Montecatini Terme

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    • Day 15

      Montecatini Alto

      May 26, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Wir fahren heute zum Campingplatz Belsito. Hier waren wir schon mit Nico. Es gibt hier das gute Öl zum einkaufen, wovon wir reichlich Gebrauch machen. Wir verbringen den Tag am Pool und besuchen das schöne Städtchen Montecantini Alto. Zum Abendessen besuchen wir die Osteria il Bivio, in der wir schon letztes Mal so lecker gegessen haben.Read more

    • Day 37

      Fresh market and pasta making

      April 3, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

      Montecatini morning was cloudy, rained a bit on our way to the fresh market in Florence. Met Chef Libero and Rosa. We broke into groups of 5 or 6 and were given a list of a few items needed for our cooking lesson and lunch- in Italian.... they did give us Euros to purchase the items. Once we translated our list consisted of red onions, bunch of Rosemary and Sage. Mission accomplished. We the wandered through the market looking at all their fresh meats, cheeses, breads, and fruits. After enjoying bread and stuffed sun dried tomatoes we got back on the coach to Libero's restaurant & estate vineyard. Warmly welcomed with a glass of blue champagne! Yes, blue, hint of raspberries.
      On to pasta making. Donned in apron and hairnet sous caps, we got to work making ravioli for our lunch. Also made a panzinela salad, zuppa and biscuits (what I would call biscotti).
      Amazing wine tasting with starters of fried squash blossoms, crostini & fried polenta.
      Rained while we ate and drank then the sky cleared and we had a beautiful drive back to the Hotel Columbia.
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    • Day 38

      Cinque Terre

      April 4, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      Pictures, postcards, stories cannot full explain the beauty of this area. The vineyards terraced on the hill side, the colorful homes and storefronts, the coastline and force of the Mediterranean..... it is an experience you must see in person! As part of this tour during warmer weather you will arrive in La Spezia and take a boat between the 5 (cinque) villages. We walked, and walked, and walked some more then took the train to the farthest village. Toured there and had a simple lunch and gelato. Took the train back to La Spezia where our motorcoach brought us safely to Hotel Columbia. Little wine shared with new friends and fun time at dinner. More adventures tomorrow so off to bed.
      One thing I really like about this travel style is we are staying at the Hotel Columbia for 6 nights... there is so much to explore from here within an hour or so drive it's a great location.
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    • Day 41

      Then there was dinner

      April 7, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Enjoyed an incredible meal with Libero and his son at Villa Machiavelli. Started with a Limoncello-Prosecco followed by a tour of their old cellar and beautiful garden. Upstairs to a private dining room where we enjoyed wine pairing with appetizers, meats & cheese, crostini, gnocchi, pasta, roasted potatoes and Prime Rib. Delicious. Bring on the Prosecco for dessert of panna cotta and tiramisu. Glad I wasn't driving... love their Prosecco!!!!Read more

    • Day 10


      September 14, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      14th September
      The first thing we find out this morning is that two San Marino football teams were in the restaurant last night celebrating the start of the football season.
      We set off for Montecatini and decide to keep off the autostrada and drive over the Appenine Mountains as far as possible. It is an interesting drive of around 100 miles climbing round the narrow roads and then descending, there's hardly any traffic but we do get stopped at roadworks a couple of times. We stop for coffee at a village in the mountains. The Hotel Pia looks very nice and there is secure parking, we have a balcony that looks out over a square with a very vigorous fountain. I don't think we'll be sleeping with the balcony doors open tonight!
      The Italian coffee culture is quite complicated and we are determined to understand it so that we actually get what we want. A Cappuccino is equal parts espresso, steamed milk & foamed milk and is usually drunk at breakfast with a pastry. Caffe Latte is espresso with more steamed milk and Less foam and Latte Macchiato is steamed milk 'marked ' with a dash of espresso. All these are drunk in the morning before 11am. If you order a 'caffe' you get an espresso, this is their normal coffee and Caffe Americana is espresso diluted with plenty of hot water. If you just ask for a 'Latte' you get a glass of milk. (Which is what you've asked for)!
      It is a warm evening and we take a short walk into the centre of Montecatini. It is buzzing! We sit outside at a bar we have been to before 'Cucina Toscana'. Pasta, Prosecco, Vino and live music too, we have a really lovely evening.
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    • Day 39

      Pisa and Vinci

      April 5, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Rain has moved out and we are given blue skies for today's adventures: Pisa - yes, where the tower is still leaning, tho some angles not so much. Then down the Countryside to Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo. Very picturesque, full of history and nestled between olive groves. Nice stop for a snack and glass of wine. Tonight we have a regional meal at a local home. We'll see how they press olives into oil, grapes into wine and enjoy a traditional meal.Read more

    • Day 6

      Chianti Greve September 12

      September 12, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Sept 12th We both slept well, up at 7, breakfast at 7:30, board the bus at 8:30. Buffet breakfast with the usual salami, mortadella, Brie, cheese, fruit, bread, eggs, coffee...typical European style. We arrive at the town of Greve around 10:00 and walked into the cute plaza, they are know for boar meats. We had coffee, a pasty and walked around to going inside some of the stores. It was a short bus ride through the hills to Castello di Verrazzano Winery. The bridge in NY was named after the verrazzano family. Cari was taking a selfie and as I went to photo bomb her the wind came up covered my face. We cracked up!!! So much as a career as a photo bomber😂. We had a lovely tour of the small property and were able to see bunches of grapes hanging to make holy wine which" Various suggestions have been made as to the origins of its name, none of which has been verified: wine of miracles that alleviates suffering in people with the plague, a wine similar to the one made in Xantos, a Greek island where Passito was made, otherwise simply the holy wine used in religious Mass; the etymology of Vinsanto, to this day, remains intriguing and mysterious." On to the wine tasting and lunch. The dinning area was lovely and there was a wood burning oven. First course: salame 2nd course: pecorino w/aged thick balsamic, 3: Penne w/tomato sauce with dried seasoning on the side. 4:pork roast and canneli beans, 4: biscotti with a tasting of their holy sweet wine. The biscotti definitely needed to be soaked in the wine, they were so hard they could have been used as a weapon. The 3 wines we tasted - white, chianti Classico and chianti reserve were flowing. Every one had a great time. I was sitting next to Glenn and (the kids )Valerie and Manuel cute young couple and Cari sat next Marg and Barbara. (Ted Turner) and Martha and John from Kentucky. On the bus ride home Lynn (tour guide) put on Dean Martin Volaré and "When the moon hits your eye" everyone sang along to only the first verse HAHAHA. I was a fun bus ride home and then it became very quiet, everyone fell sleep. We went back to the room until 6:15 and met with our Canadian Friends Marg & Giacomo (Glenn) for dinner. We walked a few blocks away to Vittorio Trattorio and saw Valerie and Manuel so we all ate together. We shared the smallest mixed salad, I had ravioli with cream and walnut sauce - good , and Cari had gnocchi bolognese - good. I stopped and bought a coco gelato on the way home. Another great day!Read more

    • Day 7

      Montecatini Alto Sept 13

      September 13, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Slept in a little bit. 16 of our group went to Florence today. Went down for a nice breakfast and then walked into town looking for a spa so we could enjoy a massage or some kind of treatment. The place we went into had nothing available, appointments are necessary. We tried the big one "The Excelsior " they also were unavailable. So we continued to walk through the park area to find the Funicular. A 25 seat train/Wagon on an uphill track that takes you up to Montecatini Alto. Small cobble stoned streets and a darling village with lots of small shops and a lovely little piazza. We sat to have lunch. Cristi had a spritz and a piedina which was pretty pathetic.. a flour tortilla with one slice prosciutto and lots of lettuce. We shared a mixed salad I had a glass of white vino and a lovely plate of caccia & Pepe pasta. White cream sauce over capellini, perfetto! Took the funicular back down the hill , walked through the park to the hotel. Showered, washed the hair, relaxed a bit. And then went out for a pretty long walk along the Main Street with several upscale shops . it's a busy little town with primarily a younger scene. Stopped and had a espresso. Checked out the Columbia House Spa for availability etc. we ended up sitting in some wonderfully comfortable outdoor furniture on the patio at Syrah wine bar, Terri Maninna had recommended. We both had spritz', in fact we shared a third one ! They had a self serve appetizer table. Kind of a weird combination of food. Three puréed dips with sliced baguettes around each. The brown one that looked like baby poo she says was 'meat' ! Not so good. The yellow tan one looked like hummus, wasn't! She says it's potato, real bland. The gray one was ripe olive, yay! Like a tapenade. There were a couple of family style plates of Farro salad, couscous, rice with green olives. Some orange purée was some sort of veggie, maybe carrot, or root of some kind. Marg and Glenn walked by , so we joined them to take a walk to find dinner. We ended up at a place down a little alley way, only two other people there when we arrived. We shared a salad . Cristi had a Margherita pizza, I had gnocchi with pistachio cream sauce, it was very good. Took a leisurely walk back to hotel.Read more

    • Day 4

      Our new friends on this tour

      September 10, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      Lynn was our tour guide. Originally from San Francisco, moved to Italy 30 years ago very sweet lady reminded me of Diann Sorenson .

      Marg & Glenn aka Giacomo Caputo, Trail, British Colombia
      Patricia & Barbara(Ted Turner's girlfriend) Newport Beach
      Pat, wild and crazy & Barb ,quiet reserved
      John& Martha, Kentucky
      Charles & Kathy , Boston
      Norm & , NYC
      Barry & Doris , NYC
      Valerie & Manuel, youngest couple of the trip , Portland
      Sonja, single traveler , San Francisco
      Manesha , anemia fainting spell, Baltimore
      Cora,always holding up the group, Florida
      Elena, Cora's daughter, Florida
      Steve & wife, latecomers from San Francisco
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    • Day 5

      Sienna & San Gimignano Sept 11

      September 11, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Breakfast & then on the bus at 8:30am. We had an Italian guide name Margarita when we got to Siena . Toured the basilica Caterinia., the beautiful ornate church of sienna and then to the central arena of where the Palio happens twice a year. A huge courtyard with shops and restaurants around. We stopped and had aperol spritz and pizza ristuca( prosciutto & arugula! Perfetto! . Continued onto San Gimignano . The countryside was lovely. So picturesque! Walked up to the towers, shopped along the way . So many ceramic shops! Returned to hotel at 7:15pm. Dinner at the hotel with the group at 8. So fun. Wonderful meal. Celery and zucchini cream zuppa, pasta with a pesto red sauce, then a wonderful sea bass with potato soufle, semifreddo dessert. Back to the room by 10.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Montecatini-Terme, Montecatini Terme

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