“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness.  There’s no looking at a  building here, after seeing Italy.”            Fanny Burney, Cecilia

We’re home from Italy

After an exhausting 19 1/2  hour travel Sunday, we are finally home.  Italy is a wonderful place to vacation, but the travel to and from can add some stressful days to your trip!

I will post pictures sometime today or tomorrow.  And then I will finally get back to just writing about books.  I have three reviews to post when I get a few minutes. 

Italy is wonderful.  It is my kind of country.  The wine is cheaper than Coke and everybody drinks lots of it 🙂  Jason even got into the Italian spirit by having cappuccino every morning and afternoon and an after dinner drink every night (grappa, Limenchello)  We loved how you could walk everywhere you wanted to go and in bigger cities, like Rome you saw those cute little Smart cars all over the place.  We also liked travelling by train and had no problems figuring it out.

We loved Venice.  It was our favorite city to walk around, relax, and eat great food.  Although the gondola ride was expensive you have to do it.  We were surprised about all the dogs there.  There is little grass, but many Venetians had dogs and they were so well-behaved.  I think they gave them all wine.  They also had the best shopping for gifts to bring home.  I wish we had done more shopping there.  We stayed at the Hotel Mercurio.  Good things-location, breakfast, the bed.  Bad things-mold in room, no English station, no internet access.  Although they had no English-speaking stations, we discovered one night that they had porn on one of the local stations after midnight (if you like that sort of thing)! 

We liked Florence a lot.  It was a great walking city that had lots of green grass right across the river that the other two cities didn’t have a lot of.  There was a lot to see.  Lots of art, museums, churches.  We stayed at Hotel Perseo and we have only good things to say about it.  Great room, internet access, helpful English-speaking staff, environmentally friendly, perfect location, great breakfast, and Happy Drink every night with free drinks and snacks. 

Rome was full of sites to see, but it was not someplace I need to go back to.  We loved the history and the sites (Coliseum, Pantheon, Circus Maximus…), and it was fun to be in a city that didn’t cater to tourists.  We found more people who didn’t speak English here than in the other two cities.  One fun thing that happened to us here was on our last afternoon when we were walking back to the hotel we saw an Italians for Obama rally.  It was pretty funny to see.  I think they were just getting started, but they had about 20 people setting things up with Obama’s voice booming into the street.  We stayed at Soggiorno Europa.  Good things-good location, internet access.  Bad things-everything else!  No phone in room, terrible beds, bad breakfast, shower.   Less than a block from our hotel was our favorite restaurant from the whole vacation, Grotta d’Abruzzo (Via Palermo, 45).  They had the best pizza and chicken (separately!).

We’ll that’s it.  I’ll post the photos later.  I hope you’ve enjoyed our Italian tour.  Oh, I took the 2 piece luggage set that New Clevelanders gave me when I was president and received many compliments from around Italy.  Thanks, ladies!


This is our last night in Italy.  We have had a wonderful and mostly relaxing vacation.  I will do one more email on Italy when we get back.  I’d like to give you some sense of our hotels and one restaurant in Rome that we loved so much we went back twice.

Rome has been somewhat exhausting.  There is a lot to see, but so many people, so much traffic.  Jason and I have both enjoyed Rome, but have crossed it off our list of things we need to do.  If we come back to Italy I know that we would see Venice again and Tuscany (maybe Florence). 

We’re leaving in the morning for the airport.  We hope we are awake in time, this hotel does not have telephones in the room (I never thought to look at that as a ‘perk’), but our friend at the desk has said he will knock on the door in the morning 🙂  We will arrive back in Cleveland at 2 am on Monday morning, but 8pm Sunday night local time.  Looking forward to getting home, but not the 9 1/2 hour plane trip to New York. 

Thanks for all of the emails.   I know I haven’t answered them all, but I will when I get home. 



Rome, last day

WE visited the Colosseum this morning and got a little turned around and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon walking around aimlessly.  Once we got our bearings we went to the train station to buy a ticket to the airport tomorrow.  We’ve enjoyed our Italian vacation, but are ready to go home.  We’re ready to see Scout and Max 🙂  I will try and write one more blog tonight to recap our thoughts about Italy, but I need to rest for an hour! 

Rome, day 2

We are getting ready for dinner.  Jason took his customary siesta while I read a for a few minutes for the first time on our Italy tour.  We had a fun, but exhausting day.  We went to St. Peter’s at the Vatican, which was absolutely fabulous.  We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon walking around the ancient sites.  I will try a few more details later after dinner.