Saturday, November 27, 2021

Changing Dates From April '22 to September '22

 They Say That Change Is A Good Thing


Yes, we have decided to postpone our trip until September 2022. So, the last 5 months of getting closer to our April date left us 5 months from our departure. Kind of like it wasn't real, at all. Now, here we are 10 months away from going again. Five months forward; five months backward. Just a bit frustrating and disappointing, but we have extended the trip with Plan B to 24 days from 21 days. So, we get 3 more days in Italy - that can't be a bad thing, can it? 

What has been added to our to our itinerary? A two to three day side trip to Pedavena where my great grandparents and grandparents left in 1906 to seek a better life in the United States. I had thought that to get to Pedavena would take too much extra time before when were trying to trim the days down from 30 to 21, but putting off the trip  (and the overall influence on COVID-19 on life) prompted us to rethink that and making it to Pedavena now seemed necessary. Plus Pedavena and Feltre (where we will stay for 2 nights) is in The Dolomites, a region of Italy, where we have been to only briefly on a day trip from Milan to Varenna and Bellagio on Lake Como in 2016. 

The apartment we have reserved in Feltre in the Dolomites.


Because of the ease of finding, reserving and changing lodging reservations on Booking.com, we have already secured confirmation on all of our lodging for September/October 2022. My website or I receive no compensation or benefit from mentioning Booking.com in these posts, but I have to say, Booking.com really works well for this amateur. I would suggest that anyone planning an extended trip or just a weekend away in the US should try Booking.com. It has saved me hours of time and hundreds of dollars just in the last 3 months of visiting seaport towns in New England.

The only difficulties so far were rebooking hotels/apartments that were not reserved with Booking.com. I was able to cancel the reservations, but not change the dates readily. Our lodging on our first night after our flight was at Charley Hotel in Milan which is very close to the train station, Milano Centrale, but they are not accepting reservations for 10 months out ( we'll wait until reservations open again). The other was in Bologna where upon cancelation, the VRBO owner let us know that he, most likely, wouldn't be renting out our favorite apartment in Bologna in 2022 to tourists due to cancelations and uncertainty caused by COVID-19. We had stayed there on our last trip in 2016.

Charley Hotel in Milan

Milano Centrale train station


Once again, I turned to Booking.com to find another suitable self-catering apartment and was fortunate to find the "Tilia" apartment, a much bigger and more elegant place (not that we look for "elegant") close  to the center of of the city.

Balcony at "Tilia" apartment in Bologna

One of the bedrooms at "Tilia"

I now have completed all of the reservation changes (except for the first night and the last night in Milan) for September / October 2022.  Our itinerary will be:

 1- Milan* (1 night)
2 - Verona (5 nights)
3 - Feltre / Pedavena (2 nights)
4 - Venice* (2 nights)
5 - Bologna* (5 nights)
6 - Cortona (4 nights)
7 - Florence* (3 nights)
8 - Milan* (1 night)
* (have also visited on previous trips)

Still to be planned are day trips from Verona, Cortona and Bologna.  All transportation will be on comfortable and convenient Italian trains and occasionally on city or inter-city buses.

Debbie waiting for a train - 2016


We still need to book train tickets for longer distances which I will book on the Trenitalia site when the dates open up and our flights which will do in June or July '22.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Reconsidering Our Dates for Our April 2022 trip

With all of our lodging booked, mostly through Booking.com for our 21 day April 2022 trip to Italy, we have begun to reassess the the situation with COVID19 in the world today as cases and deaths are rising rapidly in Europe and the US now in November 2021. Safety is becoming more of a concern for us once again. Even though we are both fully vaccinated, including booster shots, we still are more concerned than when we started this process of planning our trip in June.

We still have plenty of time to cancel or change our lodging reservations (until the beginning of April 2022), but we don't want to inconvenience the owners of the apartments and hotel rooms we have reserved in Verona, Venice, Cortona, Bologna, Milan and Florence.  The earlier we cancel, the more likely it will be that they can still rent the apartments out to others for our April time slots. Also, the  earlier we do that, the more likely we can find (or re-book the same) other lodging for a trip later in 2022 like in September or October if conditions start to improve again in the summer. This is a difficult decision for us to make, but we probably will cancel / reschedule our lodging soon. 

