Once Upon a Time in Italy

In 1973 when I went to Italy for the first time. It was one of those ‘all inclusive’ package tours. I went with my mum and my crazy old Aunt. The minute I stepped off the plane I was in love with the place. I was fifteen. I spend two weeks wandering along the beach, basking in the sun and enjoying the atmosphere. I explored the streets, always turning the corner to find something new to delight me. I returned the following year, and the one after. I was hooked. Italy 1973

In 1977 I got married and money was tight for my young husband and I. We were happy to be anywhere, as long as we were together, but Italy was on our bucket list! In 1983 we could finally afford the trip. My husband, a British Soldier, was stationed in Germany and we drove through the Alps, what a lovely way to get there. Did he share my love of the country. Yes, he was hooked right away.

We drove through the Alps to Italy in our very own Alfa Romeo

We drove through the Alps to Italy in our very own Alfa Romeo

I gave birth to my beautiful daughter in 1984 and soon after we moved back to England. With only one pay check, vacations abroad were out of the question and it was 1993 before we could afford a vacation in Italy again. Lido de Jesolo this time. My daughter was seven years old. She took to the country and the language like a fish to water.

Once upon a time on the shores of Lake Garda

Once upon a time on the shores of Lake Garda

We moved to the USA in 1995. Lots to see and places to visit. San Francisco and New Orleans became my favorite cities to visit. I Loved shopping in New York, enjoyed trips to Mexico for sun, sea and sand, but yearned to return to Italy. Long way, lots of money, would we ever be able to afford it? Eventually in 2010, we could stand it no longer. We needed an Italy fix and booked a trip to Rome. Two weeks in that Eternal City were not long enough. We took the train to Frascati, rented a car and drove to Sorrento and Pompeii, but mostly enjoyed walking the streets of Rome and mixing with the locals.

The Eternal City 2010

The Eternal City 2010

I’m getting older now, I can’t wait another ten years before I see Italy again. In a couple of months my husband and I fly to Rome, but this time for three weeks. Rome, Milan, Lake Garda, Siena, Ravello – I can barely wait! My daughter and her new husband will be with us too, how special. Life evolves, things change, but Italy will always be a part of me. Hope you enjoy the photos!

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Italy is in my heart and in my blood!

My first trip to Italy was when I was sixteen.It was 1973. I went with my mum and my eccentric Aunt. It was love at first sight and I had the time of my life. My dad took us to the airport and waved us goodbye. My aunt and my mum were like giggly schoolchildren, even though they were in their mid fifties. It was the first time my mum had left England.

The first smell of Italian air intoxicated me. I was hooked before I even left the airport.

We arrived at our hotel ‘Hotel President’ on the Piazza Tripoli, just one block away from the beach. I could smell the Adriatic.

The room in that hotel was very basic. There was a bathroom and three single beds, but it was all we needed.

My mum and my eccentric aunt did their own thing, trips, dances and sight-seeing and I wandered the cobbled streets of Rimini and enjoyed myself. I loved the sun, the beach, the bars, the restaurants, but most of all, I loved the people.

The beaches were pretty crowded, but that was OK, because as I said earlier, I loved the people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know Rimini is full of tourists, mostly from Britain, but I was blind to anything but the Italians and their way of life.

I loved the food, the wine, the smell, the atmosphere. I loved everything and I knew I would be back again soon.

I was right. I returned every year for the next three years.

It was the start of a romance that would last for the rest of my life.

Now, almost forty years later, the attraction is as strong as ever.

I think about Italy every day. I look at my photos and remember.

I have visited Rome, Sorrento, Frascati, Capri, Verona, Lake Garda, San Marino, San Leo, Lido de Jesolo and Rimini as well as several small towns I don’t remember the name of.

Where next? Maybe Positano and the Amalfi Coast. After a brief visit to Sorrento in 2010, I know I need to see it again.

 

 

Villa La Terrazza – Sorrento

Beautiful Villa La Terrazza

I briefly blogged about Villa La Terrazza whilst I was in Italy.  Now that I am back at home in Colorado and more organized, I would like to show you more breath-taking photos of the views from its fabulous terrace. We came across this place by accident as we wandered around Sorrento trying to decide where to have lunch. We must have looked very lost because a guy who originally passed us leaving the Villa, turned around and came back. He introduced himself as Andrea Azzariti, and proceeded to show us around his beautiful accommodation.  Andrea obviously loves his villa, and was gushing with pride and hospitality. Please take a look at his website which is www.villalaterrazza.com. This link is also under my blogroll.

Views from Villa La Terrazza

When visiting Sorrento, this is the place to stay. 

A great place to relax in the sun

What better way to relax and enjoy the incredible views than on the terrace of Villa La Terrazza with its swimming pool overlooking the sparkling blue waters below. 

Closer to the Ocean than the Excelsior Hotel

Andrea also owns yachts and has half and full day excursions. www.sorrentocapritours.com is where you will find more information about these tours. Even though Andrea had never met us before, he took us down to the beach below, and recommended restaurants to us. I will insert one more photo and then leave you to check out his web sites. Andrea, it was good to meet you, I hope to return and stay in La Villa Terrazza soon. 

Could it get any better?

Pompeii and Sorrento

Wow what a day. It started with an early breakfast. We picked up our Fiat Punto just before nine and headed for Pompeii. The actual town if Pompeii is a little seedy. Before we got to the official parking place, we were stopped and directed into a restaurant parking lot where they told us we could park for ten dollars, or five dollars if we ate there. What the heck, we parked there anyway. Pompeii (the ruins) was much bigger and better than I expected. So sad at the loss of life with the sudden eruption of Vesuvius. There were cooking pots still sitting on stoves. It was well worth the visit. Loved it! After the visit we had a drink in the restaurant, got fifty percent off our parking and drove to Sorrento. My mum always wanted to visit Sorrento (and Rome), so I hope she was watching me.

The Amalfi drive was fabulous! Malibu and the Pacific coast do not even compare. We parked in Sorrento and wandered around like lost tourists, ending up in the grounds of a Villa. The owner of this Villa was called Andrea and was extremely friendly(and very handsome) and helpful. I will attach photos taken from his wonderful villa overlooking the mediterranean. I will also add his website as he rents out vacation apartments. Andrea gave us a ride down to the beach and restaurants, such a nice guy. We are thinking that next year we may spend ten days (or so) in one of his apartments in Sorrento instead of our planned visit to England. England is so cold and boring.

We had a late lunch on the pier with glass floor tiles, which was a little unsettling as we could see the water and the fish below us. After sharing a pizza we walked back up the steep steps to the town and sat in another cafe where we had an ice cream. Yes we have eaten a great deal of Italian ice cream and enjoyed every single one. We may have to stay here forever, just for the ice cream.

Now I am sitting outside our lovely hotel on Via Veneto, it is almost ten o clock and still about ninety degrees. Lester had a couple of beers and then went upstairs to watch football. I am about to have a glass of frascati before retiring, I just love vacations, especially in Italy.

Only three more days left in Roma, how can the time have passes so quickly?

I have attached a photos taken from Andrea’s fabulous villa in Sorrento and a photo of Pompeii. When I post his blog tomorrow, I will also enclose Andrea’s website info.