Matter – known as the underground city and its historical centre “Sassi” contains ancient cave dwellings which were occupied until 1950s. The area of what is now Matera has been settled since the Palaeolithic (10th millennium BC). This makes it potentially one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the world. It has also been […]
There is always something new at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence that is worth seeing. The priceless other works of art aren’t too shabby either. I think the best thing about the Uffizi is the fact that it can be done in a reasonable amount of time – even in 3 hours. The rest of […]
It appears that after Castelmunzio, Montisi is our next favourite place to over eat at dinner. Montisi is a tiny and serene village, steeped in tradition but largely unspoiled by tourism. It’s also a quiet retreat for a good number of celebrities who come here to hide from the crowds.
Bypassing the usual tourist sites and sticking to what we know about Siena we stuck to a lot of gelato, a bit of espresso and a whole lot of shopping which was not only productive but also very satisfying with exception of Evelina who opted to save her cash!
We either come here for gelato or to have lunch but mostly for gelato since it is the closest place to Sant’Anna. I am not sure for how much longer we can keep up the 3 square meals per day plus gelato once or twice a day. The rest is Sant’Anna getting ready for the first concert […]
Pizza making class is always a blast, especially at Podere il Casale. Making great food together is a great way to spent time with friends and family. A bit of good wine helps too. We love coming here, we love the stories and the experiences Sandra shares and are always in awe on how rewarding […]
While pretending to know where we are going without the use of the GPS we took the wrong traffic circle exit out of Montalcino but luckily ended up here. This is an old Benedictine Abbey dating back to 813 A.D. Like most of Tuscany it fell under the influence and rule of either Siena or […]
It is the one and only day it is supposed to rain mid day today so we are not going to the thermal baths, but taking a short scenic drive to Montalcino and catching up on dealing with hundreds of pictures which need to be sorted, edited and posted.
Ballenberg is an open museum with a 100 original, century-old buildings from all over Switzerland, original gardens and fields. It is a working museum where people are in period, bake break, make sausages, make cheese and pretend they live in the centuries past. There are also 250 domestic animals on display as well. This is […]
This is the last stop in Switzerland. Apparently I can’t count to 5 so I booked us in for 4 nights. Needless to say a day before check out we needed to find a room for one more night. Booking.com to the rescue and this is how we ended up in this village. Dating back […]
Thun is a small city of about 45,000 residents. The area of what is now Thun was inhabited since the Neolithic age mid 300 BC. Like most Europe and Switzerland it was conquered by Rome in 58BC. In 1819 a Military School was founded in the city, which later developed into the main military school in […]
It is going to be hard to leave these views behind. It is a good thing that the roads are twisty and narrow, at least by going slow you can enjoy them – not the driver though the roads are too darn twisty and narrow to look away.
The construction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne began as early as 1170 by an original unknown master mason. Twenty years later another master mason restarted construction until 1215. Finally a third engineer, Jean Cotereel, completed the majority of the existing cathedral including a porch, and two towers, one of which is the current […]
Directly overlooking the Lake Schiffenen is a carved out cave measuring 120 meters which was chiseled out in the rock by two hermits around 1700. The floor, as it was recently discovered, is actually a fossilized sandstone dune from prehistoric times. The dwelling in the cliff was later expanded to its current size by the hermit Johann Dupré and his […]
The Gothic Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Fribourg dominates the centre of the medieval town. The main church was started in 1283 and completed by 1430. The tower was completed in 1490. It is 76 metres tall and houses 11 bells. Originally a parish church, in 1945 it became the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva […]
We have arrived in Switzerland. Once you pass the tunnels and the trains the views open up – no matter where you look the vistas are spectacular. Interesting note, in Italy, the fastest drivers on the highway are either from Germany or Switzerland. The posted highway speed is 130km/h the Swiss will do 150 to 160km/h. The moment […]
After the morning museum trip and an extensive siesta from the unyielding and relentless heat, we set out for a lap around Rome. Last time we were here the Trevi Fountain was being renovated and cleaned, which apparently is done once every 50 years or so. There are over 2000 fountains in Rome but this one […]
We are finally here… We are checked into Divina Costiera which is located in the Latter Mountains, 2 km outside Agerola. We are really really hight up in the mountains, it is 10:44 and it is 26C and humid! It’s beautiful, despite the heat. […]
The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign city-state, located on the French Riviera. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2 and a population of about 37,800; it is the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world. […]
Marseille is the oldest continuously inhabited city in France, it is a second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon. Humans have inhabited Marseille and its region for almost 30,000 years, it was the first Greek settlement in France. It is […]
Aix-en-Provence name comes from a Roman consul, Sixties Calvinus, who gave his name to Aquae Sextiae, “the Baths of Sixties,” a site of thermal springs in 123BC. Aix-en-Provence has about 140,000 residents and is generally considered a university town. There are great many sights to see here. The Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with […]
Monza is an integral part of F1. It is one of the first 7 tracks that hosted the F1 championship in 1950. Since then 64 F1 races were run in Italy and all but one were held at Monza. Monza together with Monaco, Silverstone in England, and Spa in Belgium are four of the original tracks still used today […]
It is 10:30pm. The owner of the villa is staying in the private part of this complex behind a big iron gate, in a huge manicured private garden in a smaller private villa more suitable for a family. Alexandro the caretaker and Fiona the lady who makes breakfast sleeps next to the kitchen which is […]
After last night it was slow going this morning but a race day awaits. Karen, Carlos and myself are going to carpool since they know where the good parking is but don’t feel like driving their little Lancia on the twisty Italian roads. We were informed that to have a chance of finding decent parking we […]
Villa Medici has a different look and feel to it in a daylight. Last night I just wanted to get to bed, today I had a chance to walk around this place, in its endless maze of hallways and rooms that lead to even more hallways and rooms. This place is truly huge and on […]
After some noisy Porsches trashing around the track it was time for F1 qualifying. The crowd cheers, for Ferrari of course, and to improve the odds and feel better, for any previous Ferrari driver, in which case Masa got a lot of cheers. On the way back to the car Red Bull is giving away […]
This is Villa Medici. I stood and drove around this place for 25 min and parked at least on 3 of the 4 available corners trying to figure out how to get into this place. Apparently there huge brown door had a large metal knocker that you bang, then the doors open and you are […]
I only made one quick stop in Switzerland to admire the sunset over Alps. It was also the only place when it was not working so it kind of worked out.
