2004 10:32 pm
I have a picture of one of those tool crucifixes from one of our walks, but not in Barga. Hmmm, I think I am in the picture. I should dig it out and scan it..

Lucca, I loved walking along the top of the wall around the old city. Loved San Michele church. Loved the amphitheater. Loved the panforte.

Yes, Tuscany did suffer many many times - two books you might like, one is Eric (something's) Love and War in the Apennines, another is Chianti by Raymond Flower. "Chianti' is a pretty dry read but good on the Guelphs and the Ghibbelines' history. Oh, then Mary McCarthy's Stones of Florence. And... (I talk too much).

(I have a couple of hundred books on italy, have read most of them, but then I don't remember a lot, the complete opposite of Setanta...)
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littlek
 
  1  
Mon 16 Aug, 2004 10:53 pm
Osso - thanks for the titles! I'm more like you than setanta. I remember vague facts and general feelings and then can't site a reference.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 16 Aug, 2004 11:37 pm
You got it, me in a nutshell. On the Love in the Apennines, I did remember, it was by Eric Newby.
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McTag
 
  1  
Mon 16 Aug, 2004 11:47 pm
We loved Barga too. I come from the west of Scotland, and it's amazing how many Scots come from this area, emigrant families at the beginning of the last century I suppose. We met many Scots visiting their relatives. In my home town when I was growing up we had Arrighi, Giovanetti, Capaldi, Nardini, Cardosi, good Scottish names like that. Smile
Where I live now we have Arrighi and Bianchi!
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margo
 
  1  
Tue 17 Aug, 2004 02:48 am
I was going to add - Eric Newby - but I see Osso has remembered.
I've also got a squillion (roughly) books on Italy - and also don't remember much specifically - but can always go and look it up. (Librarianship training is never lost!)

Lil K and McTag - you're making me keen to get back to Italy again. I mentioned it to my travel partner on the weekend, but got a pretty flat result - may have to go by myself Sad Bah! Left a book on the Italian lakes sitting out. To no avail.

But...be warned - he'll be in Boston next month (again without me Sad - fellow has no style!)
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McTag
 
  2  
Tue 17 Aug, 2004 01:57 pm
This is Mctag's better half writing (without his knowledge!)

Just enjoyed reading the Italian thread and wanted to add that we just loved Barga and the walking holiday we had from there. It was our first experience of Italy and our walking guide knew all the tiny wee villages up on hilltops. It was all so romantic and beautiful. It was on that trip that we were introduced to Lucca which we also loved and so were pleased to see it again. In fact I went on my own with the group on one day and then decided we both ought to go and do as the locals do! We hired bikes and set off round the wall thinking it would take us a wee while but we were round in about 18 minutes. It was hot sunny and bright and brilliant. I loved the cycling especially down in the little windy streets.

I know why Mctag has not mentioned this episode - I had the map and was leading through the maze of streets, and then just as we were returning the bikes I stopped to show him a church and he had disappeared, delayed behind some strolling pedestrians. I was not popular! He had to navigate himself back by the sun and the wall! Good job it was him lost and not me as I don't think my navigational skills are up to much.

Somebody asked about the coffee. We are not really coffee drinkers and it was sooo hot all the time we ended up drinking water most of the time.

I loved the opera, alfresco. It was a beautiful evening, hot and humid right up to midnight and beyond. The audience was stylish, international, cosmopolitan. An evening to remember, definitely. This being the 50th anniversary of the Puccini Festival, the soprano (who was marvellous) had special permission to wear Maria Callas' jewels during one scene. They were beautiful, very striking.

Fiona
margo
 
  1  
Tue 17 Aug, 2004 08:49 pm
Fiona
Wonderful to see and hear you.

We thought that vicious McTag had secreted you in the basement! Razz
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Tue 17 Aug, 2004 09:30 pm
Hello, Fiona, glad to talk with you. It was I who asked about the coffee, to get you two started talking more...
I have never been there in the heat of the summer, and coffee has been appealing in winter and fall, though I did once have an incredible iced coffee, but never mind.
You did the wall in eighteen minutes? I did it by my feet and don't remember the time.

Thank you for your post! Do you have a note on who the soprano was?

Not that I would recognize her. I am sort of late to appreciating opera. When I was there I stayed at the Piccolo Hotel Puccini, just off of piazza san Michele and the piazza Puccini. A tiny hotel but I liked it a lot, not least because the clerk and I got into watching a tennis match while I tried to get him to put ice in my apperitivo, sigh.

