DSCN0196A couple years ago, I enjoyed a wonderful journey to Italy for one of my best friend’s weddings. It was a Neapolitan wonder of musicians and food. People napped between courses and enjoyed an all-day feast of epic proportions, while the beautiful bride held court.

Since Artboy and I were already going to spend a week or so in Italy, we decided to extend our trip and visit areas outside Napoli and Pozzuoli. Three extra weeks in Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, and many points in between.

Over 28 days in Italy, we experienced the sights and sounds of the city and the countryside, tasted the local food, and enjoyed wine at every turn, even happening upon a wine tasting in a public square in Florence. The country lived up to its fabled charm and eloquence in every exceptional moment.

As usual, I planned the trip around restaurants, picking three off the Top 50 List: Il Canto, Le Calandre, and Osteria Francescana. I then added detours to hit major art museums, so Artboy would indulge my long weeks of travel. Looking back, I can taste the food again and hear the music.

I used the Foursquare app quite a bit to find local haunts, places reviewed and recommended. Through it, we found a hole in the wall in Rome, just outside the Vatican, where no one spoke much English. When we walked in, the place looked to be rather run down. We were the only people there. At least 15 tables sat empty. By the time our second course had arrived, the place was full. We were the only tourists. We shared the best Carbonara and Artboy tried his first plate of cured meats.

Italy was just a few weeks in the year, but it  fills a vast pool of memories. One of these days, I would love to spend a month living in Venice and hike more the trails in Cinque Terre, but I have so many other places to visit first. I do know I will be returning.



A street scene in Sorrento. Enjoying a glass of wine before catching the train back.


Gnocchi served in a parmesan bowl in Venice. We arrived between lunch and dinner and had a tough time finding a place serving food. This was an exceptional find, and one of our favorite meals of the trip.


From the window of the train.


Enjoying the garden at the Certosa di Maggiano in Siena.

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