Tag Archives: travel to italy

Italy. 15 hours near Pisa

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Italy. 15 hours near Pisa

To even consider a 15-hour drive (round trip) for a measly 15 waking hours in Italy, you must be pretty desperate.

We not only considered it, we actually went. Three weeks of winter in the month of May, all hell breaking loose at work and a nasty throat infection did it. We wanted Italy. We needed Italy. We found a nice bed-and-breakfast near Lucca at €120/night for four (Triolivo, in Guamo), packed a bag, and didn’t think twice.

An ambition that had been simmering in our subconscious quickly developed into a full-blown obsession. We want to see the leaning tower of Pisa! We’ve been to Italy so many times by now, how could we have missed it? I mean, it’s not exactly hard to find. It’s right there, on every children’s atlas, right next to the red Ferrari. Simply had to see it. Simply had to climb it.

293 steps and we were at the top for the noon bells! Was it worth it? Well, our son was crawling on all fours under the large bell to explore the sound mechanism, and was so excited he even forgot to cover his ears in the hubbub, so you be the judge of that.

What else was on the list? The charming little citadel of Lucca (where Giacomo Puccini was born), sun and storm in the Tuscan hills, a seaside view of the Apennine mountains with surfers in the roaring waves, profiteroles, dry soup made of fresh tomato puree and white bread, and the hot sand at Camaiore.

We only spent one night, but came home with a bagful of great memories. I think our son’s exclamation on the way back pretty much sums it up: “But we were there for 3 days!”

Enjoy… 🙂

Lago di Garda – Italia, 2015

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Motto:  “To have experienced beauty.”

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Copyright photos: Andreea Sepi 2015.

(BW Photos on street corner belong to art photographer Luciano Bonacini: www.lucianobonacini.com)

Sirmione – Garda Lake, Italy

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It was almost a case of force majeure.  We had to find a destination.  The hallowed Italian seaside around Venice had failed us this time, with dark rain pouring down for days on end. We had a choice between staying and facing the deluge at Lido di Jesolo or quickly finding a destination within a practicable distance where we could still enjoy a mild sunburn.

(By the way, if you want to witness monster truck races in their natural environment, as well as Brownian overtaking maneuvers only seconds before impact, a busy Italian highway is the place to go.)

So we unfolded our (digital) maps, put our finger down on a place, buckled up the kids and off we went. Luckily, the place on the map was breezy Sirmione, on the southern shore of Garda Lake. Only a Shakespeare sonnet away from Verona, where Juliet’s polished boob shines in the midday sun like some kind of sacred grapefruit rubbed by too many.

Take a walk along the quay...

Take a walk along the quay…

... or enter the castle...

… or enter the castle…

... stop to think...

… stop to think…

... or take a boat ride...

… or take a boat ride…

... check out the dungeons...

… check out the dungeons…

... or shop for souvenirs...

… or shop for souvenirs…

... wrap your mind around the beauty...

… wrap your mind around the beauty…

... or let yourself be wrapped in it...

… or let yourself get wrapped in it…

... relish the mountains far away...

… relish the mountains far away…

... or be moved by the flute of a 55-year-old jobless man...

… or be moved by the flute of a 55-year-old jobless man…

... have a frugal bruschette picknick by the water front...

… have a frugal bruschette picnic by the water front…

... or whiz through the waves...

… or whiz through the waves…

... take in the scenery from the promontory...

… take in the scenery from the promontory…

... or get sun soaked like a stranded colony of seals...

… or get sun soaked like a stranded colony of seals…

 

Copyright photos: Andreea Sepi & Armand Csordas 2014.