September 14-23, 2022

(Unless noted, all photos are by the author. Best viewed on a laptop or ipad since your cell will not do justice to the photos. Double click on photos to enlarge them. There is a link for comments at the end).

After three years deprived of long-distance travel due to the pandemic, I felt fortified enough with four doses of Pfizer to once again brave a trip across the pond. I had taken over a dozen tour groups to Italy to almost all of the most popular destinations. This time I wanted to see some sites new to me. I decided to travel alone as the only way that would force me to improve my Italian fluency. Tours are so convenient, but they offer little opportunity to interact with Italians. Rather than my compusive see-everything travels, I wanted a more relaxed experience and hoped to indulge in Italy’s dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing). I had been taking two major trips a year before the pandemic. The three-year hiatus meant I had saved the cost of six expensive trips, so I could justify some opulence.

Friends who had been to Turin (Torino in Italian) commended the city, and it’s only a short trip from Milan’s Malpensa airport. I had seen a Netflix series filmed in Sanremo and the scenery and sets sparked my interest. Sanremo is well-known in Europe for its annual Festival della Canzone Italiana (Festival of Italian Song), with celebrated artists from every Italian region, televised live on RAI, its winning songs awaited eagerly by the public. A search online showed that I could take an intercity train from Turin to Sanremo and back to Milan, so the logistics looked uncomplicated. I usually take a month away from Cuernavaca in September, visiting family and friends in western New York State, so it was a short hop to NY JFK for a non-stop Delta flight to Milan.

To get to Turin from Milan’s Malpensa airport (MXP) one can take a local train, bus, taxi, or private driver to stazzione centrale (central station) Milan, then an intercity train from there to Turin. I chose the luxury of a private driver greeting me up at the airport and speeding me directly to the hotel in Turin. There was a convenient Bancomat (ATM) in the baggage area at MXP, so I got euros conveniently. For the first time in two decades the dollar and the euro are at par, but my request for 400 euros cost me 446 dollars, a thieving overcharge. I have usually skipped buying euros in the US, but in this case I would have been better off. Once in Turin the exchange rate was favorable and the ATM fees were modest.

Turin (Torino). September 14-17, 2022.

Why choose Turin? The city is not well-known to Americans, although it is the 4th largest city in Italy, the 3rd most important economically, and capital of the Piemonte Region (Piedmont). It was the cradle of Italy’s industrial development, the headquarters of Fiat (no longer a separate company), and site of many automobile and parts manufacturers. Culturally, it benefits from having been capital of the medieval kingdom of Savoy, the springboard for Italian unification (Risorgimento), 1859-1861, and the first capital of unified Italy, 1861-1865. Some know it as the location of the “Holy Shroud” which is now exhibited only occasionally (Source: Wikipedia). Mexican friends who had been there were impressed and suggested I give it a look. Its easy access from Milan and on to the Ligurian coast made the logistics manageable. I recommend it for its proximity to Lakes Como and Maggiore.

Turin Italy. Google photo.

I found bountiful tourist information online. If you are a subscriber, you can search the N.Y. Times for information on your destination and usually find an article, “36 Hours in…,” and Turin was no exception.

I had studied the recommended excursions to spots in Piedmont outside Turin and decided to exclude them. Alba’s famous white truffle fiesta didn’t coincide with my dates. There are numerous day trips to wineries. Piedmont is the second largest producer of Italian wines including blockbuster vintages like Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Asti Spumante. But I had led more than a dozen tour groups to multiple wineries in Italy and Spain. Neither did I want to consume most of a day visiting a monastery, and I had no desire to hike in the mountains, so I spent all my Piedmont time only in Turin.

The Grand Hotel Sitea, recommended in the NY Times article, was an excellent choice. ( Due to jet lag and not wanting to sit in the lobby for hours waiting for the 3:00 pm check-in, I emailed the hotel and accepted the offer of a 50 percent rate to book the previous day and find the room ready on arrival. The agreement somehow didn’t get to reception which had no record of it. Fortunately, they expedited my check-in with no added charge and I had less than an hour to wait for the room.  

I booked a deluxe double in the five-star hotel and it cost considerably less than standard rooms in mid-town Manhattan hotels. Located on Via Carlo Alberto 35 in the centro histórico, it was less than a ten-minute walk to Piazza San Carlo and another five-minute walk to Piazza Costello where several sites on my tour list were located.

