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Three months away - Italy & UK

Antoallison

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Along for the ride!

Please tell me that a scoop of gelato is not 8.10 Euro!!??! (post #4, 2nd pic).
Oh on checking yes but that would have been for a large cone with multiple scoops.

I always just had a single scoop of gelato about Euro1.50 in many places, although or up to E3 at the more touristy places right in the main piazza.

The mandarin flavour was a favourite, closely followed by Morello cherry
BUT not both on the same day !!
 
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Antoallison

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photo 2 above is the Tempio Voltiano Museum in Como which was interesting.

Alessandro Volta was a physicist who was the first inventor of the electrical battery. He was born in Como, was a Professor there in 1779, and retired there. Who knew ?
 

Happy Dude

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Oh no.. my bad.. that’s the fare.
A scoop of gelato was always about Euro1.50 ..or up to E3 at the more touristy places.
The mandarin flavour was a favourite closely followed by Morello cherry
BUT not both on the same day !!
Whew! It's been 18yrs since I went to Italy and glad to hear that prices hadn't skyrocketed. How much for a standup cafe/espresso?

Those flavours sound great but, dammit, I could never get past the pistachio/lemon combo. I did try the hazelnut one once. Still regret it. And you are doing better than me if you can stick to one serve a day.
 

Antoallison

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Whew! It's been 18yrs since I went to Italy and glad to hear that prices hadn't skyrocketed. How much for a standup cafe/espresso?

Those flavours sound great but, dammit, I could never get past the pistachio/lemon combo. I did try the hazelnut one once. Still regret it. And you are doing better than me if you can stick to one serve a day.
My husband was sweet talked by a charming shop assistant into trying the Parmigianno cheese and Pear flavour ! Yuk, it mostly went in the bin..an acquired taste obviously.

Coffee cost was always variable ..the usual standing to drink an espresso still being cheapest. E2 was average.

However after walking about all morning sightseeing I want to sit and prefer my coffee con latte.
 

Antoallison

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Happy Dude... Don’t worry there are still plenty of places selling reasonably priced coffee in Italy.

Euro1.50 for this small flat white (that’s equivalent to what I pay in Perth) and Euro1.20 for the little pastry, at a nice shop (with a stool to sit on) in Florence.

Just don’t stop for a coffee and some people watching in St Mark’s Square in Venice ! 47571DFF-D2C8-4E4F-9C23-6193BF46C8B3.jpeg
 

Antoallison

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The weather during the week in the Lake Como area was not the best, as can often be the case in the north of Italy. Low cloud hung around obscuring the mountain views and ferry rides on the huge lake were less appealing with steel grey skies and misty rain.

We had a few shorter trips on the ferries but I enjoyed taking the local coach most days. the 1 hour trip from Como to Bellagio for Euro 4 was great. It hugged the lakeside passing through quaint little villages.

Bellagio was a great spot for some lunch, I could see why they call it the Pearl of the Lake. All the food in Italy was wonderful though because they use fresh, mostly local ingredients. The Truffle Ravioli in the photo was sublime. Taking shelter from the intermittent rain down an alley we stumbled on 7C595E49-0322-4797-ABB4-16E8535F8945.jpegDA1575E4-A47A-4ECC-89C7-E427CDD4E840.jpegEC66B176-7C7E-4B16-89CD-533E91DBB493.jpegFB4163DE-4E89-4307-8782-249A4DDFE139.jpeg00201B95-5CE3-4BBC-A4D2-73CBEA293E95.jpega small Enoteca called Cava Turacciolo
 

Antoallison

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By a happy coincidence the Giro d’ Italia race was coming through Como. The organisation was something to witness - very efficient trucks/teams rolled into town the night before and set up the barriers. The whole of Como was a sea of pink.

The race started in Bologna and the 21 stages went over a 3 week period. Australia was well represented with about 10 riders but the eventual winner was from Equador, Italian cyclist was 2nd and a Slovenian rider came 3rd.

Watching the excitement and entertainment around the race broke the usual 9A4956DB-7733-4243-921F-A412B135D7C9.jpegF4634C94-77C9-4B6F-BE56-793C7918C5BA.png2A9DCEA4-A34B-45FD-A110-F52D11B756A5.jpeground of museums and churches !
 

Antoallison

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After one wet week in the Lake Como area trying to keep warmish inside churches with ghoulish religious relics and visiting a few small museums, it was time to get on board the train again - unfortunately via the hub Milan again, then off to Vicenza for 5 days ..where it was still raining !

If you like wooden boats and the whole Messing About In Boats thing then the first two photos above are of the old Batel boats that were the main form of transport on Lake Como before the railways.

The great thing about booking a modern airbnb apartment right in the city was that we could self cater for breakfast and dinner many nights and dine out for lunch each day. Finding which day the local market was on and getting other items at the Carrefour was a fun outing in itself.
 

Antoallison

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Food...can’t talk about Italy without mentioning the wonderful food.

I tried to taste/sample the food and wine typical of each town or region and as I have a sweet tooth - cake featured prominently.