When I was in the lobby I kept hearing him answer the phone, swack, Kuerten up, swack Rios.... and him saying No, no, no, there are no rooms in the citta', or something like that. And then he would try to get people a place somewhere else.
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McTag
 
  1  
Wed 18 Aug, 2004 01:49 am
Osso

The soprano - Tosca - was Francesca Patane, Scarpia who was also wonderful was Alberto Mastromarino and Cavaradossi who had a beautiful tenor voice but was a little light in the open air was Giuseppe Gipali.

Apologies for writing on Mctag's byline but it is so long since I wrote on A2k that I have forgotten how to get to mine. Mctag very kindly left the thread open for me to read the last few posts and anyway I am supposed to be preparing a meal for my Father's 83rd birthday tonight so I must fly.

Fiona

ps Margo

part of the problem is that I can never get near the computer also our system is so old it takes forever and anyway remember that behind every man is a woman struggling to do all the jobs!
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kickycan
 
  1  
Thu 30 Sep, 2004 12:29 pm
I was just looking for happenings, festivals, etc., and I happened to find this. Sounds so good I had to share it. Anyone heard of this?

Date: on or about June 15th
City: Valeggio sul Mincio
Province: VERONA
Description: Tortellini Festival


- a massive feast featuring a ton of tortellini which is served up to 4,000 guests who sit around a world-record-sized table (one-and-a-half kilometers long) set on a bridge across the Mincio river. Tortellini is one of Italy's most cherished pastas and the entire economy of this tiny town, in the province of Verona, depends on this stuffed love knot. Every weekend, food-lovers from all over the northeast converge on the town to try its many different types of handmade tortellini. To cater to this demand, there are over 40 restaurants, offering seating space for 6,000 diners (an extraordinarily high concentration in a town of just 9,500 people). Just 20 kilometers south of Lake Garda, this village is not only famous for its unique gastronomy. A strategic focus of battles in the Risorgimento period leading to Italy's unification, the area has many historic sites. Set in a beautiful valley, it also has wildlife parks, gardens and vineyards.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Thu 30 Sep, 2004 07:02 pm
Sounds delightful. You're talking to someone who went to Parma for the food...
I haven't been to Verona, interested in it.., but not for Romeo and Juliet reasons, more for the amphitheater and piazzas.
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margo
 
  1  
Thu 30 Sep, 2004 09:12 pm
and the opera!!!

But I'll consider going there for the food, too!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Thu 30 Sep, 2004 09:34 pm
oh, and some nearby architecture...
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groszi
 
  1  
Sun 3 Oct, 2004 03:44 pm
tommorow I'm going to London Very HappyVery HappyVery Happy
it takes me 'only' about 24 hours to get there Razz
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Sun 3 Oct, 2004 04:18 pm
groszi, We stopped in Poznan when I visited Poland in 1994. I'll post a few pictures, so you can identify the buildings or streets for us.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Mon 4 Oct, 2004 06:55 pm
Verona:

Best thing: the balcony of Juliet.
Next best things: Piazza delle Erbe, a stroll next to the river watching the Gibelini fortresses, the Arena.
A thing NOT to do: bring a purple and yellow umbrella the day Rome F.C. visits Verona... they may confuse you for a rival tifoso and give you a scare. Check the football league schedule and the different teams' colors before visiting.

(I've been there 3 or 4 times and don't remember the food, so I guess it's either not great or I made mediocre trattoria choices).
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Mon 4 Oct, 2004 08:17 pm
Since we're talking about Verona:

http://home.elp.rr.com/infrablues/capt.ver11610032149.italy_cycling_world_championships_ver116.jpg
Spain's Oscar Freire Gomez celebrates as he outsprints Germany's Erik Zabel, left, to win the Men's Elite road race, at the World Championships in Verona, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2004. Freire Gomez won the race, Zabel finished in second place as Italy's Luca Paolini took third place.

http://home.elp.rr.com/infrablues/capt.ver10310031018.italy_cycling_world_championships_ver103.jpg
Cyclists ride past Castelvecchio (The Old Castle), during the Men's Elite road race, at the World Championships in Verona, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2004.

EDITED: added photo and caption
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Mon 4 Oct, 2004 09:49 pm
groszi, Here's the first picture.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/poznan4600.jpg
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Mon 4 Oct, 2004 09:51 pm
Here's the 2d picture.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/poznan1600.jpg
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 4 Oct, 2004 09:51 pm
That is in Poznan, CI?
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