family

Bologna Wednesday: Off to Florence

We plunk down our 50 Euros per person for a round trip on the high-speed train to Florence. This will give us a new experience — riding a train in Italy — and will get us back to our tourist-free Bologna streets by dinnertime. Looking forward... 

Continue reading »

family

A whole world under a library

We know it’s true that a library holds entire worlds, but few libraries hold an actual ancient civilization under┬áthe floorboards. Visit the Instituzione Biblioteche del Comune di Bologna, and you will definitely want to look in the basement. The... 

Continue reading »

family

Bologna Monday

Rick Steve’s is totally wrong. Bologna is very much worth a visit, and very much worth an extended stay. First off, breakfast at the Hotel San Donato is great. You can even make yourself a caprese salad. Or, choose yogurt and muesli, hard-boiled... 

Continue reading »

family

Santo Stefano: A Bologna landmark

As the detailed booklet we bought for five Euros tells us, “it was probably a pure, rich spring that began the wonderful history of Santo Stefano about 2,000 yeas ago.” About a five-block walk from the Hotel San Donato in Bologna’s central... 

Continue reading »

family

Hello, Bologna

And so, our adventure continues. Up early to prep for departure from Sicily — Liz and Mike to Bologna where we will meet with sister Carla and her husband Les, and Charlie and Jane to Catania, where they will spend one last night in Sicily before... 

Continue reading »

family

Taormina in September

We are rested enough, and Taormina beckons. Our touring guidebook has this to say about it: “On a bluff above the Ionian Sea, at the foot of Monte Tauro, Taormina is Sicily’s most famous tourist resort.” Who wouldn’t want to go... 

Continue reading »

family

Rest day at our villa

Rest day at the villa We love our Sicilian villa so much we are more than happy to forego touring for another day of hanging out, hiding from the sun, and doing nothing. You know you are relaxed when the main events for the day look like this: * Cut up... 

Continue reading »

family

Siracusa, the place for ancient history buffs

We start every day the same — quiet reading, a good breakfast, coffee, and a check of the weather. Guess what? Same as yesterday. Then we admire the beauty of the villa and remind ourselves how lucky we are to be here. Today’s destination... 

Continue reading »

family

Driving in Sicily

Yikes. Certainly, there’s more to be said about it, but “yikes” kind of sums it up. Our adventure for the day was Noto, a beautiful baroque town rebuilt in the 1600s after a devastating earthquake knocked over all of the existing buildings... 

Continue reading »

family

Life on the Island of Ortigia

It was up and at ‘em early today. After a good breakfast, we set off for our first chance at exploring Sicily. Our destination — Ortigia, an island connected to Siracusa by a handy bridge. Ortigia is not far from our villa, and with the exception... 

Continue reading »