Arrivaderci, Roma

By Catherine | On Oct 5, 2013 | 1 Comment

The last day in Rome dawned bright, but soon gave way to rain.  I wasn’t about to let the rain stop me, so with umbrella in hand, I set out in the direction of the Trevi Fountain.  The rain got heavier and navigating the narrow streets full of people with umbrellas was hazardous.  I forged on, turning down an even…

Rome!

By Catherine | On Oct 2, 2013 | No Comments

Our departure from Gubbio was not without problems.  It was raining (first time during the trip), but more importantly, there was a local run that morning and the tiny streets were blocked off while the runners got started.  I believe I mentioned the bicycle race that interfered with our day in Florence – what are the chances of encountering two…

Spoleto

By Catherine | On Oct 1, 2013 | No Comments

Saturday’s day trip was to Spoleto, home of the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, conceived by Gian-Carlo Menotti in 1958. Charleston is home to the US version of the famous music festival. Spoleto is an ancient city built high on a hillside, dating back to 240 B.C.  Today, the city is accessed via a series of escalators that easily take…

On to Umbria

By Catherine | On Sep 30, 2013 | No Comments

Thursday we said goodbye to the Villa Montecastello and headed east into Umbria and the town of Gubbio that would be our home for the next three nights.  Gubbio is built into a steep hillside and dates to the early 1400’s.  We have been staying at Relais Ducale, a charming old hotel that features beautiful patios and gardens.  One of…

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Siena

By Catherine | On Sep 27, 2013 | No Comments

Tuesday’s destination was Siena. I had a brief visit there three years ago and was anxious to return.  Siena is built on seven hills and to visit the city requires traversing many steep streets.  It is known for its magnificent black-and-white-striped cathedral and also for the bareback horse race called the Palio, held in July and August, and whose origins…

Pienza and Montalcino

By Catherine | On Sep 26, 2013 | 1 Comment

On Monday we made the drive to Pienza, a tiny Renaissance village.  The views out over the rolling hills were spectacular and I wandered the cobbled side streets taking in the charming architecture and browsing in small shops.  From Pienza, we made a stop at a beautiful 12th century Benedictine abbey, Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, with a bucolic setting among olive…

Andiamo a Toscana

By Catherine | On Sep 24, 2013 | 1 Comment

On Saturday, our group met at the Rome airport and off we went to Tuscany.   It is about a three hour ride and we were all glad to arrive at our beautiful home for the next five days, the Villa Montecastello, which is in the area of Monteriggio.  The villa dates back nearly 1,000 years and was originally a…


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