The amenities include high-speed internet, a fridge-bar, a gym (I was always too tired to use), a bathrobe, and some useless slippers made for little people. The cheerful breakfast lounge is really plush, with linen table cloths and excellent service, in addition to a generous buffet of eggs, cold cuts, cheeses, assorted breads and rolls, pastries, juices, and delicious coffee.  

I often depend on cab drivers and the hotel concierge for advice and insider tips when traveling. The two receptionists at the Grand Hotel Sitea, Gabriele and Diego, provided all the guidance I needed. One or the other was always on duty, always with a cheerful greeting, always with helpful answers to my questions. With two such knowledgeable staff, the hotel does not need a concierge.

Tourist Attractions in Turin

My goals on the trip were to improve my Italian fluency, eat well, and explore some places new to me, not to exhaust every popular attraction. I skipped the automobile museum (I’d seen one in Lisbon), the National Museum of Cinema, the view from the highest tower in the city, the famous coffee shops and chocolate makers, the wine-tasting bars, and the nightlife. That still left plenty for me to see.

My agenda began with the hop-on/hop-off bus, usually a good way to orient oneself and decide what to return to. Its starting point is the Piazza Costello, walking distance from the hotel. Before I got there, I passed through the beautiful Piazza San Carlos with its baroque architecture, worth bringing the camera. I sauntered on to Piazza Costello, just missing the hourly bus departure. I had not intended to enter the Palazzo Madama but, with time to spare, I’m glad I did. It houses the Civic Museum with impressive sculptures and paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, and a small botanical garden. Fifty minutes was not enough time to do justice to the collection, but I didn’t want to miss the next bus.

The hop-on/hop-off bus was the least interesting of any I have taken in multiple cities. The tour lasted less than an hour and the maximum sound volume in the three languages I checked  was not loud enough for someone hearing impaired, so I missed much of the narrative. I did get to see some of the palatial residential areas and pleasant vistas along the River Po, but there were few spots where I was tempted to hop off since they were all walkable from the piazza. The 23 euros were not well spent. I wish I had bargained with a taxi driver to show me the highlights.

Returning to the bus park at Piazza Costello, I saw the sign for the nearby Egyptian museum. I had mixed feelings about viewing the “second largest Egyptian collection in the world” after Cairo, but seeing that it was such a close walk and I had the time, why not? I have never studied the cultures of Egypt, mummies and tomb displays do not excite me, and there were few really monumental pieces.

Still feeling jet lag, I left the museum in just one-hour and looked for a spot for a late lunch. The outdoor cafes nearby were all crowded, but I found an empty seat in one and indulged in a too-thick slice of pizza and a beer before heading back to the hotel for a siesta. I rested the remainder of the afternoon, putting cell-phone photos on my laptop and catching up on world, U.S, and Mexican news online before returning to the street for dinner nearby.  

I have seen so many palaces in Spain, Austria, France, and Italy, I was indecisive about visiting the Royal Palace in Turin until I read that the complex included four museums. The next morning, I returned to Piazza Costello to tour the palace.  Since I can read Italian without a dictionary, I skipped the organized tours that promise to avoid the ticket line, usual cost: 35 euros. The line that morning had only six other people and the entrance fee was only 15 euros. In addition to the palatial residence of the House of Savoy, there is an impressive royal armory, a library, an eclectic art museum, an archaeology museum, the Chapel of the Holy Shroud (closed), and the royal garden. While not as splendid as Versailles in France nor Schoenbrunn in Vienna, it has none of the crowds nor the enormous guided groups one contends with in those places. It really deserves the adjective palatial, as the small sample of photos below will testify.

The Royal Gardens have fallen into neglect and I didn’t see a single flower, although I didn’t walk all 17 acres. Still, on a lovely sunny day, it was nice to find a bench under a shade tree and rest my legs for fifteen minutes after walking and  standing for two hours.

Leaving the museum about 1:30 pm, I walked down pedestrian Via Garibaldi with its many ancient shops and outdoor cafes, all bustling with late diners. I was fortunate to find a small empty table and bought a large slice of pizza and a small bottle of water for just 4 euros. After the breakfast buffet, that was plenty enough to hold me until dinner.

