Dolly Travels: Pitti Palace, Viareggio, and Cinque Terra

Published Date Author: , May 28th, 2011

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Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on the go again, this time starting in Paris. She has graciously allowed us to republish her travel blogs. Enjoy!
Monterosso Beach

Buongiorno, Everyone,

While we are taking our afternoon rest, I will try to fill you in on our activities of the past week. Although we have been walking miles every day, the stairs will probably do me in.

Why is it, that I can walk forever, on level ground, even hilly ground, and the stairs are going to be my undoing? And believe me, if you even think about telling me I am a year older than I was last year, I will not listen to you!!

Boboli GardensLast Thursday, Sharon and I toured the Boboli Gardens and the Pitti Palace. The gardens were beautiful, of course, but everything in the gardens is just up another hill, or a flight of stairs. The visit was well worth the energy expended getting to the top.

On Saturday, we took the train to Viareggio. Massimo picked us up at the station, then took us to our apartment. The Carli’s had given us thebuse of the Oberdan apartment for the weekend, which was quite lovely.

As the Carli’s had commitments to other functions, we were on our own for Saturday. First we walked to the marina, looked at the enormously expensive yachts, trying to decide which one we liked best.

Then we walked the Passiagata, the pedestrian area that parallels the sea. We were fortunate that the weather was good, so eventually we found a little ristorante where we each ordered what we thought was a sandwich but when our lunch arrived, the sandwiches were the size of a small pizza, made on fresh focaccia and delicious, but impossible to finish. Here is Sharon taking a picture of our lunch (at right).

After that we waddled our way a few more blocks down the Passiagata, then returned to our apartment to rest up from all the walking and eating. Later that night we had a nice little grilled sole with potatoes, and that was quite enough.

The next day we had lunch with Massimo and Magda, and Massimo’s mother, who will be 106 years old this August. She is delightful, and we enjoyed the meal and the company very much. Later, after his mother had gone back to her own apartment, the four of us went for a walk, and got caught in a rainstorm.

PassagiataHere is a photo of the Passiagata (at left).

The following day we took the train up to the Cinque Terre, staying in the village of Vernazza. We were very lucky with the weather for our two night stay there.

We did not hike the trail, but walked along the road out of the village, coming across little cottages, with gardens, a little river. It was so pretty.

Afternoon SpritzWe managed to get back to Vernazza in time for cocktail hour. At five o’clock, the church bells chimed the hour, then the carillon played the Italian National Anthem. I love that song anyway, but it was especially nice to hear it there, and see and hear many people singing the anthem. I must learn the words to that song.¬†Our afternoon Aperol spritz is pictured at right.

Vernazza's HarborOn Tuesday, we spent most of the day in Monterosso (beach photo at the top of this post), the village further north west of Vernazza. Again, the weather was beautiful, many people were enjoying the beach. We walked into the Old Town, then down the Promenade, had a lovely seafood lunch, finally getting the train back to Vernazza about six o’clock.¬†Vernazza’s harbor is at left.

Sadly, Wednesday, we had to leave the seaside, but we were happy to be back “home” in Florence. We were able to have dinner in our apartment with enough food for leftovers tonight.

Life is good! We enjoyed a nice walk today, in Florence, but did not get to go into the Medici chapel, or Santa Maria Novella church, as we had planned, because of the long lines of tourists waiting to get into those places.

I think the cruise ships had brought tons of visitors today, so we went to the bookstore and the ceramic store, where I saw my friend, Regina, in the Lorezacchio Ceramiche.

She has made some beautiful ceramics, many of which reside in my home already. We had a nice visit. This is one of the good things about travel, meeting some very nice people who remain friends forever.

Now I must close, and get this blog post sent. By the way, although I am having a good time, I still want to hear from my friends and family. Write to me, OK?

Ciao for now.


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