Thursday, 21 January 2010
Sunday, 17 January 2010
We went to visit Venice on the Wednesday before leaving Italy. We stayed in Bologna on the night before and after the visit - we didn't want to kill the atmosphere with 5 suitcases (not to mention 2 coffees, 3 hot chocolates and 2 croissants cost 40 euro (but we were served by a man in a dinner suit).
We travelled by train there and back. Had an issue with the train on the way back, but the trip was not too long or short. Got a water taxi down the grand canal to San Marco square. Walked around, got a gondola ride, took the lift up the bell tower, walked around all the shops buying this and that, and walked back to the train station (which was breathtaking, easy and a lovely way to look around). Kids didn't moan too much about the walk - too impressed by the buildings.
It's a pretty unique situation to be on one - the kids discussed honeymoons on this ride........but I intend to be back on my "no kids" moon (you know, when all the kids leave home and you get a really cool holiday).
C girl has been in her room for less than a year now and only now am I showing what we finally did to make it her own. As you can see from the blobs on the wall, we had to paint over the blue tak stains on the wall (they don't come off over here), paint is useless.
Saturday, 16 January 2010
We got home from holiday on Saturday morning totally jet lagged and unable to sleep at night, but with our friends staying with us.
Monday, 11 January 2010
We just got home on Saturday morning. I will give a much more detailed account (with photos). But I will give my love/dislikes now to get the dislikes off my chest so I can write objectively. Overall we loved Italy, wondered why it took us so long to get there. Very glad I was born in Australia though.
10 Things I loved about Italy
1. The weather – snow, light rain, refreshingly cold, when you breath, you could see it (and not just because you were standing in front of the freezer counter at Sogo).
2. The old buildings – for the areas we saw (and yes – it was only 3 weeks), mostly old buildings, picturesque (but I’m not sure I’d want to live in them).
3. The food – lunch and dinner were a pleasure – for the first time in my holiday lifetime, we bought both lunch and dinner every day and it was a pure pleasure. Who cared how much it cost, it tasted fantastic (to the point the C girl is eating real food now).
4. The diet. 3 weeks of at least 1 bottle of wine a day and everything I wanted to eat – no difference in weight.
5. Did I mention the food – well the pasta was magnificent (I only had risotto or pasta for dinner), favorite – pumpkin ravioli with balsamic sauce. It was magic 3 weeks, 2 dud meals.
6. Ability to walk everywhere. The maps were good, the locations were close and we managed to walk a minimum of 5km a day. Yes we did the bus/train thing where necessary, but we mostly walked (big improvement on last year – mostly because Munch is now 6 ¾ and could cope (until the last few days when she kuplunked). Plus in Rome you could get on a website and it would give you the public transport/walking that you needed to catch/do to go from A to B. Easy peasy.
7. Rome – this is a city I could happily live in (in the old section), there is something amazing around every corner. Old ruins, café, every street, everywhere. I loved it. Loved Venice and Florence as well for same reason.
8. The shopping centres – we saw a total of ZERO big supermarkets (only saw small ma and pa ones), ZERO department stores/shopping centres. All boutiques and small shops.9. The coffee – I am now a convert (we even bought home a percolator for the stove to have one very morning on way to work).
10. The Australian tourists – there I said it. We were the ones in the restaurants at 6pm (in Rome), usually every group in there at that time was an Australian and we always had lovely chats. Also ran into some groups in Florence, Pompeii (same group), Venice and Milan – all of whom we loved talking to (maybe just for the accents). Granted I wouldn’t have loved this if I hadn’t been out of Aus for 3 years, but for us it was really lovely. One group from Ballarat – now there is a freaky coincidence considering we both lived there for 4 years.