RHK's heading to Europe

Old Apr 29th, 2013, 01:07 PM
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Because, you, Bob and Karen have a great marriage makes you have great trips, carry on luv.
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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So glad to hear you guys made it across the pond. Continue to enjoy and keep us posted.

Slight correction to keep your spelling up to par: birds do not "churp," they "chirp.". Knit-picking, I know. Want you on your toes as often as possible.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 05:24 AM
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the birds i know churp!!!

we woke monday at 4 and the ship was already turning around in the port---very tight space... we went back to sleep until 7ish and had breakfast on 14th deck with our "group".

we disembarked about 9---no customs or immigration oddly.

don--- the wine guy was eastern european--serbia i think..

our driver was waiting just outside the arrivals tent for us.. we had a porter because of the amount of luggage we had. the bags fit perfectly in our Mercedes and we were off to our car lease location outside of FCO.. drive was perhaps 45-50 minutes--no traffic on highway.

info: you need a p/u at the port. the town is about a miles and too far to walk... the 124 E ride was a bargain when we saw what could have been involved in getting public transportation or getting to the local car rentals on foot. we saw few taxis.

our car/van/suv was waiting for us... huge by european standards, brand new (7 kilometers on odometer). no line---paperwork all done, just a few signatures...we were off with our own GPS in no time. put 76 E of diesel in at a nearby petro station and we headed for the highway. 2+ hours later (12:45) and we pulled into my sister's driveway... all along the road we marveled at the tall very green grasses and crops, the wildflowers and the fields being worked. spring was well along here. the temps were very pleasant.

we arrived starved (had intended to eat along the way but many restaurants were closed on mondays).

jane whipped up some simple pasta with delicious red sauce and sausages, which hit the spot. oh, the ground cheese!!

we lazed around the rest of the afternoon, enjoying her outside areas, views and flowers. in the late afternoon we ventured out briefly to a local "convenience" shop for a few items including 2 local cheeses.

For dinner jane prepared, with some help from K, an interesting presentation of fried pork medallions in a mustard, cream and wine reduction with sauteed mushrooms (about 2 lbs worth); warm local asparagus spears with a mustard vinaigrette coating; local country bread and butter;
plus a cheese board and fruit for dessert. the wine was a pinot grigio which was delicious.

we slept well---we were very tired having gotten up early.


Tuesday Apr 30


I slept late, as usual. we had local bread toast with honey and orange marmalade for breakfast, plus berry yogurt...

K and J worked in the gardens and i did my usual. laundry started yesterday and continued today.

about 1 we had a wonderful left-over lunch: cold sliced roasted chicken with sage stuffing; more of the asparagus from last night cold, cold flat italian green beans with grape tomatoes, dried sausage, prosciutto, left over pork warmed up and yet more country bread and butter... water... fruit...

a workman is coming at 4 to cut the back field so that will wind up our day followed by pizza at a local place and the best of all, our first gelato...
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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Hello Bob & Karen! Glad you had a great crossing! Sounds Luke everything is going smoothly in Italy. The food at your sister's sound soooo good!!

By the way, you talked us into Japan - we will be there for the Tokyo GTG!!

Looking forward to hearing more about your European adventures!
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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YEA!!!! more for japan

did you tell HITraveller you are coming?? we may need to rent an entire dining room
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 08:28 AM
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J just told me the pastry factory is open 24 hrs so we will zip over there too

no i will N O T share!!!
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 09:07 AM
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Yes, I told HITraveler on the GTG thread on the Asia board and we are on the official list. What fun it will be!

Enjoy your pastries!!! I'm jealous!
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 12:13 PM
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i just slammed some of the pastry in the car door... oops...

pizzas were delicious... lots of variations... i had a quartro: fine ham, artichokes, mushrooms and olives, which i don't like... some white wine and very cold water... K had the same and they had fresh mozzarella...

pastry shop is near todi: pasticceria gelateria; dolce napoli srl; loc. bodoglie, 15; todi (PG)... they also have pizza and gelata.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 05:49 PM
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We really do need a Fodors Forum on: Food While Traveling.

All sounds great, especially the local pizza. You know that likely you could FedEx us each a pie. Have fun.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 12:12 AM
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the pies are on their way, watch for the fed ex man
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Old May 1st, 2013, 12:55 PM
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may 1, a national holiday in this socialist country... everything is closed except restaurants.

another lazy day... more left over pasta for lunch...

about 4 some friends of jane's came by to take us to a wine cantena on the other side of Todi... a lovely ride through the countryside. tons of red poppies. green crops and green grasses.

we arrived at the cantena just as they had decided to close but welcomed us in. K & I did a wine tasting. K chose a dozen bottles and we tasted and bought their grape marmalade, one that the last Pope took as gifts on a couple of overseas trips.. delicious... we also tried a sweet wine which he also took on foreign visits-- too sweet for us.

we had a 7:30 res for dinner at a hilltop restaurant where we went on our last visit here. we were the 2nd table to arrive and all tables were full when we left. we started with antipasto which had dried meats, cheese, brushetta (tomato and pate), cheese bread, two grain/veggie stuffing like bites, prosciutto, and other things.

we each ordered a pizza, thin crust unlike last night---they are huge, maybe 14". we had waters, both avec gas and sans gas. K had wine, dario had beers. K & D had a degastion after dinner drink--bitter. then we all had lemonchello made from lemons grown on their property.. we were stuffed!
70 E.

