Joined April 2017 Message
  • Day11

    Cinque Terra (the five lands)

    April 29, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Five small isolated villages have become a hub of Italian riviera indulgence. Postcard beautiful in sea, sky, and sites (when not utterly crushed by cruise lines tour crowds). Plan to come. But not on a cruise.Read more

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  • Day10

    Levanto, Cinque Terra's front door

    April 28, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Italians love their front doors. They are often a main feature, though we often overlook them on the way beyond. Levanto will not be overlooked. It is cosy and colourful, with an Apollo Bay holiday vibe (if AB was 1000 years old and made of pizza and chianti). We've spent half our time here. Glad for the rest.

    Loved the cosy rural small town setting. Stayed three nights in the Aqua Dolche park. Caught the train along the five lands. Even WALKED over the hill from Monterosso to Levanto - three hours, mostly steps. Crowds of cruise boat tourists weigh in on these beautiful villages.
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  • Day9

    Reggio Emilia. Learn. Different.

    April 27, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌬 13 °C

    A delightful surprise and an inspirational time for Helen. This is where the Reggio movement began in early childhood ed. The International Centre is here and we both enjoyed exploring. The centre of town is wide, green and welcoming. Very glad we stayed.Read more

  • Day7

    Florence. Think. Different.

    April 25, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Florence stretches from renaissance living to real(ish) leather goods, and all points in between. It's been home to Michaelangelo, Leonardo da vinca, Dante, and us (well for coffee in the piazza and for a dinner in the street). Moving on again tomorrow, to...

    We parked in a campsite on the southwest edge. Twenty minute bus ride into town. Really really crowded with tourists during the day. Virtually empty early in the morning. Visited the Uffizi Gallery, the Academia, and the Galileo museum.
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  • Day6

    Assisi. All creation and eras praise.

    April 24, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    I thought Assisi was Francis' surname. This is his home town, though is roman era old. It has both ornate and simple churches. It has outwardly religious people, bars, and bowmen. It seeks what Francis longed for, that all creation knows it lives under the deep and unstoppable grace of God.

    Parked in a dedicated motorhome site near Santa Maria degli Angeli, and ten minute bus ride up to Assisi. Walked from the basilica up to the top of the town, then back down again. Highlight was the next morning between at 8.15 til 9. We returned to the St Francis' basilica. Too early for Italy. Helen and I had the whole of St Francis basilica virtually to ourselves.
    Now on to Firenze, Florence.
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  • Day4

    Siena. Been there. Old, and not.

    April 22, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Do you remember the 13th to 15th century? The Sienese sure do. They rocked the world back then, with supersize cathedral attempts and supercivil government. Now it's dukeing it out 21c style with astounding art and aravicious retail outlets. 13c; bring it back....

    We parked the camper on the edge of town and caught a bus in. We visited the city square, the Duomo, a traditional cafe, and walked back through the city to the bus stop. Couldn't find the right bus back - and rode for over an hour through very working class areas of Siena.
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  • Day3

    Volterra, Italy

    April 21, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    For big impact, go small. Volterra is a 'small' hill town. BUT it also packs 2800 years of constant habitation history into its hilltop walls. The etruscan spirit is still kicking on, make no mistake.

    Small towns are a great way to appreciate a country's culture. It isn't too weighed down with tourists, and feels very genuine. We joined a local person leading a city walk for an even more personal perspective.
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  • Day3

    Just Go... (just keep right.)

    April 21, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

    This van is awesome. 7.5m long and 3.2 wide, it goes fine and is massive armchair comfy. Also terrifying on ancient roads 3.3m wide ;) Note, only one of these vehicles is the van. But who is up for holidays in a Fiat 500 with tiny mud terrain tyres? Or a flat bed 125cc, motor bike?

    Driving the camper was a challenge I welcomed - mostly. It felt like being on your driving test - you sort of know what to do but really don't want to get anything wrong.
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  • Day2

    Pisa's colourful turny thing

    April 20, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Much overlooked, this is the cultural highlight here. Oh, and some dodgy bell tower. Second highlight, a CRACKER of a baptistery!!! Did my Baptist heart much good. Wandered across the city from the train station to the Tower and back. Then back on the train to collect our camper...

    From the airport we caught the train to centre of Pisa. Then we walked down the main street to the church, baptistry, and belltower - the leaning one. Plenty of crowds, and the usual junk tourist trinket sales.
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