April in Paris

Humming the song as we traverse the Charles de Gaulle airport in route to Lyon.

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Headed straight to Beaujolais region to shoot vineyards and a hill town on the way to Duboeuf winery.

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Village of Oignt feels a lot like Tuscany.

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Our hotel in Romaneche-Thorins.

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Au revoir!

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Ciao Italia

The last two days in Venice are a blur. Eating, walking and more eating. On the list of interesting sites was a used bookstore.

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The books are stacked in an old gondolier and old bath tubs.

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And there are steps made from books that lead up to a view of the canal.

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This is a store where the locals buy wine.

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Dinner at Osteria Oliva Nera (Black Olive).

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Local garbage pickup.

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Canal traffic.

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Local UPS.

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Rialto Market.

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Gnocchi Pesce for lunch.

We head out soon on our final adventure getting to the airport on one of these water buses.

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Ciao Italia!

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Don’t Believe Everything on TV

Or how you have to be as f¥€ked up as Anthony Bordain is during his show to think the food is awesome. So far we gave eaton at two places Bordain went to on his show. First Bonci’s Pizzarium in Rome. Good pizza, but not worth the hassle or the €12 taxi. Today we went to Cantina Do Mori in Venice for cichetti (like tapas). Another place visited by Bordain. Other than the fact that it’s a hole in the wall I’d be embarrassed to recommend this place. Maybe he had too many drinks during the the shoot.

Sorry for the rant. We’re in Venice and the city looks just like all those movies you’ve seen.

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We drove from Bologna to Mestre (just outside of Venice), dropped off our rental car and took the train into Venice.

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We took the vapporetto (water bus) down the Grande Canal to our hotel.

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We found a great little carry out pizza place less than a block from our hotel. After a bit of downtime, we headed out to the aforementioned cichetti place. We quickly left there and ended up in a very touristy restaurant in a large piazza. Food turned out to be pretty good.

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After dinner stroll around town.

Ciao.

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Bologna

We couldn’t take it any more. The heat and the bugs chased us out of our apartment in Tuscany. We traveled to Bologna and I’m embarrassed to say we ended up in a Best Western. It’s actually a nice business hotel but as we are learning, the Italians have a different idea of air conditioning. But it is a little cooler and no bugs.

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After checking in, We walked a block to a food shop and bought arancina carne and arancina burro along with a birra for a little snack.

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These are the remains; rice balls stuffed with meat and cheese and then fried (you probably guessed birra is beer). Yummy!

A little rest in the hotel and then dinner at Trattoria Nonna Rosa. All house made pastas.

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Tomorrow we head to Venice.

Ciao.

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Florence

Today we took the train to Florence where we joined all the tourists that were in Rome last week. Hot and touristy. Horrible to say, but feels a bit like the back lot at Universal Studios. But it really is amazing to see.

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The Douomo, built in the 13th century.

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Tuscany

We’re in Tuscany now and it’s hot. We are staying in a charming apartment built in the 16th century but there is no ac.

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We stopped to tour a hill town between Rome and Arezzo called Civita Bagnoregio.

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Our rental car is a Lancia wagon. Six speed (manual) diesel and quite comfortable.

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Yesterday we visited another Tuscan hill town, Cartona. This town was made famous by the movie Under the Tuscan Sun.

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Everywhere in Italy there is great Gelato. This is Gelateria Snoopy in Cartona.

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Ciao for now.

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Rome day 3 – Vatican or bust!

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Wow. A long day where we were able to knock a bunch of sites off our list. first we headed to the Campo dei Fiori market where vendors were selling an amazing assortment of fresh vegetables and flowers. There were also the tourist stands with fake Gucci purses which are also at every tourist spot in the city as well as along the sidewalks in between.

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Next, we headed to Bonci’s Pizzarium for Roman pizza by the slice. Quite good. We met some other tourists from Florida who were on a guided food tour of Rome. Small world.

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We made our way to the Vatican where we spent 4 hours wondering through the various rooms.

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We finished our site seeing at St Peters Basilica.

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Dinner was at Pierluigi’s. A seafood restaurant open since 1938. We took a bunch of pictures, but the only one on my phone is the wine (which was yummy).

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Tomorrow we head to Tuscany.

Ciao!

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Rome Day 2 – Touristing

We joined about 5 million other tourists today as we made our way around the northern part of the old city. We started at the Borghese gallery and worked our way back towards our hotel.

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Spanish steps.

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Trevi Fountain.

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And the billion other people also enjoying the sites.

Great dinner at L’Asino D’Oro.

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Translates to “The Golden Ass”.

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Buena notte.

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Day 1 – Planes, trains & the Collosio

After a long sleepless redeye flight, we are in Rome. Luckily, our hotel was ready when we got here. We staged our bags and had our first meal, pizza at Est Est Est, before joining the throngs of tourists at the coliseum.

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Riding the Metro gave a real feel for what it’s like to be a sardine in those tins. But walking out of the Metro station to see the coliseum left us awe struck.

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The high temp hovered close to 90 degrees and certainly didn’t help our jet lag. A little nap at the hotel and we were ready to eat again.

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Dinner at Il Barocco for yummy pasta.

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Big knockers all around the streets of Rome.

Ciao.

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