Fortunately, we haven't made any flight or train reservations at this time and we feel it's best to plan these things well in advance, so now would be a good time to be considering a trip in October 2022. Of course, it's disappointing to feel it necessary to make these changes, but we are hopeful that we'll be able to use our same itinerary for the fall as we we did for the spring. The silver lining may be that there are usually more festivals in the fall than in the spring, which will be exciting. Although, we were looking forward to seeing Italy in the spring because we have been there in in the fall and the summer before, including in the months of June, July, September, October and November, so adding April & May would have been nice. There really is no time that we wouldn't love Italy (we would probably avoid it in the month of August, though).


Pisa


ttps://untolditaly.com/can-you-travel-to-italy/

Sunday, October 31, 2021

 

Travelling to Italy in November & December during the pandemic.


Italy is one of the countries that is welcoming American tourists now (November 2021). There is a lot of important information for travellers here in the Italy section including forms to be filled out and carried with you.

Up-to-date COVID case numbers for Italy: Here


Florence, Italy


Read CNN article by clicking here:

Or here https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-international-travel-covid-19/index.html

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Lodging for Our April 2022 Trip is Reserved

Still planning our 2022 adventure to Italy. Since my last post, I have managed to reserve all 21 days of lodging for our stay. Each booking made through Booking.com has a cancellation date near to our departure date so that should we need to "un-reserve" any booking we won't lose out. There was only one booking, the one in Bologna, where we have already had to pay a deposit. We rented the same great apartment in 2016 and aren't worried about cancelling if we must because the owner is very kind and accommodating. The two nights in Milan are at a small hotel: Hotel Charly  All of the others are self-catering apartments. In my next post I'll let you know about the places we've reserved with names and prices.


Here's the rundown on cities we'll be staying in:

1. We will fly into Milan Linate Airport if we can (we'll stay in Milan for  one night) 

2. Take the train to Verona ( first time in Verona)(for 5 nights)

3. Take the train to Venice (we have visited twice before on two day trips: 2011 & 2014) (2 nights)

4. Take the train to Bologna (we stayed in 2011 & 2016) (3 nights)

5. Take the train to Cortona (we have not visited) (5 nights)

6. Take the train to Florence (we have we have spent approximately 28 days in Florence. Have even made some Italian friends there who we visit on each visit to Florence).

7. Return by train to Milan for our flight home (1 night at the same place we stayed on day one)

These arrangements could all be held hostage by COVID the way things are looking today in the US and elsewhere. Hopefully, we won't have to change our plans too drastically, but we are already prepared to reschedule to the fall of 2022 if necessary. For that reason, among others, we haven't booked our flights and won't do that until January or February. Most of our train transportation will be on regional trains, 2nd Class, so we won't have to make reservations for those trips. A couple longer distances, we will reserve seats through Trenitalia on faster (and more expensive) Frecciargento or Frecciarossa trains, but we can't do that until 60-90 days in advance. Usually then, there are great discounted fares still available.

So, we're still planning to be in Italy in 2022! Will you be there, too?


Bologna



Sunday, June 27, 2021

Planning for Our 2022 Trip to Italy. Are you Planning Your Trip Yet?

 Two weeks ago, while sitting on our patio, my wife Debbie and I started talking about returning to Italy for the 5th time in 10 years. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that we visited Tuscany for the first time in 2011, and then again in 2014, 2015 & 2016. Each stay averaged 17 days. We are fortunate to be retired and able to lengthen the duration of our trips. This time we began talking about 30 days, or so. The only thing holding us back on a trip that long was our feeling toward the end of our 2016 trip of a bit of weariness and a  desire to get home to our dog, Sandie. Everyone has a set of circumstances to consider and/or barriers to overcome when travelling away from home. In our case, the situation with our now aging and ailing dog, sadly,  makes it likely that she will not be with us much longer. With that in mind, we have decided to plan for a 20 to 30 day adventure.


Our patio in Massachusetts

As in past trips, we'll stay mostly in self-catering apartments with all the amenities of home. So, the first order of business is to choose our itinerary. We have favorite cities we have visited that we'd like to see again like Florence, where we have made a few Italian friends over the years and Bologna which we also loved. Both are fantastic places to use as a base for day trips, as well as offering a multitude of attractions like fabulous museums, churches, restaurants, etc. Florence & Bologna are also very walkable, but also, both have excellent, easy to use as long as you follow the rules, public transportation systems. We have never rented a car during our 9 plus weeks in Italy. Train travel in Italy, is so efficient and economical.


