Thursday, November 14, 2013

Italy Was Fabulous!!! -Part 3

Hi again! I hope you are not getting tired of all this reading and looking, because the best is yet to come, in this post and the next. Truly, thank you for taking the time to stop by and for commenting!

Day 5: IL Poggio Winery & Fattoria
This was the day that several of the men on the trip found a little daunting, because we were off to IL Poggio Winery & Farm "Fattoria" for a tour and COOKING LESSON! It was a super experience, and now I know how to make pasta! The grounds were wonderful and perfect in every way for this small winery. We had the opportunity to take lots of photos.
A gorgeous old bricked train bridge.
This was Oscar. He stood guard over the kitchen. Dogs are treated pretty well in Italy, and no care is given that they are right in the middle of food prep...just like my dog Lucy at home.  That would not go over well in American restaurants. Love it!
This was Oscar's girlfriend, named 'Anita'! How crazy is that? The owner said she gets a little wild, so they keep her on a leash. Go figure!!! You go girl!
After snapping pics of every little thing, it was time to learn to make pasta by the man known as "Papa", who was as colorful a character as he was a chef! He didn't speak English, but we all knew what he was saying...loved him!
That crazy Papa liked helpers, and not just any kind...women only! Can you guess who was his first helper was?
Papa liked to get fresh, but only on his terms...when you least expected it! But then when I went in to give him a kiss on the head, he acted like he was fighting me off! He was a mess!
From this... this... this. I made lasagna, ravioli, tortellini, linguini, spaghetti, rigatoni, and finally Anita-ini!!!
I got flour everywhere, including my boots!
After getting messy making pasta, we were given a tour by a very knowledgable lady who's name has escaped me, but she was quit entertaining herself.
This was my favorite photo peaceful!
I am seriously looking into planting an Umbrella Pine tree in my backyard. I LOVE these trees!
There were rosemary plants, bay leaf bushes, basil, sage, pine nuts, olives of course, and most of us took little sprigs of each. The fragrance was grand!
After our tour, we worked up quite the appetite, so it was time for a five course meal with over flowing wine! Fantastico!
What a fabulous day! I keep throwing the word 'fabulous' around a lot, but I honestly mean it! This was the ultimate stress, no clean up, no worries, only laughter, food, wine, and art!
Later that night, several of us went into Florence or "Firenze" (I just love saying that!) by train, which was just about an hours ride from Montecatini. We got a sneak peek at what was to come later in the week when we toured the city, and we got in some great shopping. It's a fabulous city!

Day 6: Cinque Terre
I had become used to the time difference of eight hours by day 6, and was sleeping like a baby. It was hard to get up though after so much walking and of course late nights, and the soreness and ankle swelling didn't help, BUT today was the day I had been longing for...Cinque Terre!
The bus ride revealed gorgeous landscape through the massive windows. We were all quite entertaining as we screamed to the right side passengers and then to the left, "Get it, get it, get it!", which meant to snap the money photo shot, as the bus made tight turns up, up, up the narrow and curvacious road to the first of the five villages, showing us the magnificent sea and foliage as we went.
We stopped to snap a few photos before entering Manarola.
I stream runs through the town, and I spotted this little duck.
I get a little confused about which photos were taken where, but the next stop was Riomaggiore, or was it Manarola?!?
Then we boarded a train for Vernazza, my favorite of the villages we visited. Why? Aside from it being the most colorful, it was because I had lunch there at the Ristorante Belforte, high above the inlet, and it was the best pasta ever! I also joined my travel buddies for a trek up to the Doria Castle, as I usually explored solo, so there was lots of laughter. The views were amazing as well, and I took some great pics of the beautiful scenery.
An artist must live here!
We began the climb to the castle through narrow walk ways, past resident's doorways, and up a million steps I think! It was exhausting, and difficult on my knees, but worth it!
We left the castle, and headed to the restaurant. I spied these fish made out of something like a pita or cool!
Then it was on to the train to see the last village we were visiting, Monterosso. I mostly took ocean shots here, as this village was lined up along the beach.
I love the sun's rays here...just like Tim's stencil!
 Then we headed back to La Spezia to meet our bus. What a super blessed day this was!
I know these posts have been super long, but I really wanted to share this journey with you all. I hope you might be able to visit some of these places if you haven't already. You will be so inspired!


  1. Love reading your blog! I miss everyone already. I hope to see you again soon if you b get to Dallas!

  2. Oh my gosh, you must have had a Fabulous time, What gorgeous photos!
    hugs Lynn

  3. Fabulous post yet again Anita... I will never tire of these photos of Italy....Your journal will be amazing.....Hugs May x x x

  4. A very memorable trip that you will be remembering for a long time! God bless Tims trips :-)


  5. Stunning pics. Love the pasta making ones and one particular one is the bell at the castle, don't ask me why? It's great to live this visit through your eyes and recounts of this amazing place.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  6. I want to learn to make pasta in Tuscany!!!! :) WONDERFUL photos Anita, thanks so much for sharing your amazing adventure with us.

  7. Wow that so fantastic and i love to see more ;o) It's looks like a lot of fun and inspiration!

  8. Such beautiful photos! I see the large dog there and am smiling as the vineyard here has one who could be his sister.Her name is Maggie and was a pup on our honeymoon, and after 3 anniversaries there, she is LARGE. Love the photo of you and Papa. So funny. Thanks for taking us on your trip with these posts!

  9. Wow- today's photos are truly stunning. I wish I had come along. Thanks for sharing these with us.

  10. What a fabulous record of trip of a lifetime! I know I've got lots more catching up to do, and I can't wait. Sorry to be so behind - I still feel like I'm chasing my tail trying to catch up with myself after the big house move... but all these glorious photos have been almost like a holiday just to look at them! Thank you!
    Alison xx

  11. Oh, these are truly wonderful shots. I'm Italian, and I saw all these places, and it's a great pleasure that you enjoyed your trip so much. Thanks for sharing this beautiful experience with us!

  12. Wow, wow, wow, what absolutely fabulous photos (again) and commentary. What a fabulous trip you had! Love living it with you through the pics. Hugs, Anne x

  13. Oh so lovely pics and interesting stories !! Enjoyed so much both. Thanks a lot for sharing.
    Hugs from SPAIN

  14. Oscar and Anita make a beautiful couple! Breathtaking photos and share! Enjoy the weekend!

  15. Oh my goodness Anita, what a dream vacation. All the photos are so fantastic, so much to see and it looks like you had such a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  16. Absolutely loved the FABULOUS pictures. Took the journey with you. Would never have been able to do the walking. Trip of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing.-Karen Seidlitz

  17. How wonderful Anita and you were so lucky with the weather too x I am envious x best wishes
    Annie x

  18. you have a good collection of the beautiful pictures of the Italy. If possible please give some more information of each places by giving its speciality.

  19. Oh my goodness!!! I am so happy for you, this trip is going to stay in your heart for the rest of your life. These photos are marvelous and I love, love, love tagging along :)
    Keep Smiling, Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  20. Thanks Anita! What a trip, so great to see the photos and hear all about your exploits x

  21. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures Anita! The photos are great and I especially love your beautiful shot (1st photo on day 6) of Cinque Terre. Happy Weekend! Nicola x

  22. I am loving hearing about this trip. Your pictures are lovely

  23. Just loving glimpsing this journey of yours Anita. You have taken the most superb photos. Jenny xxx

  24. Definitely inspired. Love the gorgeous colors.

  25. Your posts are so good and really take me back to your trip. Thank you so much for posting these and your beautiful pictures. It was great to have shared this journey with you.


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