Dolly Travels – Monterosso

Author: , May 31st, 2012

Monterosso, Liguria, ItalyYesterday we took the train over to Monterosso, visited the old town, that had been hit hard by the flood of October 25, 2011. The owner of an art shop, Mauro, told us of 200 businesses in the old town, 198 had suffered major damage. His entire shop had to be rebuilt.

He showed us a mark up near the ceiling, about 8 feet over our heads, that designated the high mud level. Again, he had pictures of the destruction. I told him it still made me want to cry when I saw the pictures of the damage. He looked at me, kind of shrugged a shoulder, and said, “Well, we, too, shed tears.

But then we said, Do we stand here and cry, or get to work? We got to work.”. And indeed they have. While some businesses are still under construction, most are up and running again, just 5 months after the flood. The streets were still covered with plywood in many spots, but the people have psuch a positive attitude.

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Postcards From An Italian Adventure – Moon Over the Arno, Then Monterosso

Author: , September 7th, 2010

Postcards From An Italian Adventure:

Gay Friendly Tuscany Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Moon Over the Arno - Florence, Tuscany

Monday, August 30th

Arno River at NightI cannot believe how fast this week has gone. If you read my last blog post, you will know that I came back from Viareggio on Monday afternoon. My young friend, Amanda, was waiting for me at my apartment. It was good to see her again. Her family had gone back to Mexico on Saturday, and she had some free time before visiting other friends, so was spending a few days with me.

We decided, in the late afternoon, to take our cameras, and get some more pictures of Florence. The wind was blowing a bit, and there were still too many people around, therefore, our photo shoot in the afternoon didn’t amount to much. We went to a nice little restaurant near the Arno, had dinner, then went back to the river when it was dark.

I had seen the full moon when I was in Viareggio, so looked at my calendar, to find that Tuesday would be the official full moon. We walked down to the Ponte Amerigo Vespucci, so that we were able to look back at the Ponte Vecchio. The wind had stopped, the water on the river was as still as glass.

We got some pretty good shots, as you will see. We finally got back to the apartment about 11:00 p.m. We had had a very nice day, but we were going to go to Cinque Terre on Tuesday, so we had to pack and get some sleep.


Early Tuesday we took the train to Monterosso. We had reserved a room in a quaint little hotel right on the main street.

As soon as we checked in, we got out beach things, and headed to Marina Stella, where we rented an umbrella and 2 lounge chairs. It was a very convenient place, as the Marina also had an outdoor cafe; we never had to leave the place. We were marvelously lazy, just swam, read our books, had lunch, and repeated the swimming, reading and an occasional nap.

MonterossoWe finally dragged ourselves back to the hotel, got cleaned up and went to dinner. After dinner, we took some pictures of full moon at Monterosso. We really took advantage of that full moon!

Wednesday we repeated the activities of Tuesday, but we took the train to Vernazza to have dinner. Amanda had not been to Cinque Terre before, so this was a nice treat for her. We were able to enjoy the beach again on Thursday, as our train back to Florence did not leave until 4:00 in the afternoon.

We did take a walk to the Old Town of Monterosso, as well as walked through Vernazza, so Amanda got a taste of Cinque Terre.

Today she left for Padua to visit more friends. I am alone once again, but Frank will be arriving in a few days, along with our good friends, Ron and Jo. Then I can be a Mamma Duck once again. Greg, Patty and Aja Garcia will join us here on September 20.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of our full moon photo sessions, and also, the beach shots of Monterosso.

Ciao for now.


Want to Follow Bella’s Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

Postcards From An Italian Adventure – Florence This Week

Author: , August 2nd, 2010

Gay Friendly Tuscany Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Florence, Italy

Wednesday, July 21st

Hi, everyone,

To say it has been hot in Florence is such an understatement, that I will not even say that. it has been miserable. Therefore, I have been doing things around town that will help me stay cool. I have not gone to the San Ambrogio Market lately, as it has been too hot to cook, even for me.

Florence ParkI decided to find as many parks as I could, that were within easy walking distance. The park near the Fortezza, is big, has walking paths around it, with a duck pond and fountain in the center. It is a lovely place to sit and read, enjoy the solitude. Of course, I have to kick the sleeping bums off the shadiest benches before I can relax… just kidding. But there does seem to be quite a few homeless people using the parks for their summer residence.

I ventured down another street one day, and sat in the shade in the park where families were there with their children. I do not know how the kids found the energy to swing, and go down the slides, but they did, and they were happy.

In another park, Piazza Independence, I noted the statues of two statesmen. Ricasoli’s name I knew, but l still need to research Peruzzi. As I am always trying to learn something new, when I returned from my walk, I researched Ricasoli a bit further. I have no idea of how good a politician he was, but he did become Prime Minister of Italy in the late 1800’s.

However, I was more impressed with the fact that it was his original recipe for Chianti wine, that set the standard for the League of Chianti, in 1872. In 1967, the government of Italy firmly established that vintners had to follow the Ricasoli recipe, in order to receive the coveted DOCG seal of approval for Chianti.

Of course, that has been altered somewhat now, as the Ricasoli recipe contained 70% Sangiovese wine, mixed with 15% Canaiolo wine, and 15% Malvasio or Trebbiano wine (which are white wines). Now the standard is 85% Sangiovese, with the other 15% red wine of vintner’s choice, and no white wine.
Are you impressed with this knowledge? And you thought I was just another pretty American tourist!! Ha!!

Old Fortress, LivornoLast Monday, I took a little day trip to Livorno, which is on the sea coast. The harbor had several gorgeous yachts in it, and I admired the old fortress, but as soon as I got two blocks away from the harbor, with the intention of doing more sight-seeing, the heat was just as bad as it was in Florence.

I did stroll through the Mercato Centrale, and their street market (Florence’s street markets are better). I found the area that they call New Venice, because of the canals there (no one can compete with Venice, when it comes to canals). Eventually, I found a place to have a late lunch, then called it a day, due to the heat. Back to Florence I came.

Monterosso, ItalyBut yesterday, I said, “Florence, I love you, but you are killing me!” I took the train to Monterosso, the uppermost town on the Cinque Terre, rented a chair with an umbrella, and was soon floating in the clear, clean, lovely Ligurian Sea. I had a lovely day there. Now that was truly a day of La Dolce Vita. I felt ever so much better when I returned to Florence.

In two days, I am leaving for Vienna, Austria, where I think it will be not only cooler, but projected rain for the 4 days I am staying there. From there I will go to Salzburg for two days. The Summer Music Festival is happening during the time I will be there, so I am excited about that. I will spend one night in Innsbruck, a place I have never been. From there I will go to Lake Lugano, Switzerland, for two nights. Frank and I and our fellow travelers had stayed in Lugano in 2001, and loved it, so I will be happy to be there again.

I will try to keep up the blog while I am traveling. This is truly the trip of a lifetime, and I know how fortunate I am to be able to do this. I will have great memories forever.

I miss all of you. Wish that some of you were here to enjoy this with me. Keep in touch, and let me know how you are doing.

Love to all,


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