A Travellerspoint blog

train and rome

storm 22 °C
View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Sept 19

We were so excited to take the train. We changed our tickets- so we were supposed to go to the office and exchange tickets The line was so long.. Our guide told us to get on train and pay 8 euros and avoid the ticket office. We were so lucky she told us that-the 11:52 was late and we made it at 12:05.

The train was so easy and everything was running smoothly. When we arrived in Rome it was pouring. We are dragging our luggage and backpacks. We found a taxi line-they were all seedy. Because of the rain and luggage we had no choice.

We had an idea of the cost-and of course I had a map. The meter was running so fast. The driver was aware we knew he was cheating us. He pulled over and said this is it. Can't get car to hotel- walk this way. I would not let kari leave the car until I had all luggage out of car.

I checked the map and he let us off 8 blocks from hotel and pointed in wrong direction. We walked in the rain with luggage to hotel. Drenched and so happy to have a bottle of prosceco waiting for us. It was opened in 30 seconds.

We started our walking tour. I wanted to see as much as possible. It was raining so hard, we stopped in bars along the way-a roman pub crawl. Had a nice time and we were pretending to be guides and describing everything as our guides.

This is the end of my journal. Some know and some do not-my dad has been ill for almost 2 years. He fell ill again when I was in Spain- we thought it was the usual fever observation. Within 1 week, he passed away. He read everyone of my stories and pictures. He was so proud that I was seeing the world. He did not want me to come home. Kari has been wonderful-so has the support of my friends at home.

Thank you for joining me. Already planning my next travel tripjhope you will live the adventures in person. Ciao Julie=

Posted by Jcarrara 17:30 Archived in Italy Tagged train_travel Comments (0)


rain 22 °C
View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Sept 19

We had a walking tour at 8:30 am. It was drizzling. Our guide was fantastic. We had a 2.5 hour tour. We went through some piazza's and markets. History of the city and cathedral-and 'the David'.

The David was amazing. When you see the sculpture- instantly- see the beauty and why it is so important in the art world. The background history of michelangelo was fantastic and pulled everything together.

Having a guide is a must for certain cities-sienna, Bologna, florence and rome. The information and the ability to move ahead to front of line is so important to get a feel for the history and development of the cities. They are expensiveJ the best money spent besides Prada.

After the tour we went to the train station.=

Posted by Jcarrara 17:27 Archived in Italy Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Chianti, Prada and Florence

overcast 23 °C
View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Sept 18

We went to brunello country. Today the driver was a little aggressive and I was car sick the entire day.

We started the day at a beautiful family vineyard. The son gave us the tour. It is amazing that he grew up knowing he would own the business one day. He was 29 and was very knowledgable. The wine was great and not only will another case arrive at my office, I bought older years and cant wait to open the bottles. I may actually have Chris, Tom or Cliff store the bottles for me. I don't trust myself.

Our driver introduced us to a copper craftsman. He was a spunky old man. He makes all sorts of handmade copper items. Chefs have his heavy copper pots sent to them fro all over the world. He made Kari and I a cute copper plate orniment.

Next- Prada outlet. Kari was in her element. I was so impressed with her price knowledge-she was able to determine a good deal. I planned activities, towns and hotels. Kari went to designer stores in Chicago to learn prices and collections. We all contribute.

We arrived in Florence that evening. We stayed at the Gallery art hotel. Great location and they recommended a nice dinner place and made a reservation.

We had the best steak florentine and it was nice to see lots of locals dining around us. Kari wouldn't really care because the rolling stones were background music. She was so excited.

We walked around. This city had a nice energy.

Posted by Jcarrara 17:14 Archived in Italy Tagged shopping Comments (0)

Radda in Chianti

sunny 28 °C

sept. 17

Kari and I left bologna-we were and still are laughing about leaving the tip in american money.

Our new driver picked us up. Funny about these drivers-they tend to tell you everything about their relationships. This driver sang opera for 20 years. He had a recent career change because his marriage was suffering.

Arriving in Radda in Chiante was amazing. Nice sunshine and happy memories. The town was so charming. Our hotel was of course 500 years old. The room was great-the bathroom very small.

Kari and I went hiking and running. I went to take a shower and the stall was so tiny. They tried to modernize the shower with multiple body sprays. When I turned on the water the sprays were on and I flooded the bathroom. Water came shooting out and all over. I had to wipe down the walls too. Very funny.

We had a great day and dinner was so different from the evening before. We were excited for the next day.=

We met our new driver-Gioanni. He was a kept man in Miami for a few years. Missed the life-like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Has a 14 year old son. He lives in France with his mother and doesn't speak italian.

We had a list of wineries and Siena for the day's agenda. I do not think there will be any chianti reserves left for other tourists-they are on the way to my office.

The weather was perfect. We decided to have a low key meal-pasta. When we arrived at the pizza place, it was packed. A german couple from our hotel invited us to share a table. When I sat down, my friend Mauritzio was entertaining the vespa group. It was so great to meet everyone. Kari chatted with everyone and she may be open to the idea in the future-just have to get her on my vespa at home.=

Posted by Jcarrara 17:00 Archived in Italy Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)


overcast 18 °C
View Julie; Joe; Kari; Megan's European Holiday on Jcarrara's travel map.

Sept 15

So Kari and I wanted to go to our new favorite place Da Nello. It was closed on monday-this town is open only 12% of the week.

Our hotel recommended another similar restaurant. On a rainy, cold Monday we walked in to a 3/4 empty restaurant and was asked if we had a reservation. It took 10 minutes to seat us and we were treated so poorly. We laughed about never being treated so rudely. I asked for the cute younger waiter and bleach blonde guy said not possible. He then pulled another chair over to our table. I asked why and loudly said for our imaginary friend. Of course, I had to add fuel to the fire and have him convert the phrase to italian and then I practiced out loud all night.

Each table had a different plate of fruit. We had green apples-funny because we bought and ate them all the time. We were handed a wine list-Kari and I were tempted to ask blonde baldy to bring us cheapest bottle-by the glass. The food was very good. The busboy loved us and was quickly replaced with non english speaking drone.

We laughed and KARI suggested we bite each apple. We were going to leave the bill in all american currency- we gave the busboy euros, paid check to exact amount and left american dollars for waiter.

When we left, I asked a nice man to take our picture with 2 green apples. He asked why- we explained about our rude treatment-he turned out to be the owner or an investor.

We are still laughing and looking forward to our Tuscan adventures ciao=

Posted by Jcarrara 16:38 Archived in Italy Tagged food Comments (1)

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