Debbie & Barry in Florence, 2014

Our first quick attempt at choosing places on our 2022 itinerary with the number of days() in each place looked like this: Milan (1), Varenna (4), Florence (5), Cinque Terre (7), Venice (3), Bologna (5), Venice (3) and back to Milan (1), for a total of 29 days. Another itinerary had us spending several days in Sorrento and the Amalfi coast (again), but we took that off the list to spend more time in places we haven't gone before like Verona and Cortona.

Today, two weeks later, our more finalized itinerary has changed to a big loop of these cities, in order of visits: Milan (1), Verona (5), Venice (2), Bologna (3), Cortona (5), Florence (4) and Milan (1) for a total of 21 days. These day totals don't include flight days. We eliminated Cinque Terre, which we loved on two previous trips, to reduce the pace and a couple long train trips. We're trying for a leisurely stay. Attempting to do/see too much often is not a good thing. 


Florence, Italy


We're looking at an April-May 2022 trip. We are hoping that the last vestiges of COVID19 will be gone by then. Since we've been in Italy in the months of June, July, September, October and November, we thought that experiencing spring time there would be a beautiful change. Maybe, there will be a few less people like us (tourists) and the temperatures will be more moderate than in other months.

What we haven't included on our itinerary, so far, is a definite list of day trips from Verona, Bologna, Cortona and Florence. So far, ideas include Desenzano at Lake Garda, Padova, Arrezzo, Fiesole (again & again on Bus #7) and Parma (again). More on the day trips in a future post.


Porticos of Bologna



Right now, we're searching Booking.com for accommodations, because it gives us a chance to reserve apartments now without paying a deposit and free cancelation of reservations up until a week or two before arrival date. It is necessary to give Booking.com credit card information. We used this in 2016 and it worked so well. ( I do not receive any compensation or benefits from any sites I favor on this blog).

Another thing we're considering is flying Business Class as a major splurge, something we rarely do. We have always flown Economy. This may well be our final journey to Italy; we'd like to be a lot more comfortable getting there and back. 

More to come as our planning develops. Peace, and remember "Italy is Waiting for You - Get Going!


Here we are in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Traveling in Italy Now

 Updated in accordance with Decree-Law No. 44 of 22 April 2021. The measures shall remain in effect until 31 July 2021.

 

TRAVEL ABROAD AND FROM ABROAD TO ITALY


In view of the prevailing healthcare scenario, Italian citizens are discouraged to travel abroad except for reasons of necessity.

There are also strong restrictions for traveling from abroad towards Italy.

In case you are still planning to travel to Italy  from a foreign country, you need to refer to the rules and restrictions listed on “Focus: Italian citizens re-entering Italy and foreigners in Italy” of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

 

FACE MASK AND DISTANCING


Throughout Italy, it is mandatory to wear a mask in public places indoors. The mask is also mandatory outdoors, except in cases where you are isolated from people who do not live togethet. In Lazio it is mandatory to wear a mask outdoors in any situation.

Those who are not required to wear masks:
- people who are carrying out sports activities
- children under the age of 6
- people with disabilities or conditions incompatible with the use of a mask; carers or care workers are not obliged to wear masks, in the event that the mask makes it impossible to interact between carers/care workers and persons with disabilities. The use of the mask is also recommended inside houses, in the presence of non-cohabiting people.

It is mandatory to maintain the safe distance of at least one metre from non-cohabiting people.

Some squares or streets may be closed to the public throughout the day or at certain time slots to avoid gatherings. Access to these squares or streets is allowed only to reach open shops and private houses.

It is recommended to limit travel, by public or private transport, for reasons of work, study, health, for reasons of necessity or to take advantage of services not suspended.

It is also recommended to download the Immuni app, created by the Ministry of Health and the Minister of Technological Innovation to limit the spread of Covid-19.

 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT


The means of public transport can operate with 50% of passengers.

 

TRAVELLING BY CAR


It is possible to travel by car without limitations together with spouses, cohabitants and stable relationships.

Non-cohabiting people

You can travel by car with up to 3 non-cohabiting people including the driver. Everyone in the car must wear a mask.
The passenger seat next to the driver must remain free. Passengers must sit on opposite sides of the rear seat leaving the centre seat free.
If the car has several rear rows, it can accommodate a maximum of two passengers per row seated on opposite sides of the seat, leaving the centre seat free.