The presentation in the shop windows was so 53658269-1B1D-487C-8FFB-44AAB779D6FE.jpeg4D5A0B60-CF9A-45A3-88A2-41BA2ED377B0.jpegC4A68784-9029-46B9-95F0-FF0A5BA91959.jpegACE1E183-0FC1-4D05-9238-0ED8EEA669AF.jpeg7A421C4D-499F-440F-AAAB-2B918E1CFE90.jpeg02969073-C6E1-4550-86E1-2B54BEC0DF1C.jpegstylish.

I loved happy hour when cafes and bars put out antipasto which is either included in the price of your Spumante or Aperol Spritz, or there is a small charge.
 

Antoallison

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I am going to skim over Venice in the trip report as I did visiting the city (again). Even though it was late May the crowds were unbearable - amplified by a few large cruise ships visiting. the incident with the cruise ship runnimng into the pier happened the next day.

One pleasant surprise was a vaporetto trip to Burano and then a short walk over a little wooden bridge to Mazzorlo island and a lovely restaurant called Venissa. There was a very interesting art installation in the surrounding cherry orchard/gardens complete with a bell tower and small vineyard.

AA197C33-01E1-4698-8F5A-80E7D9CD38A5.jpeg390AB3D2-CDDA-4065-8EDE-447FAB2725C4.jpeg8438D865-E63E-403D-8863-7128B73AC384.jpeg7F0338F5-CFB5-4031-AE43-C3A3702ACBE0.jpeg88AF6C2A-B4E6-456A-9646-DF55FF1A3636.jpeg25D18040-C6BB-46DA-AC52-F6C48261CB4C.jpeg443D3423-3FC1-4547-A937-74AF0A60CAAF.jpegStefano Bombardieri. It was nice to get away for a few hours of peace and quiet.

Burano was fine, but the gaudy glass for sale on Murano was not to my taste.
 

Antoallison

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Another day trip was up to the mountains around Bassano del Grappo all by local bus !

Using the lovely town of Vicenza as a base for a week we took the local number 8 bus for 3 Euro to the cherry growing area Masostica, famous for the annual pageant using human chess pieces. lunch and a tour of the wonderful castle.

Then a short 2 Euro ride in another local bus up to Bassano del Grappa surrounded by664D70D7-B64D-4101-B4D4-3A47D4FAB152.jpegE8C98175-7540-4D26-874D-5B858E75FD99.jpeg7CA00AF1-505A-4A58-984B-95336C2B8FCD.jpeg37844CC0-1EBA-47F4-9B3E-41A8874B84FF.jpeg631E659F-9BB6-494E-BEB2-D03EC51DAE3F.jpeg5C1972BA-6BF0-4FBA-A180-795E6E8FAC55.jpeg9A49ECD3-3395-48EF-9076-044E988423E5.jpeg4DA5B322-EAD4-404C-B899-B645FE93805C.jpeg the crisp mountain air.

Napolean Bonaparte stayed here in 1796 while fighting the French Revolutionary war between France and Austria.

There is a Hemingway Museum too, as he was stationed here as a young 19 year old Red Cross ambulance driver towards the end of WW1.His grandson in the photo.

Warning...the local Grappa is potent !
 
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Antoallison

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Next city Ferrara as a day trip from the 1 week in the airbnb base in Bologna.
A short 44km local train ride E5 on a early June day that is predicted to get to 32 degrees with high humidity ! The weather in Italy this trip got really hot, really quickly.

The train station is a 2 km walk to the old city centre mostly flat tree lined boulevardes but it felt a bit grotty, once inside the walled city things improved.

Castello Estense c1385, comes complete with moat and dungeon, Apparently the Duke l’Este had his young second wife and his son beheaded here after discovering they were lovers ! It has a nice coffee shop of the top floor overlooking the town ...but I decided against climbing the 200 plus steps of the tower.

To escape the midday heat a visit to the Museum of the Risorgimeto and Resistenza was called for and it was very interesting with a big collection of military archives from Unification through to WW2.

Particularly poignant was the section on the murder of the parish priest at Argenta by the Fascists and the slaughter of 96 Jews.

Late lunch at a restaurant called Aristo, overlooking a park - pasta, salad, freshly baked bread and a couple of beers.
 

Antoallison

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Time to cool off in the mountains with a trip up to a tiny village called Polinago.
I found a B and B run by a lady from Perth, WA and her husband from Canberra and booked for 2 nights as a break from ancient walled cities, museums and churches.

Bologna is only a short distance away.

The views of Mount Cimone 2,165 metres high and the surrounding lush countryside were a welcome sight. I have climbed Bluff Knoll in WA and Pen-y-fan in Wales but that was a decade ago, this was just a rest and recuperate stay.
There are plenty of sentiero or walking paths and in the winter months it is a popular ski destination.

The water here is bottled from the Rossena River and tasted wonderful.
Highlight of the trip there was a visit to an old family run Balsamic establishment.
 

Antoallison

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I love trains and railway stations ..so have to include some info on the newish (2013) ReggioEmilia AV Mediopadana train station.

The aerial photo is from the website explaining the construction of the station, 19 roof modules forming a wave pattern, 457 steel elements, steel weight 14,000 t.

Lower level has a coffee shop etc and the upper level is for arrivals and departures of the fast train..Hold your hat !!!

A fantastic futuristic building for the fast train service.
Trenitalia ticket RE to Milan was E24 and took 40 minutes.
 

VPS

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So did you drive up there or did someone come and pick you up?
 

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