From Orvieto to Florence – Dolly Travels

Author: , August 15th, 2018

Orvietto - Dolly Travels

Buona sera, tutti,

I realize that I haven’t told you about Orvieto yet. When we left Rome, we went to the hill town of Orvieto, in Umbria. This ancient town sits like a mushroom above the Umbrian valley. It is a lovely old city, with its stone walls and ancient building. The city itself dates back to 900 B.C. This turned out to be not the best trip I have ever made to Orvieto: no one reason, but several things happened that no one had control over. First, the funicular that is supposed to take passengers from the train station up to the old town, was broken. We had to go on a bus. Then the shuttle bus from the little station was not running (so we were told), so we walked about a mile, pulling our luggage behind us. By the time we got to our hotel, we were tired and starving.

However, pizza was not far away. After a good late lunch, I had to take a nap, while Danny and Heather went exploring. Dinner that night consisted of gelato.

The following day our activity was thwarted, also, for we had planned to take a bus to the city of Bagnoreggio and walk to another ancient city, Civita. This could not happen, for the rains and thunderstorms came. I did not want to walk across that footbridge from Bagnoreggio to Civita in a thunderstorm. The walk is scary enough to me in good weather. Heather had her heart set on doing a hike through and around the mountain that Orvieto sits upon. Off they went; several hours later, after walking 3 miles and climbing or descending 43 sets of stairs, they emerged back into town, soaking wet.

I stayed in town, walked up and down a few of the streets, found a place for cappuccino and spent the morning writing. After that, I visited this beautiful cathedral. The Gothic facade is spectacular.

We ended our evening with dinner at Trattoria da Carlo, with a typical regional menu. Carlo not only was our chef, but our waiter as well, along with his Mama and one other waiter. The pasta was homemade with choices of different sauces; simple meat dishes but very tasty. After dinner, we took another quiet stroll, then off to bed for us, to be ready for our train ride into Florence on Thursday morning.

Once again, all three of us were hungry when we arrived in Florence, so first item on our agenda was lunch. We went across the street to one of my favorite places, the L’OK Cucina e Ristorante…eight years ago, when I first started hanging out there, it was the OK Bar. Now Christina owns the place, has enlarged it and turned it into a first class dining establishment.

I was going through cooking withdrawal, so after lunch, we went to the Conad market and bought food to cook for dinner. I think we all enjoyed our simple home-cooked meal, then relaxed while watching the World Cup game on television in our own living room.

Later, we took an evening stroll. The weather was a bit breezy, but sweater weather.

Today, we started by visiting the Galleria Accademia, where the kids got a first look at David. He stands on a pedestal that is about 6 feet tall, and the man himself is 17 feet tall. Massive and impressive, of course.

I love it that so many of the merchants remember me. It makes me feel like a really am a Fiorentina.

After our lunch, at home, of fresh bread, salami, cheese and fruit, we are all ready for our siesta. We will venture out again this evening, for the “passiagetta”, or our version of that walk, while we find more good places in Florence. The kids are enjoying Florence so much that we may not take more than one side trip. There is just too much to see and savor in this Renaissance city, my true second home.

Until next time,

Ciao for now,

By Dolly – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Orvieto Gay Travel Resources

Florence Gay Travel Resources

Hiking Italy’s Via Amerina – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , October 6th, 2016

Via Amerina

What a week it has been! My rather spontaneous journey to Italy was such a whirlwind trip that I am still processing everything I’ve experienced during my eight days of walking through Umbria and Lazio into Rome. (For those of you who haven’t read my September round-up: I walked parts of the historic Via Amerina pilgrims path from Assisi to Rome).

I don’t even know where to begin… but let’s just say that this has easily been one of the highlights of my entire year, and when I finally took off my walking shoes (to be precise, my running shoes, in lieu of actual hiking shoes) on the very last day, my emotions were torn between substantial relief about not having to put these shoes back on and the desire to keep walking.

Umbria was a region that I hadn’t known very well prior to this trip, and I was once again amazed by the beauty of this country. Is there any region in Italy that is not absolutely stunning?! I felt the same way about Lombardy last year.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Umbria Gay Travel Resources

Dolly Travels – Bagnoregio and Civita, Orvieto

Author: , June 10th, 2015

Civita - Dolly GoolsbyHi, Everyone,

Today is our last day in Orvieto. Early this morning we caught a bus which took us to the nearby town of Bagnoregio, another Umbrian hill town. This was an hour’s ride on a very twisty road, but through beautiful country. Once we arrived in Bagnoregio, we had to walk a little over a mile to get to the ancient, almost isolated village of Civita.

That is Civita, sitting up on a hill. We had to walk on that footbridge you see in the foreground to get to Civita. This little village is really very old. Its origins go back to Etruscan times. It is very small now. One can walk across the city in about 5 minutes.

However, the structures – the houses, the church, some other buildings – are kept in pretty good condition. Of course, over the centuries, some structures have fallen down, walls have eroded, and the village suffered a major earthquake in 1695. So it is no longer a thriving city of 4,000 residents. There is a church, as I told you, and old olive press, 3 small hotels, and 3 or 4 tiny earring places.

It was a warm day, so we had some refreshments, then we walked back across the footbridge, into Bagnoregio and on to the bus stop.

We arrived in Orvieto hot, tired and hungry. We had pizzas and drinks, then everyone decided that we each needed to take a nap. That we did. Now we need to finish packing, as we leave tomorrow for Cinque Terre. It is going to be a long day, riding on trains, with four train changes.

We have really enjoyed our stay in Orvieto, though. It is such a lovely place to be. But now I will post one final pictures of the beautiful Duomo, and say, Arriverderci to Orvieto.

