Carol-IvanTravels travel blog

Ravenna was an important capital city in Italy's history

Close up of part of the arch into old city Ravenna

Arch leading to Basilica de San Vitale


It was built on Roman ruins; 1,400 years old

Covered with lavish mosaics: gold & glass chips the size of your...



Christ sitting on the globe


Inside the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia - with most brilliant colored mosaics!

Ornament on a building we passed

Lunch break in the most famous restaurant (an old warehouse); all had...

Umbrian countryside a big change from flat Veneto region


Coming to the tiny hilltop village, Montone



We all found it charming and our favorite so far

The town square was not large; no English was overheard here

Front patio of our hotel

Another area of the patio

Chef John Carlo prepared a special meal for us with local foods

We had a 12 min. walk with our luggage to get to our bus. Then we could relax for 3 hours for the drive to Ravenna in the Veneto region, the only flat valley in Italy. Big agricultural area, of course, with lots of fruit trees and refineries. (No nuclear power plants in Italy any more.)

Driving into the Bologna area known for its produce, Balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, parmigiana, Parma ham and kiwi. The stop in Ravenna was interesting. We saw and heard about the School of Restoration of Mosaics that is so specialized only 8 students attend each year. We spent some time in the National Museum to see ancient Roman walls. So much history in Ravenna that I got lost. I do remember that this town has been an important capital city under several different rulers.

Traveling on into the Umbria region (the only one without a coastline) we learned it specializes in game like wild boar, venison, pheasant; truffles; sausages and salami; mushrooms and pork sandwiches called porchetta.

Our first hilltop village in Umbria is Montone [Mon tone ah] where we had to carry our luggage DOWN the narrow cobblestone street for quite a distance to get to our hotel. Here the hotel chef gave me his arm and led Ivan and me to our hotel room with its door opening onto the street. The room was large with 2 double beds,one being a canopy bed. However, it felt damp and smelled musty. (My laundry did not dry overnight here!)

We had a very nice dinner prepared especially for us by the chef, Gian Carlo. He prepared local foods: truffle spread and a mushroom spread on toast, saffron risotto, roast potatoes and pork, and the most delightful creamy Chantilly cream dessert!

Our evening continued because one of our couples was staying in a separate apt. to rent further up the street. They invited us to come see their quaint apt. and have wine on their terrace! It was a fun time in amazing surroundings on a lovely evening.

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