I had originally planned to spend another day in Turin and go to the coast on Sunday, but I felt I had seen enough of the city and wanted to go to the coast a day earlier than planned. The hotel I had chosen in Sanremo, Miramare, the Palace, is popular with weekenders from nearby Nice and Cannes, France, and there were no vacancies online for a Saturday arrival. After several emails back and forth I wrote that I would be staying five nights, more than their weekend clientele, and beggws for an opening. To my delight, the management emailed that I was upgraded to a deluxe two-room suite with a balcony overlooking the Ligurian sea. After canceling a fourth night at the Grand Hotel Sitea, I took a taxi to the Turin train station to buy a ticket for Sanremo. I asked the taxi driver, Riccardo, what he would charge for the three-hour drive to the resort city. With some Mexican-style bargaining, we agreed on a price and a time to pick me up, and I asked him to skip the stazzione and return to the hotel. Now I could relax and head out for a nice dinner.

Dining in Turin

Often, I know I am only going to be in a city once and seek out famous restaurants. But with fine dining just a short walk from the hotel, I saved 20 to 30 euros in cab fares by staying close by.  The Grand Hotel Sitea has a one-star Michelin restaurant, Carignano, but I did not know it had only five tables and I didn’t reserve in advance. But Carignano has an affiliated bistro on the next corner, its menu posted in the hotel elevators daily. Bistro Carlo e Camillo has a half dozen candle-lit tables outdoors on the pedestrian street with a delightful menu. I ordered an Aperol Spritz, currently the favored beverage all over Italy, and found it delicious and not heavily alcoholic. Then I skipped the primo and went right to the secondo, ordering the regional specialty, angnolotti, tiny ravioli-like dumplings stuffed w ground veal and mushrooms, garnished with black truffle flakes, in a light sauce, probably a veal stock. I finished with a plate of four cheeses, a serving so generous that I couldn’t finish. Two glasses of the regional wines, a Nebbiolo and a Barolo, were priced reasonably. I skipped the menu of delectable pastries.

Being able to dine outdoors is one of the reasons I don’t travel off-season, and the September weather in Turin was perfect. I never opened the small umbrella I packed. My second night, I went to another outdoor dining venue, Restaurant Assaje, that I had chanced upon while scouting the area the previous evening. Seeing how crowded it was, it didn’t need any advertising. I went early enough to be sure to get a table and  I was the first diner seated at 7:00 pm. Within twenty minutes almost all the tables were occupied. Most other diners seemed to be eating pizza, but a whole pie looked too large for me. Curiously, the previous mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, was widely mocked for eating pizza with a knife and fork, the way almost everyone here was eating it. After an Aperol Spritz, I was going to order a plate of Prosciutto, but the waiter said the Iberian ham was better. Next, I wanted only the Caprese, thinking I would get the Neopolitan-style salad with fresh Buffalo mozzarella. Instead, a huge portion of six slices of more elastic mozzarella arrived with lots of bread and rolls. I could barely finish.   

Turin originated Italy’s Slow Food Movement, and the first Eataly opened there, now a  chain of   gourmet shopping centers and restaurants. The N.Y.Times article did not say it was a long pricey cab ride from centro. It was a pleasure to see the enormous food hall hall with its alluring products for sale: cold cuts, cheeses, fresh cuts of beef, olive oils, vinegars, wines, kitchen utensils, ceramics, herbs and spices, almost none of which would be convenient to carry to my next destination, much less to take home. But I did enjoy dinner at the outdoor restaurant that opens at 7:00 pm. I spied a menu item I had not eaten since years ago in Tuscany: thick spaghetti called pici (worms) with  a ragu of cinighiale (wild boar). Delicious! Afterward, I barely had room for the Sicilian connolo (cannoli is plural), far too sweet for my taste. Ready to leave, I expected to see lots of taxis dropping off diners and I got anxious thinking I might be stranded when not one single cab arrived after 15 minutes. I had not set up my cell for roaming in Italy, so Uber was not an option. I returned to Eataly’s customer-service desk where an exasperated clerk tried over and over to get someone to answer. (I learned later there was a bus strike). Finally, she got through and the cab arrived in seven minutes. The dinner was expensive and adding 32 euros for round-trip taxi made for a pricey but memorable evening. 

