We had a fabulous trip to Italy. Lots of good food, lucky on the weather, and lots of arts and interesting sites. I have put our pictures and a bit of a narrative up on the photo web site, please take a look (best in filmstrip or slideshow mode).
There is lots written and on TV about traveling to Italy, so I won’t bore you with the expected (the churches and art like David, Gelato on every corner, etc.) Here is what we found unexpected (good and bad):
The food… lots and lots of seafood, especially Venice, but even in Florence. In addition to the expected cheese (Parmesan), we had lots of pecorino -- sheep’s milk -- cheese which ranged from young to well aged, with and without truffles. All of it was good. And Prosciutto ham is not saved for special occasions.
The crowds… Both Venice and Florence had hoards of tourists, streets and squares around major sites are mobbed. We watched a Rick Steve’s show on TV about Florence that TiVO caught while we were gone… not sure when they went, but there weren’t so many people.
The weather.. Overall, it was wonderful (and we were a bit lucky on not getting much rain). Daytime was short sleeves, evenings, maybe a sweater. A nice break from the 100+ that we left in Phoenix. It seems most of the country gets some ocean effect to modulate the extremes. Not sure what the cause was, but my allergies were just terrible in Florence.
So, “would we go back”? Definitely would like to go back to Italy, but probably not to Venice or Florence. There are some other very interesting places (Cinque Terre, beaches in southern Italy, the Alps) I would like to see – and hopefully without such big crowds.