Days six & seven

Big independent adventure today. Took the city tram line out to the suburbs to nice open air market that the concierge suggested. This is a great way to understand a city using public transport. Also no one in the area spoke any English so when I got a little lost finding the tram stop I needed to unravel my way with a city worker in garden type park. Great experience and whahooooo got there and back no problem. Also today is my dear dear dear sweet Charlottes 6 th birthday. I went to the church in what is considered the most beautiful piazza in Torino … piazza San Carlo and lite a candle thinking of the beautiful young gal that she is. Even at now age 6 you can see what a generous and loving person she is.

Church of San Carlo
Side altar in Church of San Carlo
Happy 6th Birthday sweet Charlotte

Days five & six

I have been fortunate with my timing in that I am here for the Feast of St Giovanni, the Patron Saint of the City. Italians know how to celebrate and this is one of their most enjoyable holidays of the year. Most shops and museums were closed. Those that were open were free for the occasion.

I visited Museo Reali where a DaVinci exhibition highlighting his drawings was on view

During evening I braved my way to the City celebration, music, light show and a spectacular Drone show. Crowds were too thick on Via Vittoria Veneto for me to enter so I watch just the drone show from edge of River Po. The church of Gran Madre di Dio was beaconing rays of lift .. an amazing display of creativity and engineering.

Next day was back to normal so checked out the open air vegetable/fruit and everything else market. It was enormous and pretty close to a third world experience in the city. Nothing like the markets in Florence. There were no packaged foods was really from the farm stand produce meats and fish. The clothing and purses and general junk was very low end and poor quality but massively crowded. First time I saw an real cultural diversity in the city. Many vendors looked to be of Indian or North African descent. Since I am not cooking I could buy the vegetables but did bring small bag of olives back to my room

On my list was viewing of Shroud of Turin known as La Sacra Sindone. Much research has gone into its authenticity. I am a believer, after all I believe in Santa Claus and Easter Bunny so this is an easy leap of faith.

Day continued with cappuccino stops and great meals

Days four & five

I have started exploring museums and piazzas, churches and markets… There are so many to choose from but everything is within pleasant walking distance.

The Mole Antonellina is an architectural wonder in the middle of the city that took 30 years to complete. It houses the National Museum of Cinema. Fascinating interactive displays that Explain the development of the instruments of film production. Lots of good physics with accessibile demonstrations in addition to films special effects . Middle of building has a lift that you can take to top observation deck of the city. Torino’ s form of Empire State Building in NYC

The Lift
Street art concept which is removed after several months and is replaced with other enrichments
Museum of the Mountain

Day three & four

Hotel NH Collection Piazza Carlina is so well located. My breakfast outside today in the loggia came with a special surprise . The lemon trees I sat underneath were buzzing with bees. Hundreds of them!

Bees in the trees

Torino is know for its caffe and pastry shops and I think I discovered the most amazing one near the Po river called Sabaudo the photos below will say it all.

I plan on returning each day

Day two

The adventure continues.

Staying at NH Piazza Carlina Hotel: excellent location , clean, beautiful, great staff and dining room, and amazing complimentary breakfast. The architecture old edifice that has been invigorated with modern reinforcements. The Italians mix old and new aesthetics so well

Day one

Have arrived in Torino beginning another Italian adventure. This is a northern city known fancy car manufacturers, Juventus and Torino soccer squads, the origin of hot chocolate drinks, all sorts of delicious coffee combinations , hazelnuts and the invention of Nutella. Many piazzas, many museums, endless shopping and wonderful food.

I am certain to be happy here

Il marocchino….chocolate syrup, steamed milk, espresso: YUM
Coffee shops have great history, caffè Vergnano founded in 1882

Wanderlust — we have returned to my favorite international destination : Italy.

Once again I have great traveling companions: Kim and Maleka and also Jody and Mark.

Lucky me!

First stop is Adriatic coastline tiny and charming town of Monopoli. A piccolo city of narrow white stone streets, charming window boxes, large rock stone pavers, white ceramic pots laden with florals, castles, turrets and the blue blue adriatic sea.

A mini jewel of a paradise.

Streets of Monopoli

Streets of Monopoli

Castello Carlo V


The Don Ferrante Hotel in Monopoli was our elegant home for our short stay.

The Hotel is built in the rocks adjacent to the old fortress walls of the city.

It was newly renovated a few years ago and is appointed with pristine white interiors and fine frette linens. The exterior spaces all look out over the Adriatic Sea and the staff offers delightful service at all patio locations.

Views of the Adriatic Sea

Views of the Adriatic Sea

Breakfast Room

Breakfast Room


The Pool and the Sea

The Pool and the Sea

Maleka's Office

Maleka’s Office



Our last location of this travel voyage was in the picturesque hill side town of Taormina. In addition to gorgeous views of hillsides, the Mediterranean sea and craggy rock coastlines, this city overlooks Mountain Etna.
We stayed at an elegant hotel Villa Schuler which, also had lovely gardens which were verdant enough to supply the kitchen with oranges and we were treated to the Villa’s own marmalade !

The shops and restaurants in this town were plentiful and all rather high end and sophisticated. Access to the beach is via a gondola ride. Boating, of all sorts, and swimming are favorite pastimes of vacationers here and we were no exception. We managed to get in the sea twice in our short 24 hour stay.

Here our journey ends.
Thank you for watching a glimpse of what has been a Grand Italian Holiday.
Ciao ciao e un abbraccio .

Finding this little remote village and being treated to dinner and breakfast by the Mama, Aunts, cousins and extended family of Maleka’s friend Nino was a highlight among many in this journey. Nino’s sister Nancy stopped her weekend plans and spent the evening hosting us.The generous hospitality of these folks, their love for preparing the most delicious food, the way they share this food with gusto and laughter, the instantly fresh ingredients all raised locally and their welcoming warmth…..defines the Italian culture. Fresh porcini mushrooms gathered in the woods around us were sautéed in olive oil and then topped with toasted pistachio nuts…..DELIZIOSO !imageimageimage

Today was among our most adventurous days and proved to be among the most fun.

We traveled to a tiny rocky coastal restaurant, bar, lounge area in the tiny town of Praiano. The trip was a 10 minute ride on a water taxi from Positano. In the very first 2 minutes of the excursion I had my sunhat fly off into the sea and without giving much thought I just waved it good by and never signaled our speedboat driver to rescue it. We arrived at this isolated cove and were greeted by the owner Piccolitto. the service was delightful and food incredible. The foods are all brought to the location by boat as the cove has no car access from town.

The Restaurant is called One Fire and was recommended to us by a waitress at our favorite breakfast location: Casa & Bottega. When the owner learned that we were clients of the Casa & Bottega spot he brought the chef out from the kitchen to greet us as all these folks are apparently good friends.

Well the pictures will reveal the type of fun , food, family and relaxation that filled our day.

After the boat driver dropped us off at the spot I jokingly mentioned I had lost my hat overboard and for him to be on the look out for it in the harbor some 10 miles away.

You will see this story has a happy ending.