Sanremo, September 17-22, 2022

Saturday, after breakfast I checked out at 9:50 and expected to find taxi driver Riccardo. Instead, his brother, Bruno, was waiting with a deluxe Mercedes van. Bruno’s business is intercity private-car service. He had no other client that day, and he drove me to the coast for the discounted price Riccardo had agreed upon. This was my longest and best opportunity to speak Italian since Bruno asked repeated questions for the duration of the three-hour drive. I bid him addio shortly before 1:00 pm and checked in at Hotel Miramare, The Palace on Corso Matuzia 9. (

Hotel Miramare, the Palace

After a brief tour of the lobby and dining areas, receptionist Michaele escorted me to my suite on the fourth floor. Mamma Mia! The living room and the adjacent bedroom each had its own bathroom, television, and closet. The balcony was small, just enough room for a cocktail table and two plastic chairs, but with a spectacular view of the impressive pool, the inviting garden, the expansive beach, and the azure sea. A bottle of pink champagne was cooling on ice alongside a plate of fresh figs and strawberries and a welcome note. The management knows how to make guests feel welcome.

I took advantage of the fast internet to catch up on mail, ordered a burger and a beer in the dining room, then walked Corso Matuzia to see what was nearby. I had carelessly failed to pack flip flops for the beach but found a nice pair for only 10 euros. I took photos of the spectacular hotel grounds and posted them for friends and family on facebook, then went out again  at 7:00 pm for a short walk. About 30 meters from the hotel, I discovered a lovely small park and a promenade leading to another section of the lungomare (the paved promenade that would be a boardwalk in the US) and a waterfront restaurant to try another evening. Before returning to my suite, I found a nearby gelateria and indulged in a Stracciatella (chocolate chip) cone for only 2 euros. I pay four dollars for a child’s cone back in the States. It was all I needed for supper after the late lunch.

From the hotel grounds there is a passageway that goes under the lungomare to access the beach area. Beaches are occupied by clubs that charge for a deck chair, an umbrella, and a hot shower. The hotel has an agreement with one of them, but I preferred the hotel pool with its view of the sea. No sand in the crack.

I finished the evening with Johnny Walker on the balcony overlooking the sea, just mildly disappointed that the breeze off the water was so chilly I needed to put on a jacket.

The breakfast buffet at Miramare is really impressive. One can dine indoors, but the balmy morning sun invited diners to the terrace overlooking the water. The first thing one notices entering the buffet room is the enormous pastry table decorated with orchids. More pastries filled an adjacent bar, including croissants (plain, chocolate, and cream). Another bar held numerous cold cuts, cheeses, and assorted breads and rolls. The hot dishes included scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, and a mystery meat with vegetables in sauce to be served over rice.  Fruits included melon, strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, and kiwi (the fruit that tastes like a vegetable). Waitstaff brought ceramic containers of hot coffee, but one could order cappuccino or espresso. Another table held a choice of juices and still or sparkling water. The food and the setting made for a sensational morning. I tried to avoid the decadent pastry table, but when a creampuff smiles at you it’s hard not to be seduced. I over-indulged, so I was glad I had done my pushups and sit ups before coming down and could workout in the pool later.

Again, I had not planned to do a lot of compulsive touring. Online, I had found a number of possible excursions from Sanremo. I had been to Genoa for several days three years previous; I had taken two tour groups to Cinque Terre, and I had visited Nice and Cannes on trips to France years ago, so no place nearby beckoned me. And who would want to leave this stunning resort? Sanremo seemed to be the ideal place to indulge in Italy’s storied “dolce far niente.”

When away from Cuernavaca, I really miss my aerobic workouts in the pool. The low-impact exercise can be adjusted to one’s time and stamina, and it compensates for my less-salubrious excesses. The pool depth at Miramare was perfect and the water temperature was fine without heating, so I enjoyed an hour workout every day at noon. The pool attendant, Niccolo, was the victim of my relentless questions, striving to converse in Italian. He is a student of tourism in Milan, working the pool during vacation. Despite the beautiful weather, only a handful of other guests occupied the deck chairs.

I occupied afternoons foraging for a light lunch, just a slice of pizza, sometimes only a gelato. I could also buy snacks nearby at the COOP supermarket, but it offered no hot food.  I had plenty of time daily before dinner (early morning in New York), to satisfy my news addiction, email, and facebook until dinner time. Later I could watch Netflix on my laptop or relax with a novel on my kindle.

Hotel Miramare bathes the pool and outdoor bar in blue light at night.

In my scouting on the lungomare, I had happened upon a crowded seafront restaurant, Solentiname, where, on my second night, I was fortunate to get a table without a reservation. I had an Aperol Spritz, gnocchi with pesto (the Ligurian specialty), and a mixed grill of meats. Prices were a bit high, as one would expect at a splendid location in a resort town. Another night I returned and ordered a large portion of mussels (no tomato/garlic sauce: peccato) and a tasty mixed-grill of swordfish, squid, bronzino, and prawns. A glass of dry prosecco cost only 4 euros. The restaurant is closed on Monday, but I had read the street-side menu just a few doors away at the Hotel BelSoggiorno. There I enjoyed a seafood risotto, and sauteed veal with a mushroom sauce. My last night I returned to Solentiname for a simple margherita pizza and a beer. I was not inspired to stray far from the Miramare in search of Michelin stars.

