We’re back from a 17 day trip to Italy. It was the best vacation of my life, so far. We saw Como, Milan, Florence, Rome and the village in Abruzzi where my husbands great-grandparents came from then back to Rome. We took the slow boat around Lake Como and found it to be so relaxing. We visited Villa Balbaniello in the town of Lenno, once owned by the Ames family of Massachusetts. We visited the Last Supper in Milan and the Uffizi and David in Florence; saw the Vatican, Colliseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain, St. Theresa in Ecstasy and Michelangelo’s last commission, Santa Maria degli Angeli and Martyrs along with Ostia Antica. If you want to see a great archaeological site, visit the abandoned port town of Ostia near the airport in Rome. We stumbled upon the relics of St. Thomas the Apostle, the Tosti Music school and a really nice museum providing an overview of Maria of Austria and all the changes she made during her reign. There should be a lot more information on Ortona out there. In Chieti we saw the National Archaeological Museum which holds the 6th century BC statue of the Warrior of Capistrano and 2 very rare Gala coins. Along the way we also visited a museum that hosted info on how to identify art fakes. Leonardo’s good and the art fakes were great and very comprehensive. We saw Duomo’s in Como, Milan and Florence.
Some observations we made along the way were that people in Rome don’t drive that bad, not compared to Boston. That the symbol for a bridge and a tunnel are the same. Singer sewing machines are everywhere, as antiques in hotel lobbies and in contemporary stores as well as in people’s homes. We think that sewing takes place more frequently and with less drama than here. Very well dressed people biking to work were common in Como and Milan. Food was great and simple. Wine was also good and expected to be ordered with dinner. We had a great ricotta and pear pie in Como that we are still talking about. Abruzzi has a lot of agri-tourism places, which surprised us.
We will visit Italy again some day, but we have lots of others places to visit too.