Raffella made us a traditional dessert of figs and pastry which i will sample before bed with my diabetes meds---perfect pairing.

Leaving for poppi, tuscany tomorrow.

Wine: Signae cesarini sartori; luciano cesarini

Restaurant: Rosa di Venti; restorante pizzeria; fiore di todi; www.rosadiventitodi.it
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 05:50 AM
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raining today on and off.. we drove the highway for a while and then followed the GPS up and over mini-mountains, twisting and turning, up and down, hairpin turns, in and out of clouds.

we passed through a small village that had a hotel restaurant open so we stopped. K had pasta with mushrooms and i had minestrone soup, plus water and we shared a tiramisu... yum...

finally we emerged from the hills and down into the poppi area, where after a short drive we arrived at our inn. the new building where our large room is located looks directly out across the valley at poppi atop a hill... we just heard the church bells ringing.

Inn: Ristorante Albergo La Torricella; Loc. Torricella, 14; 52014, Ponte a Poppi---www.latorricella.com.

i think we are paying 90 E. room and bath are huge.

plan to eat at the restaurant tonight, having relaxed all afternoon.

bells are ringing loudly again---love it..
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 05:52 AM
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fyi: poppi is SE of florence about 40 minutes.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 09:37 AM
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That's a sweet corner of the world. Understand what you mean about driving with all the switchbacks -- made the mistake of doing the over-the-hills route once from San Marino to Florence en route to the farm we stayed at in San Casciano, and it was about the longest 90 miles of my life.

It's a treat to stop in the most modest of restaurants and order a carafe of local wine (for pennies) -- and it turns out to be one of the best you've ever had.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 01:28 PM
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I visited the website and your inn looks lovely! Enjoy the bells! Sounds very atmospheric! Your food posts are making me hungry...
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 02:19 PM
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I've been craving pasta this week--now I realize why. Looks like a beautiful place to stay.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 05:42 PM
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just saw this trip thread. Have a fabulous trip!! We love Italy!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 06:30 PM
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Enjoying your report, wish we were there with you. It sounds all so wonderful. Well except the part about the smashed Pastry.

Linda says to save her some chocolate croissants for breakfast

Aloha!
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 08:15 AM
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at breakfast this AM, i did not have a chocolate croissant, but i had 1 1/2 chocolate filled flatter pastry and then for lunch i had 3 profiteroles with cream and custard filling covered in a chocolate mousse... linda will have to settle with HI Dunkin doughnuts...

our dinner in the inn's restaurant last night was good but not fabulous--no complaints... K had: fried chicken which was like chicken mc-nugets, only freshly made and FF with a nice green salad and 1/2 bottle of white wine, plus rice pudding with tiny fruits of the forest. I had an antipasto as a main course with FF, then grand-ma's lemon tart plus water.

no english on our tv, so bed seemed a good idea.


Friday---

we awoke at a decent hour and went to breakfast about 9:30... breakfast was mostly pastry and fresh fruit, plus one type of cereal, one juice---no proteins which we missed.

we lazed around until 10:30 then headed to borgo alla collina to a ceramic manufacturer which we had visited previously (ceramiche tapinassi). we bought a hand pained tile to use as a trivet and two small baking dishes. they no longer make what K wanted.

since we were close by we decided to swing by dei mori villa to see if the owners might be there... we had previously rented it from them. they were just leaving to return to florence when we met them head-on on the tiny street. we had a short conversation. they own a B&B in Florence, by the same name---very centrally located... small rooms but perfect for a few days... google them...

from there we headed to the town of STIA for lunch in the historic town center at ristorante filetto; piazza B. Tanucci, 28. Open for lunch only (10-4), closed saturdays. we have eaten there several times in the past and it is fantastic.... today we shared the tomato and bread soup (poppi al pomodora)--- thinned pasta sauce with a little meat mixed with bread, and wide fresh flat pappardelle pasta with wild boar sauce. both are tuscan specialties, and both are to die, and i mean die, for. everyone around us on the outdoor covered patio was having wine, but we resisted and had only bottled naturale water. for dessert I had profiteroles with cream and custard filling and covered with chocolate mousse and K had crema castalano (sp)---thin uncooked creme boulee.

needing to more around a bit after nearly 2 hours at lunch, we drove to a near-by semi abandoned church up in the hills. it is very small but has a lovely restored painting in the nave and very well preserved religious Della-robia porcelains surrounding the small alter.

following that we drove up into the local mountains for about 2 hours making a big loop. the haze had cleared and we could see the wonderful landscapes. trees, flowers and other fauna were at various stages of development depending on our altitude... this is a very rural area dotted by very small villages and some small towns.

we returned to our inn and caught up on the internet and relaxed.

tonight we have a res for dinner at a local restaurant owned by the 3 brothers who own the porcelain factory (rated #1 on TA)
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Old May 5th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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K says this is way toooooooooo boring and not to write more??
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