I only explored the downtown one afternoon, after taking a taxi to the stazzione centrale to book an intercity train to Milan to be closer to Malpensa airport the last night.  I walked around the city center, took some photos of the port area, picked up a snack at the supermarket, and ate on a bench at the waterfront.   

I’ve seldom been so low key in my travels and felt guilty about not seeing more, but I really enjoyed my first Italian beach vacation. I highly recommend the Hotel Miramare, but note: it is more accessible from the Nice, France airport than from Milan. My desire to see Turin required the longer journey to the coast.

Before leaving the resort, I was the first person at breakfast, took my time with the morning ablutions, checked out just before 9:00 am, and arrived at the Stazzione by 9:10 for my 9:30 train. I had bought a window seat and was delighted that the aisle seat was unoccupied until half an hour before Milan when an obese passenger got on in Pavia.  The train arrived a few minutes early at Stazzione Centrale in Milan, an enormous station and a long walk to the taxi stand where I had to wait only a few minutes for a cab. The driver, Maria, wanted to talk but she had her back to me and a thick plastic window between the driver and the back seat, so she had to turn around to face me for me to hear well, not the most prudent way to drive in heavy traffic.

I had no idea it was the last day of Fashion Week in Milan, evidently one of the busiest times of the year. Traffic was bumper to bumper all the way to my hotel in the city center, normally a ten-minute drive but half an hour that day. She cussed and exclaimed at the unruly drivers, albeit with a vocabulary less vulgar than mine would have been. Evidently the run to the airport is more profitable than city driving and she was anxious to get my carriage the next day.  The fixed price rate to MXP is 104 euros, and I agreed since I had seen private-driver ads online for much more. We agreed on a 9:00 am pickup.

The Hotel Regina is well-located in the city center at Via Cesare Correnti 13, walking distance to the Duomo, the Galleria, La Scala, and the fashionable shops. Tourists in centro citta have to pay a 5-euro hotel surcharge, not enough to really reduce traffic in the area. The hotel has few amenities other than fast internet, and my room was one of the smallest in all my travels. But I wasn’t going to seek a larger room with only one night on my agenda. I was in the room by 1:45, and went online to check in for my Delta flight the next day. I gave up after numeros unsuccessful attempts and didn’t get through until the next morning

I hadn’t eaten during the three-hour train ride and I knew two favorite restaurants near the Duomo for a late lunch/early supper. After a ten minute walk, I faced the spectacularly beautiful cathedral, walked through the Galleria, mobbed with tourists, passed LaScala, and found  the delightful upscale restaurant Don Lysander where I had enjoyed superb food on previous visits. Alas, it had closed at 4:00 pm and wouldn’t reopen until 7:30 pm. So, I headed to an old standby, a delightful bistro on the 7th floor of the Renascente department store on via San Raffaele. It’s a smaller version of Eataly with assorted Italian food products and two restaurants on a terrace overlooking the Duomo. While crowded, I was able to get a single table right awa. I, enjoyed another Aperol spritz (for twice what I had paid in other venues), and I devoured an enormous caprese salad with six huge slabs of mozzarella and a delicious plate of pasta with pesto. The popular location with its stunning view of the Duomo allows for steep pricing and the meal cost 44 euros with tip. No complaints. After so many previous visits to Milan, I wasn’t compelled to do any more exploring.

Fri Sept 23              Milan to JFK to Brockport

I rose early and ate quickly from the Hotel Regina’s modest but satisfying buffet breakfast. I was in a hurry to get back online to check my flights, MXP to JFK and JFK to ROC.  I was not happy that the web check-in now worked, but Delta had switched me to an ITA flight two hours later than my scheduled 1:40 departure. (Alitalia Airlines was liquidated after a strike in 2021 and replaced by ITA, Italia Transporto Aereo, part of  Delta’s SkyTeam). My 9:00 am pickup meant I would be sitting a long time in the airport.  Taxi-driver Maria was early and took my bags while I checked out of the Hotel Regina and we got to Malpensa in an hour.

