A one month trip through Italy

Old Oct 21st, 2020, 03:06 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by Adelaidean View Post
Russ, love your descriptions of Bologna and your photos, but especially your memories.

“Being pre-internet, we had to go there and buy the local paper to see availability, and then call and set up appointments. I had rehearsed, “I’m calling about your ad for the apartment” in Italian before dialing, but my one year of night-school Italian classes had hardly equipped me for the verbal barrage of Italian that each phone call would unleash. Rather than even make an attempt at understanding the response, I would let them go through their entire spiel, and when they came up for air, I’d hit them with my rehearsed question, “when can we see it”?In this way, we managed to find a lovely one bedroom apartment with a terrace, over a salumaio”
What a great story. I’ve long wanted to visit Bologna (and so much else) and quite likely that a trip report is as close as I’ll ever get, so this is food for the (travel deprived) soul.
Thanks so much. It’s been a real please reliving these experiences. All the better if I can provide some inspiration for someone else’s future trip. 🙂
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Old Oct 21st, 2020, 02:37 PM
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Thank you, Russ for the wonderful pics of Mantova and and for the description of your time in Bologna where I have spent about 3 weeks at language schools, 2 in one on the via Santo Stefano so I know that area quite well. . Such a great place to wander round - during my first stay i was staying in an apartment about 15 minutes walk from the school and I tried to take a slightly different route every day. It helped me get to know it but nothing like as well as you of course. i do hope I'll be able to get back there one day, hopefully for longer next time.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2020, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
Thank you, Russ for the wonderful pics of Mantova and and for the description of your time in Bologna where I have spent about 3 weeks at language schools, 2 in one on the via Santo Stefano so I know that area quite well. . Such a great place to wander round - during my first stay i was staying in an apartment about 15 minutes walk from the school and I tried to take a slightly different route every day. It helped me get to know it but nothing like as well as you of course. i do hope I'll be able to get back there one day, hopefully for longer next time.
I’m so happy you enjoyed your time there. I have so many great memories of that time, and made friends from there, as well as Milan, London and the US. I hope you get there again one day as well.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2020, 09:36 PM
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Russ, i tuoi fotografie sono spectacolare, particolamente Venezia! Per me, la Venezia e una della più bellissima citte del’ mondo! Come me in Croazia, tu e Sam sono molto fortunamente visitare bellissima Italia con solo un po’ turistici! Spero che ritornare a Venezia la prossimo anno se possible, e anche visitare la Sicilia per il prima volta.

Una domanda. Era tua madre Italiana or forse, Italiana-Americana? Mi sembra che lei sarebbe!
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnBeef View Post
Russ, i tuoi fotografie sono spectacolare, particolamente Venezia! Per me, la Venezia e una della più bellissima citte del’ mondo! Come me in Croazia, tu e Sam sono molto fortunamente visitare bellissima Italia con solo un po’ turistici! Spero che ritornare a Venezia la prossimo anno se possible, e anche visitare la Sicilia per il prima volta.

Una domanda. Era tua madre Italiana or forse, Italiana-Americana? Mi sembra che lei sarebbe!
Grazie, molto gentile!

I miei quattro nonni sono nati in Italia, tre in Molise (che non esisteva ancora, faceva parte dell'Abruzzo) e uno a Campagna; i miei genitori negli Stati Uniti.

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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by russ_in_LA View Post
Grazie, molto gentile!

I miei quattro nonni sono nati in Italia, tre in Molise (che non esisteva ancora, faceva parte dell'Abruzzo) e uno a Campagna; i miei genitori negli Stati Uniti.
Eccellente! Poi tu sei 100% Italiano! Sono 50%. Mio nonno e nato in Calabria e mia nonna e nata a Napoli. Siamo Italiani vero del’Sud!
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 10:09 AM
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Purtroppo non ho dei nonni italiani ma mi sento italiana!
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Old Oct 25th, 2020, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
Purtroppo non ho dei nonni italiani ma mi sento italiana!
I completely understand. I bet you are more Italian than some of my friends who were born there!
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Old Oct 26th, 2020, 09:00 AM
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Epilogue

On the day of our drive from Bologna to Nice, we decided to stop for a final lunch about half way, in the small beach town of Albenga. We chose what looked like a tiny beach shack with an outdoor terrace, but the food was surprisingly sophisticated. I had spaghetti in a lobster sauce and Sam had ravioli flavored with squid ink. Although I generally love seafood, I was not impressed with my previous encounter with a squid ink pasta sauce, so I was pleasantly surprised that the bite I tried of Sam’s was much tastier than it looked.

The other surprising thing was that the beach surrounding the restaurant was absolutely jam packed with shredded trees and wood debris. It looked like a giant lawn mower had come through and, having chopped down all the trees, deposited them on the beach. When I asked the server about it he said that it had all happened over night with the big storm on October 3, which brought floods and landslides, impacting Liguria from there to the border with France, as well as Piemonte and the French Alps. The trees and debris had blown over and been carried down the overflowing river, with the tide washing them to shore. It was an eerie sight.

