A Travellerspoint blog

Italy

Return to Venice

In the Dorsoduro: First night; first meal

On this trip to Venice, I stayed in the Dorsoduro section of the city in a small apartment on the Grand Canal. Go to (www.viewsonvenice , a reliable rental service.) Staying in an apartment is not for everyone, but if you truly want to feel like you are living in a place then I highly recommend it. The Dorsoduro area is where the Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum are and my apartment was a few steps away from Ca’ Rezzonico, one of the most beautiful of the grand palazzos that is now restored and open to the public. This part of Venice has a few hotels, is quite residential and gives you a true Venetian experience.
Accademia Bridge

Accademia Bridge


If you are standing in San Marco Square and look across the water, that is the Dorsoduro. It is connected to the main part of Venice by the wooden Accademia Bridge. Or, you can get there by boat.
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On my first night, I ate four cheese pizza in Campo Santa Margherita at a great little outdoor pizza restaurant. Next door was a sports bar where a few dozen Venetians stood watching soccer finals and cheering raucously.
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At the next table were Lenny and Russell; two great guys from LA who had also just arrived in Venice. The pizza was amongst the best I’ve ever had. The house wine wasn’t too shabby either. It was great to be back in Venice.
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Posted by teethetrav 07:30 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

A Foodie Road Trip through Northern Italy

Arrival in Venice

sunny

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On my first trip to Italy, Venice was the first city I visited. It was just as I expected; magical and lovely. A city that floats. For someone like me who lives on the Atlantic coast a mile from the beach, it was perfect. Other cities I’ve visited in Italy have disappointed me. Not Venice. This May, on my fifth trip to Italy, once again I made Venice my first stop. After taking six forms of transportation (taxi, train, plane, and so forth) I stepped onto a vaporetta (water bus) and was once again transported in time and place. The weather was perfect and the deep, blue sky spread gloriously over the unmistakable green water.

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On the vaporetta I stood in the front as we floated past the mysterious, fading glory of the palazzos along the Grand Canal. The sun sparkled on the water and the water cast mystical shadows on the facades of the buildings. I found myself with a lump in my throat; a traveler’s experience I’ve had less than a handful of times when a place is so extraordinarily special it makes me feel as though I am supposed to be there.

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This was the beginning of my long dreamed about foodie trip to Italy. Venice may seem like an odd place to begin a food trip since it’s not the first place you hear about when people talk about Italian food products and eating. But these people haven’t met Enrica Rocca and they haven’t shopped for food and cooked with her in her Venetian apartment. Stay tuned.
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Posted by teethetrav 05:13 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

Capri: A Day Trip on the Amalfi Coast

Everything you have heard or read about the Amalfi coast is true. The views are stunning, the traffic is appalling, the cuisine in southern Italy is unforgettable, and the drive through the hills gives new meaning to breath-taking. You hold your breath because you are sure you are never going to survive the trip.
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There have been many words written about the coast, but just off the coast is the island of Capri. Famous for being famous, Capri is definitely worth seeing, but I think it’s a day trip, not a place to stay. It’s also not a place for the feeble. Nor is any of the Amalfi coast for that matter. You must be in decent physical shape, because everything is a climb and there is little you can do to circumvent that. Forget the Italian stilettos; wear your walking shoes, bring lots of water, and be prepared to trudge up and down hills all over the coast.
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Capri is a short ferry ride from Sorrento, which was my base. The ride was cool and the scenery from the water is spectacular. The water was a deep, sapphire blue and dared you to dive in. Capri was a touristy, but pretty place. The higher up you go, the better the views. The crowds do not, however, thin out. There are stores galore and you buy everything Italian; from sandals to exquisites tiles. The namesake perfume Capri is a delicious-smelling scent that can’t be found anywhere else. Lemoncello flows freely and the seafood is fresh and delicious. Ferries run frequently, so you can linger by the port and watch the boats and the tourists come and go while sitting outside and sipping your favorite drink.
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Posted by teethetrav 11:26 Archived in Italy Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Summer in Sorrento, Italy

Sorrento: A great base on the Amalfi Coast

Travel in Italy is like childbirth. Painful much of the time, yet at the end of the whole process, it's so amazing you forget how awful it was and you do it again. And, in my case, again and again. I learned my lesson about having children after having three...they don't stay cute and tiny, by the way. But I'm still not over Italy, and so I keep going back. After all, there are still parts I haven't seen and Italy doesn't disappoint. The true dilemma is whether to return to the places I love or keep pushing forward. I try to do both.
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Since it's summer as I'm writing this, I'll start by telling you about the Amalfi Coast. I stayed in Sorrento, which is a great beach town and a fantastic place for a summer vacation. True to all my Italian experiences, it was difficult to get there. I took the tiny commuter train called the Circumvesuviana from Naples. First of all, there is no lift at the train station in Naples and I had luggage. I should learn to backpack, but I can't. I'm not wired that way. And although I have severely trimmed down what I travel with, I must have a certain amount of accoutrements with me or I am very unhappy. Leaving, I tried a car instead of the train. The traffic was unbelievable, and everything you have heard about driving the hairpin turns through the Amalfi hills is true. I'd return, but next time, I might try a helicopter or the ferry.
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Sorrento is a great town. The locals have an ongoing love affair with Dean Martin and you can hear his lovely, slurring voice drifting through the air everywhere you go. There’s not much to do here except admire the scenery, swim, shop the markets at night and stroll, but I loved it. Sorrento has a ferry stop, as well as a bus station, and yes, there is that train so it makes a great base from which to go to the other towns in Amalfi.

There are great bargains to be had in the shops. There are incredible linens, such as tablecloths, napkins, embroidered throws, and pillow cases. All were inexpensive and I loaded up on gifts (see why I need luggage?).
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Lemons grow everywhere and they are the size of American grapefruit. The lemon motif is predominant and lemons are used in nearly every recipe. My favorite meal here was pasta served in a half of a lemon shell. Not only was it delicious, it was more than enough to fill me up. The lemons are huge! The meal was served at my favorite restaurant called Ristorante L’Antica Trattoria. The waiters are charming and are known to strew your plate with flower petals. The second time we ate there, they gave us complimentary champagne because we came back.

See, that's the lure of Italy. Everything and everyone is so seductive you keep coming back for more.

Posted by teethetrav 05:31 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

The Contessa's Vineyard

Screenplay set in Tuscany replete with pork products, wine, wild boar and more!

Picture_003.jpgThis is the setting of my screenplay The Contessa's Vineyard. It's a romantic comedy about a twenty-something New Yorker who loses her father, her job, her apartment and her so-called boyfriend in the span of a few weeks. She flees to a writers' retreat in Tuscany to complete her novel. There she discovers wild boar, two tempting men, an array of quirky writers, and finally, her voice.

I am applying to the Sundance Lab for screenwriters if I can ever finish my cover letter and application. I've already submitted the script to a few places and I got decent feedback. Although, they think it needs more conflict. It's a romantic comedy...not Indiana Jones. I think I'm better at screenwriting than at novels. My story ideas are good...my novel writing tends to include too much description. In screenwriting, the description is in the visuals (notice the photo!).

If my script ever makes it to the screen, I want to be on set as a consultant. Do you blame me?

Posted by teethetrav 07:21 Archived in Italy Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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