Despite the Delta sign at the terminal entrance, the Delta counter is about 100 meters from the entrance in another corridor with no signage, so I had to ask for help three times. I went to the Delta desk but was led by a staff member to the nearby ITA priority line where I was checked in quickly. Although my flight was co-shared with Delta and ITA) including the flight from JFK to ROC, I was told they could not check my bag to my final destination, only to JFK wheree I would have to recheck my bag. Contrary to news reports about chaos at security lines and passport controls abroad, the lines at Malpensa were short with no delays. Thankfully I had the VIP lounge for the three-hour wait. I didn’t need the many breakfast iteems available but I was happy for the fast wifi. I exhausted my web news outlets and facebook before it was time to board. Evidently ITA doesn’t pay enough to get a jetway, and we had to take a bus to the aircraft, crowding like cattle to lug carryon up a steep staircase to board the plane. So much for business class. I didn’t see any wheelchairs and I have no idea how the incapacitated are treated.

While I was not happy about being switched from Delta to ITA, and the seating was not as comfortable as on my incoming Delta flight, the food was incredibly superior. I was so tired of Delta’s repetitious choices of dried out short ribs, tasteless chicken breast, or an icky vegetable plate. Instead, we were served a delicious five-course lunch so big I passed on the cheese and dessert courses, and I had no appetite for the light lunch served before landing.

We landed a bit late, over nine hours in flight, and I was shocked to see the enormous line in passport control at Kennedy. It made me so glad I had Global Entry, and I was at the luggage carousel in minutes. Those without Global Entry might have waited at least an hour or longer, a warning to those returning from abroad to leave plenty of time between connections. I was able to recheck my bag conveniently at a desk where connecting passengers drop off their luggage.

JFK’s Delta’s international arrivals terminal is not customer friendly for connections. I had to walk outside for about 150 meters to terminal 2 (imagine that with winter slush) where I had a long walk to board a shuttle to gates A & B. The wait for the shuttle took another ten minutes, then a long walk to the departure concourse. Delta offered only one flight to Rochester after my 5 pm arrival, an interminable wait until 10:30 pm, getting me to Rochester very late.

Having access to the Sky Club made the wait less onerous. The line to get into the club was 25 yards long but it moved quickly and I found a quiet desk in the business area where I could phone and email family and friends. I still had no appetite and had only a cookie with a cup of coffee and no alcohol since I had to drive a rental car 25 minutes from the airport to Brockport. The long line of planes awaiting takeoff added another delay and we landed in ROC at 11:45. Luckily National rental staff waited for my late arrival and I had the keys to the car before my luggage came off the carousel. That one cup of coffee at JFK kept me alert and I arrived at my destination in Brockport at 1:00 am, 24 hours after wakeup in Milan. No doubt flying has taken some of the fun out of travel. But I loved my destinations and I was thrilled to be able to return again to Bella Italia.

Bonus for those who made it to the end: Aperol Spritz

Years ago when I spent two weeks in Sienna, I noted that most drinkers ordered Campari Soda as an aperitif. On this trip, everyone seemed to be sipping an Aperol Spritz. Like Campari, Aperol is a somewhat bitter low-alcohol aperitif. In this cocktail it is paired with Prosecco and sparkling water over ice and garnished with an orange slice. Put lots of ice in a tall water glass and equal parts of Aperol and dry Prosecco. If you prefer a sweeter drink, use more Prosecco or Asti Spumante. Top with a splash of sparkling water like Pelligrino, and add an orange slice. To become an expert, I advise drinking several with different ratios. After three or four, you won’t care about the ratio. Salute.

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  1. Waited until I was back from my own travels to truly savor this write-up; as with all of your travel blogs, it did not disappoint. I especially liked the pics from Piazza Costello and descriptions of the everyday people you met along the way. The food?! Oh the food; love how you always allow me to almost taste it….if only! So happy for you that you are comfy enough to be out and about again in the big beautiful world!

  2. Thanks for your kind comments Nancy. One of my regrets in retiring from leading tours is missing the enthusiasm of fellow travelers like you and your mom.

  3. Another wonderful travel piece by Jim – he always covers the areas where he travels in great detail and appreciates the scenery, the food, and the local people. I would love to have been along on this trip! Susan *********************** Susan Ansara 4471 Superstition Dr. Las Cruces, NM 88011 575-649-8786 ************************


  4. I found I really had missed these and as a previous responder said, great food descriptions. You have the knack, not everyone does. Thanks for a great “trip.”

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