Thanks Art and Carol!

The first trip of the 2009 season is now history, and what a trip it was! From Rome to Orvieto and explorations of Umbria, to Tuscany and Liguria and back to Tuscany. We covered more than 2,000 kilometers together, and very little of that was on straight roads! This was Art and Carol’s second trip […]

The Road to Volterra

This has to be one of the most scenic drives in Tuscany. The twisting road between San Gimignano and the ancient Etruscan town of Volterra rewards the traveler with vistas of farmland, isolated farms and hilltop towns. The greenery of this time of May knocks your eyes out.

The other day in San Gimignano

Staying two nights in one of Tuscany’s most fascinating and popular hill towns. San Gimignano is a real magnet for the bus tourists, who enter the southern gate in a non-stop flood starting around 10:30. First stop – the gelato shop just inside the first town square, winner of the award for “Best Gelato” several […]


A stop in Portovenere on the way between Sestri Levante and Lucca rewards the photographer with this awesome view from the old church at lands end of Lord Byon’s Grotto and the coastline stretching off in the direction of Riomaggiore and the start of the Cinque Terre. It was all I could do not to […]


Art holds up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Built originally as a lighthouse (Pisa was a port) the tower started leaning almost immediately, even before the fourth level was added. The rate of tilt has been dramatically slowed thanks to modern engineering. If the tower ever gets completely straightened, millions of plastic leaning towers sold […]


Portofino is one of the treasures of the Ligurian Coast. The vivid colors of the old fishing village are best appreciated while cruising into the bay by ferry from nearby Santa Margherita. That’s what we did on a sparkling warm day recently. Climb the stairs to San Giorgio for the best overview of the town.

Cinque Terre Hike – the real deal

There’s a bit of vital information left out of most guidebooks which include the Cinque Terre of Italy. The “walk” between villages is not for the faint of heart. OK, one short stretch is easy. That’s the stretch from Riomaggiore to Manarola and then beyond that to Corneglia, where you have the option to walk […]

On the Bay of Silence, Sestri Levante

We’ve just left Sestri Levante and four unforgettable nights at the Hotel Helvetia on the “Bay of Silence.” It’s very appropriately named. While other Italian towns and cities have the non-stop buzz and racket of an active nightlife, people outside enjoying the cool of the evening, young Casanova wanna-be boys trying to impress the local […]