More from Tuscany

photo of Tuscan country side, Chianti region

Yum, all of the bottles and barrels were beautiful to behold and it smelled really good down there too.

photo of Tuscan country side, Chianti region

The rooster is the sign for Chianti Classico. The government only gives out so many of the official pink Chianti Classico labels. If you have more wine than labels, it gets sold as something other than Chianti Classico. DOCG is another government guarantee of method & quality. We had no idea that there was so much regulation of Chianti Classico, not to be confused with regular Chianti.

photo of Tuscan country side, Chianti region

More beautiful countryside.

photo of Harvest in the Tuscan countryside

It is harvest now. We drove by these two guys who were harvesting by hand. It looked like too much work for just the two of them. Our guide told us that they usually call all of their friends and family and have a harvest party. It sounds like fun but is really hard work.

photo of lunch in the Tuscan countryside

Lunch at a castle on our way to the second estate.

photo of Renzo Marinai Estate

Just a few shots from the second estate, Renzo Marinai. Aw… so sad to pour out that delicious wine.

Duomo, Ufizzi, Arno River, Florence, Italy

And the last shots from Florence: the Duomo, the Ufizzi, and the Arno River with a 5 bridge view including the Ponte Vecchio in the front. Mom, that one would make a good watercolor, don’t you think?

Next is Roma!

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Florence, day 1

FlorenceHere we are in Florence. Right off the bat, we noticed this cute public phone booth. Wonder if they get any use now that almost everyone seems to have a telefonino. Next is the Arno river and one of its many bridges. The second bridge is the Ponte Vecchio upon which the Medici family walked from the Pitti Palace to the Ufizzi. Last are some lovers locks that people lock to the bridge to profess their undying love.

FlorenceThe top two shots are of the outside of the Ufizzi, or the administrative offices of the House of Medici. Next are some slammin’ shoes that I just had to snap a shot of since I will never wear them. Next is a view from the Ponte Vecchio and last is one of the many little goldsmith shops that line the Ponte Vecchio. They used to house the butchers, bakers & candlestick makers until the Medici got rid of them & put in the goldsmiths instead. Supposedly it was because of the stink caused by the former.

Pitti Palace, FlorenceThis is the outside of the Pitti Palace, first the front and next the gardens and last the view from the gardens.

FlorenceThe huge sculpture above is in the gardens at the Pitti Palace but only dates to circa 1980 even though it was made to look ancient. That is probably the newest piece of art we have seen during our entire stay. The next 2 images are of a lovely little bottega.

more from Venice…

veniceMore of the beauty of Venice… bridges & architecture. The gondolier talking on his cell phone made for a fun contrast of eras.

veniceAnd of course another cute dog who ended up walking right into a trattoria.

veniceThe top 3 are of our hotel. The accordion player serenaded us at lunch. The last shot shows a lovely dinner on the water at a restaurant way off the beaten path (I posted the food shots earlier). This pretty much ends our stay in Venice.

Next is Florence where we have been for a few days but the wifi has been problematic. We assumed that it would be better than in Venice but that has not been the case. So pray to the technology gods so that I can continue posting!

Basilica di San Marcos

Highlights from our tour of the Basilica di San Marco.Basilica di San MarcoIt was high tide so the water came up into the piazza and into the Basilica entrance way.

Basilica di San MarcoInside, the ceiling is covered in beautiful golden artwork.

Basilica di San MarcoThe first and second images show the transformation from Medieval art to the Renaissance period. You can see the added depth & perspective that the artists used in the Renaissance. Last is the beautiful polychrome marble floor.

per my brother’s request…

some food shots…eating lots of pasta in VeniceI must begin with a disclaimer. It is turning out to be rather difficult to remember to pause to take a photo once these amazing dishes have been set in front of me. I consider it a victory that I was able to snap these few before I dug in.

First, Venice is the home of the Bellini so I have had my fair share. Next is Tagliatelle in a duck Bolognese, followed by the classic Spaghetti Pomodoro. Last is a simple spaghetti with a light butter, garlic & tomato sauce with a half lobster on the side. When they brought it out they called the lobster the Gondola. As I imagined, the pasta here is the best I have ever eaten and I plan to keep enjoying it throughout the trip.

Venice Day 2

VeniceWalking from our hotel in the streets and campos of Venice, on our way to Piazza de S. Marco.

VeniceThere are lots of cute, little dogs making themselves at home. They don’t have to worry about getting run over by cars so they are often unleashed unlike this sweet one @ the kiosk.

Venice canalsWe have yet to ride in a Gondola but I hope we do today.

VeniceThe top photo is quite a magnificent church but nothing compared to St Mark’s basilica which is below.

S. Marco, Doge's Palace, VeniceThe middle photo and the building on the right in the last one is the Doge’s Palace. We toured the Basilica (more photos to come) but not the Palace. Everyone told us that 3 days was enough for Venice but that is not true for us. So we have to be choosy about what we get to see. But, I’m not complaining, it is all fantastico!