 

TRAVEL AROUND ITALY


To ensure the safety of residents and tourists, the Italian government has introduced a classification of regions based on the colours white (minimum risk), yellow, orange and red (maximum risk).

Each colour corresponds to specific precautionary measures which regulate the freedom of movement within the region, movement between regions, and the opening of businesses, restaurants and cultural sites.

Movement between different regions in the white and yellow zones will be permitted.

Movement between different regions in the orange and red areas is allowed only for reasons of work, healthcare or proven urgency, with a self-certification indicating the reason for the move, or upon presentation of a COVID-19 green certification.

 

COVID-19 GREEN CERTIFICATIONS


Movement between regions in the orange or red zone is allowed if you possess a COVID-19 green certification, with which you can prove:

  • that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19
  • that you have recovered from COVID-19 infection
  • that you have tested negative in a rapid molecular or antigen test

Vaccination and recovery certifications are valid for six months, and the negative test certificate is valid for 48 hours. Certifications issued in the Member States of the European Union are recognised as equivalent, as are those issued in any third country that follows vaccination standards recognised by the European Union.

 

MEASURES VALID IN THE REGIONS IN THE YELLOW ZONE


The following measures are valid in Abruzzo, Alto Adige, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, Tuscany, Trentino, Umbria, Veneto.

 

MOVING OUTSIDE YOUR HOME

You can move outside your home only between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. You can go outside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. only for reasons of work, healthcare or proven urgency, with a self-certification indicating the reason for the move.

 

PUBLIC PLACES

Bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream parlours, pastry shops shall remain open. They must display a sign indicating the maximum number of people allowed inside at any particular time.
Table service in restaurants is permitted only outdoors, for both lunch and dinner. Up to a maximum of 4 people per table may sit together, unless they are cohabitants. Home delivery of food is permitted and, until 10 p.m., take-away meals are also allowed, with consumption on or near the premises prohibited.
From 1 June it is possible to eat at a table in indoor locations from 5 a.m. until 6 p.m.

There are no time limits for restaurants in hotels and other hospitality establishments, as long as the service is limited to customers staying on the premises.
Bars, restaurants and similar businesses remain open within service and refuelling areas along motorways, in hospitals and at airports.

Discotheques and dance halls are closed.

Amusement arcades, betting shops, bingo halls and casinos are closed.

 

SHOPS

The shops shall remain open, and must display a sign indicating the maximum number of people allowed inside at any particular time.
The shopping centres shall remain closed on public holidays and days before public holidays, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, drugstores, newsagents and tobacconists.

 

HOTELS AND ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES

The accommodation facilities are open, subject to compliance with social distancing, and as per protocols and guidelines adopted to prevent or reduce the risk of contagion.

 

MUSEUMS AND PLACES OF CULTURE

Museums and other cultural institutions shall remain open on the weekends. . To visit them, you must make prior reservations online or over the phone.

 

CINEMA, THEATERS AND CONCERTS

It is possible to attend the shows in cinemas, theatres, concert halls and other venues, including outdoor venues. The maximum number of spectators must not exceed 50% of the maximum authorised capacity, and in any case, may not exceed 1,000 people for outdoor performances and 500 people for indoor performances. The seating plan must ensure a distance of at least one metre between spectators.

 

SPORTING EVENTS

From 1 June, sporting events are open to the public. The maximum number of spectators must not exceed 25% of the maximum authorised capacity, and in any case, may not exceed 1,000 persons for outdoor facilities and 500 persons for indoor facilities. The seating plan must ensure a distance of at least one metre between spectators.

 

TRADE FAIRS, CONFERENCES AND CONGRESSES

From 15 June, trade fairs are allowed. From 1 July, it is also possible to organise conferences and congresses, subject to compliance with precautionary health measures.

 

SPAS, THEME PARKS AND AMUSEMENT PARKS

From 1 July, the activities of spas, theme parks and amusement parks are permitted.

