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 2014

No I am not talking about World Cup Football, I am talking about my next trip to Italy. In 2014 I am entitled to my next Sabbatical from work. I will have been with the company for 15 years. Where am I going? Italy of course. Yes I know 2014 is a couple of years away, but a girl has to dream. It is going to be a special vacation as my daughter and her boyfriend are accompanying us. We will be celebrating her 30th birthday.

I already have my itinerary planned.

Fly into Rome of course. Where to stay? Marriott Hotel Grand Flora, that bit is easy!

View from Marriott Hotel Grand Flora in Rome

We stayed in this beautiful hotel whilst in Rome in 2010. It was enchanting and the staff were both friendly and entertaining. I won’t even look anywhere else.

After four days in Rome where next? Lake Garda! In 1993 we had a family Vacation in Lido De Jesolo. We took a trip from there to Lake Garda and my husband continues to talk about it, so we will spend four days in Rome before renting a car and driving to Lake Garda for a few days. From there we can visit Verona, Milan, Venice, Murano and Burano. Lovely!

Image by Italy Lake Garda (See Blogroll)

Following Lake Garda, a drive south to Tuscany. I like the look of the hotel below.

Tuscan Hill Top Hotel

From here we can explore the Tuscan countryside before returning to Roma for the last couple of nights.

Sounds like a dream right? It is a dream that is going to come true, I will make sure of it.

I may have to wait until the FIFA World Cup is over as it is being held in Brazil in 2014 and will be much easier to watch from my home in Colorado, but once it’s done…..Italy here we come.

Can’t wait!

Venice

I don’t know why I started to think about Venice, but I did. Those of you who follow my blogs know that Italy is always on my mind.

My first visit to Venice was on my very first trip to Italy with my mum and eccentric aunt. I was a teenager at the time. We took a day trip from Rimini. We sat in St. Mark’s Square and had tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took a gondola of course, which was way overpriced, but worth every penny.

 

The second time I visited Venice was in 1983. I was 26 years old. My husband and I drove to Rimini from Dortmund, Germany, where we lived at the time. The drive took two days, but it a was spectacular drive through the Alps. Rimini was busy and full of tourists, but lots of fun. We took a trip to Venice and were totally smitten. We took many photographs as we wandered through the back streets. It was a magical place and I knew I would return. I remember eating pizza by the Grand Canal. My husband bought a pair of  Yves St. Lauren pants in one of the fancy boutiques. They were tailored to fit him and he treasured them for many years to come.

Bridge of Sighs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our last visit to Venice was in 1993. It was by far the most spectacular. My husband, my six-year-old daughter and I, took a vacation in Lido de Jesolo. We visited many places whilst we were there. Lake Garda, Verona, San Marino and of course Venice. Before arriving in Venice we went to Murano and Burano both of which were beautiful.

Colorful Murano, Italy.

 

 

Beautiful Burano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two small towns were a pleasure to visit and I wished we could have stayed longer. Even my six-year-old daughter was speechless as she skipped happily through the streets of Burano. Lovely memories. I would like to go back soon and make some more.

Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal, Venice.