20 August 2014

summer 2014 snapshots | mountain time

Which way should we go next?

Of course we spent a couple of nights in the mountains. These Cajun folks all grew up in the Mississippi River Delta, where the only bumps in the landscape are Cypress knees in the swamp and the levee restraining the mighty Mississippi. They HAD to experience the Dolomites. 

And it's one of my favorite places in Italy: the vast expanse of mountains that covers much of the north of the country. All of it. Favorite. Both the German part & the Italian part.

Here I am!

And just in case you think that Young One is completely cooperative all the time...here she is imitating a cow in the pasture...or refusing to walk another step.  Moooooooooo!

We rented an apartment in Siusi all Scilar for a couple of nights, and we were able to fit in two great hikes for the short time we were in the mountains: from Siusi to Laghetto di Fiè and the Giro del Bullaccia, which begins in the alpine meadow & requires the cable car.

The weather was perfect, the scenery unmatched and the company divine. I am certain that we could have spent the rest of the time together in the mountains. Instead we headed South.

More Mountains
Hiking some different mountains, Madonna di Campigilio

17 August 2014

summer 2014 snapshots | cousins in Verona

Verona, another jewel in the Veneto region, is easily reachable via car or train (and likely bus) from Vicenza in less than an hour. Every single time I visit this beloved city, I walk away with the same question: "Why is that we don't spend more time in Verona?" This visit was the same.  I'm serious: Every. Single. Time. 

More of Verona:
That time we went to the opera in the Arena (with a great osteria recommendation)

16 August 2014

summer 2014 snapshots | rock climbing

The reason we did the "Grand Giro of Italy" is because we had some visitors, some long-anticipated, first-time visitors.  Imagine packing everything you love about your adopted country into ten days. Impossible. Yet, I tried.

I planned the trip with the needs and desires of everyone in mind, a bit of adventure here, a taste of culture there. I did make a few mistakes (that I'll share later), but I think most went well.

We live in a village that draws hundreds of rock climbers each year. We can sit on our little patio in the paese and watch as they scale the walls and we sip Prosecco. Of course, this activity had to be included in the bit of adventure.

We contacted a guide who was recommended by the local rock climbing association, who suggested he take our little group to another area to climb. Apparently the rock faces in our village are primarily for advanced climbers with only one small section for novice climbers. 

He shuttled us to Castelvecchio in his great van, and after a near-death experience for a couple of us on the trail leading to the climbing area, he suited everyone up in the gear and then expertly led the experience. (The rocky trail down to the climbing area was very wet and slippery, VERY slippery.)

Everyone suited up except Richard, that is, who insisted on a bit of free-style climbing. 

I, of course, chose to forgo any climbing in favor of photography. Or something like that.

Drop me a line if you are interested in contact information for our guide: Andrea Basso. He is well-qualified to lead you on any number of adventurous expeditions in the Dolomites and beyond, wether it's a few hours of rock climbing or a week-long hiking expedition.

And, oh, this is one of the few times I brought my DSLR along. I'm trying to get back into the habit...I think.

14 August 2014

summer 2014 snapshots | Ischia

summer 2014 snapshots

We got around this summer.
I hope to share a bit of those comings and goings.

Photos are generally iPhone, 
many already published on Instagram.

Arrive at the port via hydrofoil and rent scooters. 

Take your lovely children on a tour of the island, 
with a stop or two at the water before settling on 
Spiaggia Cava Grado near St. Angelo.

Swim in the cool blue waters.

Enjoy lunch at the beachside trattoria. Take lots of photos of your lunch.


Lament the fact that you only have one day in Ischia.

Start plotting your next visit.

Spiaggia Cava Grado

To reach this beach, head to St. Angelo, and just before the descent into St. Angelo, in the area where the public busses gather, there is a small road on the right that heads down to it. Parking is sparse, except for scooters, of course, so it's best to arrive by one of those busses or taxi.

Why we love it?
It's small, relatively hidden, not particularly crowded, family oriented, quiet...with a spectacular view. There is also a full-service bar and trattoria (only a few tables, arrive early and reserve your spot!) with outstanding food at fair prices.

The downside?
The stairs could be a challenge for some. Also, the small public part of the beach was packed by the time we arrived mid-day. We did carve out a corner, but it wasn't ideal. I doubt that the bar is open year round. Also, my niece, who went exploring a bit, is convinced a small snake bit her bottom while she was in a cave-like area. The stuff of nightmares! She is a tough one. 

More on Ischia: