Monday, July 30, 2007


We took a Gondola ride, along with several others from our tour. The soloist and accordion player sat in our boat. Before the Black Plague, Gondolas used to be colorful, but were painted black to mourn the loss of life. A Gondolier must first be a Venetian, and then a son of a Gondolier so the job is passed down from son to son. Though they also must pass a test to obtain a license. We were told the world of Gondoliers is a tough world. Lots of fights.

Venice is built on a Lagoon. Wooden posts were driven into the marsh and over the ages the wood petrified to stone. Flooding depends on the tides. Lots of leaning towers in Venice.

To control frequent fires from the hot ovens of the glass blowers, Venetian glass factories were sent to the nearby Island of Moreno.

The quality of this picture is terrible, but the glass blower is working on a Moreno vase. Glass blowing is a dying art. Venetian glass is made of minerals and is hard, with no lead. Beautiful.

Tomorrow onto Assisi, one of my favorite spots.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Isalo Bella, an Island in Lake Maggiore at the foot of the Alps in the northern lake district of Italy. We toured the lovely home on the island.

Hydrangeas were huge and plentiful in northern Italy's moderate climate.

Tomorrow Venice. Hope you'll come back!

Milan's Gothic style Cathedral was built of white marble. Construction began in 1386, but the facade was only finished in 1809, finally completed in 1897. Napoleon was crowned Emperor here.

The ceiling of an arch outside Milan's Duomo looks like a painting, but it's a mosaic, created with tiny pieces of glass or stone. The detail is amazing.

The tour made a brief stop in Laguana, Switzerland on our way to Lake Maggoire. Long enough to get a snack and shop for watches. Pretty spot.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


My husband "holding up" the tower of Pisa. Luckily someone else came along and took over or we'd still be there. ;-) During construction the builder realized he had a problem. Construction was delayed 100 years. The last two stories lean to the opposite side to balance the weight. The tower has been worked on in recent times. Beside the tower is the Cathedral, beyond that--out of view--the Baptistry. Ancient walls surround Pisa square.

Beautiful Florence as seen from a hillside. The first bridge, Ponte Vecchio, over the River Arno holds gold and silversmith shops that date to the 16th Century. Michelangelo's tomb and his magnificent sculpture of David are in Florence.

Tomorrow takes us to Milan, a brief stop in Switzerland, then on to Lake Maggoire.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Reliving our trip to Italy

Our first stop--fabulous Rome. St. Peter's Basilica, art in the Vatican Museum, and Sistine Chapel awed us with their beauty! Michelangelo was a genius. What a shame he died in poverty.

Thinking of the countless Christians and gladiators who met their death's there, the Coliseum both fascinated and repelled me.

My husband and I toss imaginary coins into Trevi Fountain. We're too cheap to throw costly Euros. The kids aren't ours. Wish I knew how to crop photos.

Tomorrow, we'll "move on" to Pisa and Florence in beautiful Tuscany.
Hope you can make the trip!