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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Emilia Romagna, Italy

May 19, 2018 - Pienza, Montepulciano and San Gimignano

My two weeks in Siena have flown quickly and I am now back in Bologna about to head home, including the new 17 hour flight from London to Perth. Last Saturday, one of my fellow students, Alberto (from Switzerland), drove Leanne and I to the towns of Pienza and Montepulciano, about 60 km from Siena. As these are both hilltop towns, there were very typical views of verdant green rolling hills covered by bright red poppies, the occasional sunflower and quite a few vineyards. The light was especially great at about 6.30 as we were leaving, with...

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Apr 30, 2018 - Back in Italy!

THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT I AM BACK IN ITALY: 1. WHEN the buses are very cheap (50 cents $A a trip here in Bologna) and the trains are always ‘in ritardo’ (late). The digital schedules at the station even have a column to show how late the trains are! However I can report that the Freccia (arrow) trains are pretty impressive and seem to run on time. They travel at about 250km/hour with dedicated platforms. I took one from Bologna to Florence, where I am now staying for one week. 2. WHEN I regretfully realise that I must take one of the inside...

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Oct 16, 2017 - Our First Cooking Class

We started off the day with a typical Italian breakfast in the lovely Casa Gregorio’s cappuccino bar. And what a breakfast it was, everything homemade with local organic ingredients - two types of frittata, ham & cheese rolls, beautiful fruit, pastries, and incredible fresh out of the oven crossiants. Wanda chose to smather hers in Nutella! Of course you could have your coffee fixed any way to your liking - from cappuccinos to espresso to cafe’ americano with hot milk. We then set off down the hill to the town of Arpino, birthplace of...

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Tre Donne in Italia

Oct 14, 2017 - Last Day in Bologna

Today is our last day in Bologna. Today no alarms so we all slept in and got a little bit of a late start. On our way to the TI to get bus directions--we all wanted to go back up to the Basilica di San Luca--we were quite surprised to see so many people on the streets. We realized it was Saturday and the roads around Piazza Maggiore are closed to traffic on weekends. Plus Cefa, a non-profit dedicated to improving family and community economies in Africa, was having a major fundraising event on piazza. The entire piazza was covered with a...

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Tre Donne in Italia

Oct 13, 2017 - Day Trip to Ravenna

Today we were off to Ravenna. We boarded the 9:06am train for the 1-1/2 hour train trip. Ravenna was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. Now Ravenna is best known for the colorful Roman and Byzantine mosaics, acknowledged by UNESCO as World Heritage. Our first stop was the TI in Piazza S. Francesco to get a walking map of the city highlights. Just so happened next door was a charming cafe - Caffe Pasticceria Palumbo, so we stopped in for a quick late-morning snack - cappuccinos and...

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Tre Donne in Italia

Oct 12, 2017 - Day of Waiting

Day of Waiting - After doing a load of laundry we went to the Bologna train station to inquire about and purchase tickets for a day trip to Ravenna on Friday to see the mosaics. In order to speak to someone you take a number and wait your turn - we had to wait some 20 plus minutes. Having agreed to purchase ‘open’ tickets we inquired as to the schedule of trains - the person waiting on us couldn’t find a schedule so he rattled off some times. Luckily we understood a couple of them, so we are planning on taking the 9:06 am train tomorrow...

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Tre Donne in Italia

Oct 11, 2017 - Day of Churches

We are off to a good start in Bologna. In that rare instance, our apartment is nicer in person than it looked in the photos on the internet and the weather forecast is sun and mid-70's for the rest of the week. Could my rain curse be broken? Our first stop today was to be the Piazza Maggiore (just a few blocks from our apartment) to visit the TI to get maps and info on the city and get tickets for the hop on hop off (HOHO) bus. Before we could get there we found the Madonnna di Galliera Church that was built in 14th century and renovated in...

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Tre Donne in Italia

Oct 10, 2017 - Transit to Bologna

Today was another transit day. We hated to say goodbye to Varenna - such a lovely town with charm oozing from every little alleyway. Wanda buys another three Italian scarves! Judy B set off a little early to find her camera that she left at Villa Monastero yesterday afternoon. She came back smiling, elated that the gardener had found it. After brunch at the Ill Binario restaurant at the quaint train station, it was off to Bologna. Wow, what a culture shock - to go from small town friendly atmosphere to big city fast driving chaotic hubbub....

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Trip Journal


Tre Donne in Italia

Sep 28, 2017 - Pilgrims of the Francigena - well partly

We have been very busy being pilgrims, exercising our legs and exercising our taste buds! Booked into the Torino hotel in Parma to begin this journey and meet our group over a glass of Prosecco. Can you believe all Australians, and Mark is the only male other than Gabriele our guide. They are mostly professional, some retired, all with an interesting life story. They are a great group. Majority of them from W.A. We are getting right into drinking espressos throughout the day. Particularly enjoyed one here, serve in precious Rosenthal cup...

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Sep 7, 2017 - Thursday

Well somehow info got lost. On Thursday we took the day off from riding. We did a wine tasting at a vineyard in the country. It was more like lunch and several glasses of wine. A very scenic area. We also took a van ride to San Marino that has a castle on top of a mountain. All day was like being in the movies.

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Sep 6, 2017 - Another beautiful day!

Another great day for biking! We did 28 hard miles with our guide Silvano....he's 70 years old, pencil thin and rides like a pro. We visited Montescudo and it was another site to behold. We had to go up 3 kilometers with an 11% grade. Yes some of us did a bit of walking on that hill. After lunch we were back at the beach to relax. Tonight we went to the Hotel Dory's owner's farm via two big busses for dinner, wine, music and dancing which was an absolute blast. It was refreshing that so many people from different countries could have fun...

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Sep 5, 2017 - Our first two days

We recovered from our travel here and the last two days have been surreal. We biked about 32 miles yesterday and 36 miles today. Both days were quite hard but so worth it. We are going up pretty steep elevations and the scenery is absolutely unbelievable. Just like you see in the movies and in pictures. The Dory Hotel is fabulous. After our ride on both days we have gone to the beach which is on the Adriatic Sea and a block from our hotel. Our group of 22 is a blast and spending time with Cindy and George is always special. Unfortunately...

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