We have just returned from a family adventure in Italy and it was truly wonderful.
Lots of sightseeing, great food and fantastic scenery.
We took many, many photographs of Cathedrals and monuments and buildings and ruins.
We toured the major attractions and learned so much about the history of civilization itself.
But nothing made me happier than the festive pops of color
that stood out from all the stone.
I hope you enjoy this tour of the colors of Italy- an absolutely breathtaking place!
Let's set the scene with a photo of Positano.....
Just because it is so beautiful.
More on this town later.
we stayed at the Albergo Del Senato, recommended by several friends,
right next to the Pantheon.
A great location and a wonderful hotel
with a rooftop terrace for relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere.
We were greeted on the rooftop by Mariano
who introduced me to the wonders of Prosecco, my new favorite beverage.
A great place to unwind after a long day of exploring...
The view from the terrace down onto the Piazza della Rotonda.
At the Spanish Steps, the tourists add much of the color...
The "kids" are in this picture... kind of like Where's Waldo?
Not much color at the Colosseum
But on the local streets, in delis, ristorantes and gelaterias, you see things like this
In English, no less!
I once sat on a plane next to a French neurosurgeon who spoke beautiful English.
He told me that the internet has inspired the world
to learn and welcome the English language.
It seemed very true in Italy.
Way to go, bloggers!
We tasted a different Gelato every single day.
The displays were completely irresistible.
On our first night in Rome, we re-visited the Ristorante Alla Rampa,
an outdoor cafe tucked under the Spanish Steps that was most memorable
for Mr. Grand and I on our last trip to Italy 20 years ago.
Luckily, it did not disappoint!
We first tasted bruschetta here and we were hooked for life.
We ordered it at again for everyone
and it was just as amazing.
We decided then to embark on the Great Bruschetta Quest,
to seek out bruschetta at every meal
and to determine if indeed, the bruschetta at Ristorante Alla Rampa
was actually the best in Italy.
Results to follow.
There was some color in the Vatican...
And at Pompeii,
even after being buried in ashes for almost 2,000 years...
On to Positano, on the Amalfi Coast
where the scenery and the colors are absolutely heavenly.
Our hotel was perched at the very top of this photo,
The Villa Franca.
We highly recommend it!
This is a photo from inside the hotel bar looking out to the sea.
So gorgeous, I had to show you twice...
Three nights in Positano, not enough.
Must go back.
The bruschetta was excellent, but check out the view....
That's our hotel- the white building perched at the top of the hill on the right.
While Mr.Grand and our son (who wishes to remain nick-name-less)
took an arduous hike to the top of this cliff,
darling daughter and I swam and sunned at the rooftop pool.
The views were majestic.
It's called the Walk of the Gods for a reason.
Down by the beach, there were changing rooms for the guests...
And flowers everywhere.
702 steps up from the beach to our hotel.... I took the shuttle.
This is the view from the balcony of our room.
We splurged for this room, but we were able to find some really great values
on hotels in other places, so it sort of evened out....
But nothing else compared.
Except maybe Capri...
We took the ferry to Capri for a day trip and it was wonderful.
We rode a chairlift to the top of the island
and enjoyed soaring views and spectacular sights.
In town, there were lovely shops and charming people.
I bought a beach coverup here, for a song.
I hope wearing it will take me back....
On to Tuscany,
where we were delighted by the sights and scenery
at every turn.
We tasted wild boar and cheese and wines from the region.
We had a memorable meal in San Gimignano at Dulcisinfundo,
a ristorante we stumbled upon and enjoyed very, very much.
We had a terrific bottle of local Chianti,
as well as some delicious food, from their many local sources.
The owner served us and was most charming.
When we returned to our room after dinner,
we looked the restaurant up on our trip "bible" -Trip Advisor-
and found out we had luckily dined at one of the top restaurants in San Gimignano.
We found Trip Advisor to be invaluable in planning our trip
and in exploring things we may not have known about without it.
We highly recommend consulting Trip Advisor when planning a trip anywhere!
On to Florence,
where we were dazzled by great style everywhere.
This is a view from the rooftop terrace of our hotel in Florence, the Hermitage.
The jasmine was in bloom all over Italy and the fragrance was enchanting.
The hallways of our hotel were redolent as we climbed up to the terrace.
How could anyone resist?
Gorgeous, colorful children's clothes
And for those who prefer their children understated and elegant...
(Who are those people?)
Leather goods were plentiful, and prices very reasonable.
I found a few new handbags that I will be sporting about town.
In Florence, dinner at Il Latini was a highlight, especially for the "kids".
enormous amounts of interesting and delicious food,
friendly atmosphere, and lots of dulci.
What more could you ask for?
Well, maybe some bruschetta, but that was not to be.
The winner in the great Bruschetta Quest was still Ristorante Alla Rampa.
And in second place, the bruschetta recipe from my friend Patti.
I will have to make that soon!
The sights and sounds and scents were amazing on this unforgettable trip.
Colorful shutters everywhere.
Flowers in Tuscany...
I could not resist including this poster of ground pigments
at the little inn we stayed in on the west coast of Italy on our last night.
Mr. Grand has long worked in the paint industry
where colorants make many things possible...
On the road, Italian rest areas are actually kind of fun.
They have shops and cafes and great displays of local treats.
These pinwheels were spotted at a rest area on the drive to the airport...
These sunflowers waved to us as we passed by...
(until we meet again)
Thanks for coming along on this little tour.
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Open House Thursday at No Minimalist Here
Home and Garden Thursday at a Delightsome Life
Nifty Thrifty Party at Coastal Charm
Fabulous Friday at Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust
Weekend Bloggy Reading Party at Serenity Now
Inspiration Friday at The Picket Fence
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Time Travel Thursday at Brambleberry Cottage
Oh, The Places I've Been at The Tablescaper