I will write more from Vernazza.

Ciao for now,

By Dolly – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Umbria Gay Travel Resources

Dolly Travels: Orvieto

Author: , June 8th, 2015

Orvieto - DollyHi, Everyone,

We arrived in Orvieto about lunch time yesterday. Once we got settled into our rooms at Villa Mercede, we set out to find some lunch. The weather is great, the city is just as beautiful as the last time I was here.

For those of you who have never been here, I will tell you that Orvieto is one of the first hill towns that you will see, going north from Rome towards Florence. This town sits 1,000 feet above the valley floor. The best way for me to describe it, is for you to imagine a giant flat-topped mushroom with a big, thick stem, sitting in the most lovely green valley. I hope that when I post some pictures, you will see the resemblance.

This town is centuries old. There are churches from the 13th and 14th Centuries A.D. With all the little rabbit-warren streets, winding around the city, one might be afraid of getting lost. You might get lost, but not for long. Similar to being on an island, you will be on this mushroom cap…eventually, you will see the Torre de Moro, with its clock face, or a spire from the Duomo, and find your way back to your hotel or to your friends.

There were many tourists in town yesterday, so it was not possible to get into the Duomo and see it like I wanted to see it. We did find some great ceramic shops, many gelato shops, and of course, a delightful restaurant tucked away in an alcove, where we had pizza for our lunch.

Later, after an appropriate after- lunch siesta, we all went for walks in the ancient city. When we did meet up again for dinner, everyone had experienced different sights in the city, and it was fun to share our adventures together.

We had a very good dinner at Da Carlo, a Trattoria tucked into a little side street. Carlo was out greeting the customers, and what a sense of humor. He is the chef, makes all his own pasta, and everything he serves is organic. Carlo looks to be around 30 years old…and his Mamma was right there, helping with the serving, and taking orders, but only in Italian. All the tables were outside, and we enjoyed a great meal. After our meal, we decided to try 2 different desserts, to share. I told Mamma what we wanted, and asked her to bring 6 spoons. We laughed when she brought out the tiramisu and the panna cotta, each with 6 coffee spoons stuck into the dishes.

We retired about 10:00 p.m., pleasantly tired. It was such a warm evening, I kept my window open for the fresh hill town air. This morning, about 4:45, just as the dawn was about to break, I was awakened by a bird singing right outside my window. I got up, looked out the window, and I could see it was going to be a beautiful morning. Totally against my usual habit of going back to bed, covering up my head and going back to sleep, I got up, got dressed and went out for a morning walk. Now, those of you who know me well, will find this unbelievable. And what is more unbelievable, I actually enjoyed being up and out. I was almost totally alone out there. Once in a while, an early morning runner, or the garbage truck would go by, but I was the only tourist out there. I was out for almost 2 hours before I made my way back to the Piazza Duomo and found a bar open and had my morning coffee. Now people were beginning to be out and about.

We each did different walks again, today. I loved looking over the Umbrian valley, and seeing the old stone buildings.

Now we must go find food again! I love this! It is dinner time, and so many good restaurants to choose from, most serving regional food, and all fresh and delicious.

Tomorrow we are going to Bagnoregio and the ancient city of Civita. More adventures, more fun.

And thank you, all who have responded so favorably to my blog posts. I enjoy sharing these times with you, and I am so happy that you are enjoying reading about them.

Until next time,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Umbria Gay Travel Resources

The Slow Living Movement in Umbria, Italy

Author: , November 13th, 2014

Italy - DJ Yabis“There’s something waiting for you outside,” said Marliza and Serena. I have just traveled for almost 10 hours from Dusseldorf, Germany all the way to this random Italian village, Paciano, in Umbria via Rome and all I wanted was to sleep and rest. I was also a bit disoriented. It was almost midnight and it was pretty dark in this village. I was scared to go out.

“You have to see this,” said Marliza, the owner of Campodalto, a country house rental where we were staying for the next few nights in Umbria. And since my rule when I’m traveling is to always say YES, I took her advice and went outside. (Note that I say yes 99% of the time. If the person looks sketchy, I say NO.)
“What’s out there?” I asked.

“You’ll see,” she said with a suspicious glint in her eyes.
I followed her and Serena as they led us to the garden at the back of the house and there in the darkness glowed the most beautiful sight I have not seen in years. YEARS!

By DJ Yabis – Full Story at Dream Euro Trip | Italy Gay Travel Resources

Food and Culture in Perugia, Italy

Author: , November 1st, 2014

Perugia, Italy - DJ YabisSo I’m back. I kind of figured out what I need to do and it felt good to put them all in writing. What I needed to do is to continue telling my story through this blog. I have a few exciting things happening in the next weeks and I can’t wait to let you all know about it. But first let me tell you more stories from Italy. Because who gets tired of Italy?

I have to admit that I watched all the episodes of The Amazing Race Season 24 last night and they had a few random and beautiful pit stops in Italy. I got so inspired I wanted to tell you more about other random and beautiful Italian destinations like Trasimeno Lake I just visited this summer.

Located in Perugia in the Umbrian region of Italy, Trasimeno Lake is the oldest and fourth largest Italian lake. Hans Christian Andersen fell in love with its beauty and, drawing on his own travels, he put Trasimeno in one of his fairytales, The Galoshes of Fortune. The lake has a history of flooding and then being turned into an Umbrian Riviera and now it’s a sleepy, placid and shallow lake that shimmers like a mirror.

By DJ Yabis – Full Story at Dream Euro Trip | Umbria Gay Travel Resources