The two young ladies are taking the zip line at the end of the challenging obstacle course adventure, or as they see it, Hunger Games obstacle course.
Here are two more videos from the Sound and Light Show at the Rouen Cathedral. Simply amazing.
While visiting some of these splendid structures, on a number of occasions, we were treated to the sound of roaring organs. Rouen Cathedral was also a nice treat. Someone was taking the organs for a spin and they sounded mighty.
The Rouen Cathedral Sound and Light show was great in pictures. Here are a couple of videos and a couple of more coming in next week since Vimeo account limits what can be uploaded. It looked far more spectacular in the video – enjoy it.
This again will be filled under “Christ what were we thinking” category which is the predominant theme of ours when we go out to eat. After a wonderful dinner at the Golden Horn we rolled out of the restaurant, and rolled down the hill from the castle side, across the main square and to 4D our favourite […]
We are slowly coming to the end of this great adventure and while we are not quite thinking about home yet, here is an updated map of places we have visited. Hopefully tomorrow, I will get a chance to catch up on the blog – so stay tuned! The map in detail
After a busy and eventful day we are finally home, a bit later than we thought and tired but home at last!
The building is based upon the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, a primarily wooden construction; it was consecrated in 942 by Transmarus, Bishop of Tournai and Noyon. Traces of this original structure are evident in the cathedral’s crypt. The chapel was subsequently expanded in the Romanesque style in 1038. Some traces of this phase […]
Ghent started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe with some 60,000 people in 1300 AD, 70,000 in 1400 growing to 175,000 Shortly after 1500 AD. Today it is a busy city with a port […]
After the visit at the museum, we spent almost an hour chatting with the grand-daughter of Maurice Van Landschoot and his son Gilbert who not only own but run the museum. Van Landschoot Family tree traces back over 1000 years. They were predominantly masons and timber traders. They were employed to provide their expertise […]
We stumbled upon this place literally by accident. While staying in Bruges at the B&B on one of the maps I saw a little logo of this place. It seemed very odd and rather surprising that there would be a museum dedicated specifically to both Canadian and Polish Soldiers for WWII efforts. This is a […]
Today we are setting off from Bruges to Nuremberg. On the way home there are a couple of stops we want to make to see some interesting things. We are going to be getting home late but with nothing to do tomorrow, no one really cares.
Our stay at the B&B has ended, we are going to be stopping in two cities for a quick visit on the way to Nuremberg. After packing the car which took about 25 min we settled in and off we went to see a WWII museum and then to Ghent.
While we were tying to get the car packed the kids were enjoying themselves on the trampoline – I think they are happy that we are finally going home. Except we are not, as we still have some stops planned on the way home.
The Markt (“Market Square”) of Bruges is located in the heart of the city and covers an area of about 1 hectare. Some historical highlights around the square include the 12th-century belfry and the Provincial Court (originally the Waterhall, which in 1787 was demolished and replaced by a classicist building that from 1850 served as […]
Instad of taking a boat tour today, we decided for something more elegant and private – a horse drawn carriage. We have not done this yet on this trip so we though it would be a great opportunity to see a bit of the city from a different perspective. The tour is about 35 min […]
Often Bruges and Amsterdam and Bamberg and Colmar are referred to as the Venice of the North. In fact I think that any city in Europe that has canals can and tries to make this claim. Bruges I think is the cleanest and the nicest of them all. There are a lot of shops and […]
Bruges is a relatively small city of about 120 thousand people, double that if you include the metropolitan area. It is very beautiful and pristine. It’s a vibrant and alive and obsessively clean and not as busy and commercial as Brussels, a perfect place to get a good taste of Belgium. Very few traces of human […]
This is not an ordinary church. In fact a lot of churches in Belgium it seems, as well as The Netherlands are used for things other than praying. St. Magdalen’s is turned into an art exhibit entitled An Experiment on Space, Man and Religion. The graves of the future dead were quite interesting.
Belgium is humid. When in Bruges it is easy to channel Monika Geller, which is what Anna is demonstrating here!
After spending a few hours in Amiens, we set off for Belgium. We are going to be staying in Bruges close to the old town to reduce our travel time and to maximize our time in the city. Our fist impression of Belgium is very positive. It appears that most highways in Belgium are lit at night, […]
Amiens Cathedral is situated on a ridge overlooking the River Somme in Amiens and it is the 19th largest church in the world. Medieval cathedral builders were trying to maximize the internal dimensions in order to reach for the heavens and bring in more light. In that regard, the Amiens cathedral is the tallest complete […]