After I fly home from Los Angeles, you know I am always saying that I leave part of my spirit behind. It’s true. The same is also true for Italy. For Los Angeles, it’s my search for and exploration of old Hollywood, especially the Hollywood of the early 20th century.
With Italy, it is something different. It speaks to me like no other place on earth, at least like none of the 20 or so countries I’ve been to. It is the beauty of the country and its people. It has to do with the importance the Italians put on something as simple as a meal. It’s the pride they take in their wine, their food, their gelato, their cheese, their architecture, their history, their writers and artists. They know how to live a well-balanced life.
Charlie and I recently spent two weeks in Italy. We started in the little village of Manarola in the Cinque Terre. This little town spoke to me like few places have. When it came time to travel to La Spezia to pick up the car and head into Tuscany, I had a hard time walking off the terrace of our little apartment.
So, my friends, here is a bit of what I experienced. I’m going to shut up and let you see Italy through the eyes of someone whose love for Italy runs deep.
We start in Manarola.
Manarola in late afternoon. Can you find our apartment? Find the pink building in the middle of the picture. Move to the right and see the other pink building. Our apartment is atop that building.
Michael outside the apartment.
My first meal in Italy. My mouth waters just looking at this plate of mussels.
Sunset in Cinque Terre.
The next morning, we hiked to the next village, Corniglia. You can see the village in the distance.
On the hiking trail high above Manarola.
Our path eventually leads us into the clouds.
Looking back at Manarola from the hiking trail.
Can’t say much about this one. It is my idea of heaven.
We finally arrive in Corniglia.
Michael, on the descent into Corniglia.
A local basking in the gentle Mediterranean breeze.
Our travels took us to Lucca, a Tuscan jewel. I catch up on my journaling while sipping vino. Mine is the red. Charlie’s will usually be white.
Inside the massive cathedral in Lucca.
Easily the best pizza I have ever put in my mouth.
The next day, we drove to Volterra, high in the Tuscan hills.
After lunch we drive south to Pitigliano. Daylight gave way to a glorious sunset.
Pitigliano took my breath away. This medieval town seems to have been born out of the rocks. Lush valleys surround.
The next six photos give you a view of Pitigliano through my eyes.
We visited Etruscan tombs below Pitigilano. The steps they carved centuries ago to access the tombs are still there.
Pitigliano from the Etruscan necropolis.
A stop in Sovana.
Vino in Sovana.
The approach to Sorano.
A fall view from Sorano.
The streets of Sorano.
The drive to Rome. Orvieto is on the horizon.
Enjoy Roma with me.
We headed south to Pompeii for the day. One of the most amazing sights I have ever seen.
Pompeii had its share of brothels. This carved stone in the wall shows the way to the nearest one.
If you got lost and were too bashful to ask for directions, this stone on a major street in Pompeii would help you locate the nearest house of ill repute.
Charlie and Michael in Pompeii. See Mt. Vesuvius in the distance.
Back in Rome. The fish tank at our favorite Chinese restaurant.
Early morning breakfast
No adventure to Rome is complete without a trip to the Vatican.
The oculus at the Pantheon.
Inside the Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
Thanks, friends, for taking a peek into my latest Italian adventure.
If I ever drop out of sight, you’ll know I’ve run away. You can find me toasting the sunset on the terrace of my apartment in Manarola.