Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ciao Bella! Italy is a beautiful place to visit

Coffee in Florence. When in Rome. . . 

Ciao Bella!

Italy is beautiful, inside and out. Graced by nature, with sloping verdant landscapes and scenic coastal shores along turquoise seas, this country also houses some of the most spectacular architecture and artistry in the world. It's also home to amazing food, wine, coffee and, yes, even tea!

Last month, I visited Italy along with my husband, Chris, and daughter, Rachel. We spent time in Rome, Venice and Florence, making our way to all the "must-sees", like the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and David, and taking part in all the "must do's", gondola rides, pasta dinners, and sampling every flavor of gelato.

Parting in the "must-sees", the Colossuem tour at night


In our travels, we also paid a visit to two amazing tea rooms, but more about those in upcoming blogs. Aside from those lovely afternoon tea venues and our Venetian hotel, we mostly drank espressos and other coffee drinks because when in Rome. . .  (couldn't wait to use that!)

What I loved the most about Italy was the passion of the people and the artistry they bring to everything,  whether it's a small outdoor cafe tablescape or grand hotel lobby. Old mixes with new to make ordinary things extraordinary:  a chipped teapot filled with fresh flowers, bold blue plates accompanied by bright red napkins and ornate chandeliers illuminating centuries-old stone walls all work together to enchant and charm. Even the McDonald's, with it's glass counters filled with trays of multi-hued macarons looks like a high-end pastry shop,

Rachel and Chris at McDonald's in Rome, we're not in Kansas, Toto!

Our hotel in Rome, Hotel Manfredi,  was on Via Margutta, a short walk to the Spanish Steps, and home to Gregory Peck's character, Joe Bradley, in the movie "Roman Holiday".  (We learned this  later in our stay and finally understood why so many people were taking pictures of the address, '51 Via Margutta').

Charming Cafe, with beautiful tablescapes on Via Margutta

Italy is also a place where anything can happen and it did! We met up with our good friends from Michigan, Rik and Carol, while in Rome. (Their vacation intersected with ours for one day (!) and we met up for lunch at a quaint restaurant near the Spanish Steps.). 

Meeting up in Rome with friends, Rik and Carol, from Michigan

We also crossed paths with a celebrity while in Venice, and we're part of his entourage for an exciting 15 minutes of fame.

Part of of celebrity entourage for 15 minutes of fame, with Nick Reynolds

So, that in a hazelnutshell, is our trip to Italy. In upcoming stories, we'll dedicate one blog for each of the great cities we visited: Rome, Venice and Florence.

Pasta dinner in Rome. Ciao Bella, Italy!

Ciao Bella, Italy!


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