Our last couple days in our final AirBnB outside of Nice were a bonus, as the weather was warm enough for lunches outdoors. We generally stayed out of the densely populated cities, but did visit the Picasso Museum in Vallauris, which focuses on his ceramics, and a deconsecrated chapel he painted, as well as the Fernand Léger Muséum in Biot. In addition to the Léger permanent collection, there was also a Gilbert and George exhibition, with three monumental photos compostions, which appeared to be about 6 meters (20 feet) high and 12 meters (40 feet) across.

So, we are back home in California now, after our 22 hours of travel, Nice - Frankfurt - San Francisco - Palm Springs. We were happy to see that Lufthansa had blocked out every other seat on the first flight, while we were the only two people in our cabin for the 11 hour transatlantic flight on United. Unfortunately, our small plane from SFO on the last leg was packed. In addition to our required masks, on the final packed flight I also wore a bucket hat with a plastic face guard around the front and sides, which made me look like a crazy bee keeper. Surprisingly, no one took our temperatures before any of the flights and no COVID test was required to transit through Germany or enter the US. Considering that cases have increased exponentially in both France and Italy over the past month, I would have felt better if the test had been required, but we are self-isolating at home for a couple weeks, although that also is not required for entry.

With over 4200 kilometers of driving behind us, this brings our Italy road trip to its conclusion. We are so grateful we had the opportunity to experience the country again, after such a long time away. Thanks to everyone who followed along or commented. I didn’t really go too much into logistics, so if anyone has any questions, I’m happy to respond. Ciao for now.



It was tasty, but black food just doesn’t get me excited. Glad it wasn’t mine.

Now, this is what I’m talking about!

Lots of flotsam and jetsam on the beach in Albenga, with our little beach shack restaurant on the left.

Picasso chapel in Vallauris

Picasso ceramics in Vallauris

Modern mosaics at the Léger museum in Biot

Modern mosaics at the Léger museum in Biot

Modern mosaics at the Léger museum in Biot

Stained glass window at the Léger museum in Biot

Gilbert and George: Images of Utopia, at the Léger museum in Biot

Gilbert and George: Images of Utopia, at the Léger museum in Biot

Gilbert and George: Images of Utopia, at the Léger museum in Biot

Mad beekeeper on the plane
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Old Oct 26th, 2020, 10:56 AM
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Simply amazing photos, Russ. Your protective gear looked inspired. I ordered a sepia pasta dish in Venice and like you wasn't impressed. Glad to know there are better versions. Picasso's ceramics and the chapel were amazing. And I loved that Leger church window.

Welcome back. May it become God's Country again come November.
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Old Oct 26th, 2020, 11:05 AM
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<<Simply amazing photos, Russ. Your protective gear looked inspired. I ordered a sepia pasta dish in Venice and like you wasn't impressed.>>

TD - I think that they are very varied as you might imagine. Personally I would prefer the plate that Russ had but I brought some squid ink pasta home with me on one of my visits which we've been eating recently and it was pretty good use in spaghetti alla vongole.

Russ - that is indeed very impressive headgear - I wonder what you would have said if this time last year someone had told you you'd be wearing that on a plane.

​​​​​​​Your photos have been superb and it's been great following you around albeit virtually.
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Old Oct 27th, 2020, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by TDudette View Post
Simply amazing photos, Russ. Your protective gear looked inspired. I ordered a sepia pasta dish in Venice and like you wasn't impressed. Glad to know there are better versions. Picasso's ceramics and the chapel were amazing. And I loved that Leger church window.

Welcome back. May it become God's Country again come November.
My bad squid ink dish was Venice too! I suspect that some the restaurants in the heavily touristed areas may not use the best quality products. 😉
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Old Oct 27th, 2020, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post

Russ - that is indeed very impressive headgear - I wonder what you would have said if this time last year someone had told you you'd be wearing that on a plane.
I would have thought they were crazy!
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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 01:25 AM
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Russ, it’s been such a pleasure reading about your experiences, thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old Oct 29th, 2020, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Adelaidean View Post
Russ, it’s been such a pleasure reading about your experiences, thanks for sharing it with us.
It’s been my pleasure. I’ve benefited from many trip reports of other Fodorites over the years, so happy to contribute. Thanks for following along!
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Old Oct 29th, 2020, 10:34 AM
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Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. A much needed distraction during these times. Where did you get your hat with shield? Looks like a great idea for flying.
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Old Oct 29th, 2020, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. A much needed distraction during these times. Where did you get your hat with shield? Looks like a great idea for flying.
Not the most glamorous purchase I’ve ever made, but I was happy to have it and the price was right. Here is a link:
Amazon Amazon

Note that the wavy plastic is not great for seeing through, so film watching was out, but reading was fine if I held my tablet so that I didn’t have to look through the plastic.
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Old Oct 29th, 2020, 01:12 PM
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Russ...

Thank you so much for this report. Having cancelled our planned two weeks in Sicily this past May, I now live vicariously through the travel of others. Your report was a pleasure.

ssander
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Old Oct 29th, 2020, 03:52 PM
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ohh, looks perfectly, italy is one of my favorite destinations...
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Old Oct 31st, 2020, 07:56 AM
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Only due to post moderation comment did I visit this thread. Great memories...( I went to 5Terre in the mid 80s thanks to the 4th edition of Europe thru the back door).
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