Saturday, September 6, 2014

An Italian Sampler. Part One.

During this summer travels in Italy I visited a previously known place plus several others that I have not been before.  Started in Florence my favorite Italian; I used to say when I die I wanted to be reborn in Tuscany owning a villa in top of a hill and a winery in the valley below.  The city still has the historical sites but the charm of 30 years ago, when I first visited, is gone.  The constant state of repairs around the city and the crowds, just ruin the place; nothing but long waiting lines to enter the famous museums.
Yes, there is a way to avoid the long lines but the spontaneity of just walking and running into a historical site and just entering is gone.  And the street art, graffiti is quite original.

 But mostly, there are lots of interesting people carrying on with their lives as the bag lady; how does she manage to carry 7 bags?  Then the street chalk artists, who rely in the tourist tips, knowing that by the next morning, their work will be gone.  Or the bored tourist thinking “what I am doing in here?  And the local lady buying her breakfast bread while the restaurant cook, takes a break before the arrival of the lunch crowd.  Not to forget about the street bully yelling at a competitor because he was settings his painting to close to his.

Florence is a great still a great place for wearing out shoes in  the streets in the summer; but it is not as it was depicted in the book “Room with a View”…I was born too late.

From Florence took a day trip to Volterra, probably best known as the birthplace of Giovanni daVerrazzano, the first European to enter the Hudson River. Yes, the one after which the bridge that connects Staten Island to Brooklyn in New York City is named.  I happened to be in this village on market, with abundance of tempting delicacies and flea market (junk) items to be admired.  Then walk the twisting narrow streets and finally visited the Roman Theater grounds before departing.

Driving in the countryside the unavoidable visit to a local winery happened…and surprisingly the wine tasting is free!!!  Down the road, near the town of Tavarnuzze, one finds The Florence American WWII cemetery.  It is the burial place of Americans soldiers that lost their lives fighting to liberate Florence.  It is immaculate kept and worth a visit, the war maps in the mausoleums give a clear understanding of the complexity of liberating the Italian Booth.

1 comment:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

How did I miss this one Jose? Seems to me I missed it in my feed? So sorry! :)

WOW!! I have never been to Italy but from what I read and see in your pictures, I sure have missed a lot. Unfortunately thes things do change over the years and not always for the better.

I am sure you enjoyed the wine tasting but always remember, South AFrican wines are MUCH better. :)

There is a lot of history in Italy and not all of it pleasant.

A wonderful post as always Jose. Thanks for sharing.