 

MEASURES VALID IN THE REGIONS IN THE ORANGE ZONE


In Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia, Sicily, Aosta Valley

  • You can move outside your home only between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. You can go outside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. only for reasons of work, healthcare or proven urgency, with a self-certification indicating the reason for such movement.
  • You can leave your house to visit relatives or friends only once a day between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. A maximum of 4 people, or 4 people accompanied by children under 18 years of age or by disabled or dependent persons living with them, may leave the house. These movements are allowed only within the municipality of your residence. Those who live in municipalities whose population does not exceed 5 thousand inhabitants can travel outside their municipality up to a distance of 30 km, but cannot go to the provincial capital cities.
  • It is allowed to move freely only within one's municipality. Those who live in municipalities whose population does not exceed 5 thousand inhabitants can travel outside their municipality up to a distance of 30 km, but cannot go to the provincial capital cities.
  • Bars are open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and restaurants from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., but only for take-away. In any case, it is not permitted to consume food or drinks near the premises. Restaurants have no time restrictions for home delivery. It is forbidden to eat or drink in the streets and parks between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • The shops are open; shopping centres are closed on weekends. Inside shopping centres, pharmacies, drugstores, grocery stores, tobacconists, newsagents, bookstores, nurseries and other shops for necessary goods may remain open.
  • Museums, exhibitions, theatres, cinema halls, gymnasia and swimming pools are closed.

 

MEASURES VALID IN THE REGIONS IN THE RED ZONE


In Sardinia

  • It is possible to leave the house only for reasons of work, healthcare or for proven urgency within one's Municipality. Those who live in municipalities whose population does not exceed 5 thousand inhabitants can travel outside their municipality up to a distance of 30 km, but cannot go to the provincial capital cities.
  • Bars are open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and restaurants from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., but only for take-away. In any case, it is not permitted to consume food or drinks near the premises. Restaurants have no time restrictions for home delivery. It is forbidden to eat or drink in the streets and parks between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • The shops and shopping centres shall be closed. Pharmacies, drugstores, grocery stores, tobacconists, newsagents, bookstores, nurseries and other shops for necessary goods may remain open.
  • Barbers, hairdressers and laundries will be open. Beauty salons are closed.
  • Museums, exhibitions, theatres, cinema halls, gymnasia and swimming pools are closed.
  • Exercise or sporting activities are allowed in the vicinity of one's home.

 

For detailed information at local level, please consult the websites of the Italian Regions and Autonomous Provinces, as well as contact the respective editorial offices.

Abruzzo – Basilicata – Calabria – Campania – Emilia-Romagna – Friuli Venezia Giulia – Lazio – Liguria – Lombardy – Marche – Molise – Piedmont – Puglia – Sardinia – Sicily – South Tyrol – Tuscany – Trentino – Umbria – Valle d’Aosta – Veneto


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Reading the news today about the rising death toll from the Coronavirus in Bergamo, one of our favorite cities in Italy is so overwhelming. Debbie and I traveled there from Bologna in 2016 and enjoyed taking the Funicolare di Bergamo Alta to the upper city where we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Ristorante Lalimentari. It is a beautiful place. The people of Bergamo have suffered the most deaths in this crisis in Italy. Please read the story on the attached link below:

https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-italy-army-transport-coffins-bergamo-morgue-crisis-video-2020-3

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

November 2019 Update

Well, now it's been 3 years since our last trip to Italy after going 4 times between 2011 and 2016. We spent 9 weeks there during those 4 trips. We haven't felt comfortable leaving our 13 year old English Setter, Sandie, in a kennel for extended periods now that she has some health issues. Still, we may have yet another Italian adventure in us in the future.

While I was looking through my posts here recently, I realized that some of the train travel illustrations may be outdated, but that most of the commentary still applied. Websites may look different, but you can still navigate them easily to set your itinerary, reserve lodging and buy some train tickets.

Hopefully, in the near future, we will be up for another trip to the country we love the most to visit - Italy! There is so much we have yet to see.  Both of us can still imagine traveling to the towns where our grandparents and/or our great grandparents emigrated from in the early 1900s. Mine came to the US from Pedavena (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g776154-Pedavena_Province_of_Belluno_Veneto-Vacations.html) in northern Italy in 1904. My wife's traveled from Atena Lucana ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atena_Lucana ). So, you see, we still travel imagining.

There is a lot of interesting and useful information for you here. Remember, "Italy Is Waiting For You - Get Going!"


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

US Government Issues Travel Advisory for Italy - Be Aware

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/italy-travel-advisory.html

We were in Florence on the day of the Paris terror attack on November 19, 2015. Immediately, we noticed the presence of heavily armed police and soldiers in all of the most tourist frequented areas of the city. It was somewhat unnerving for us, but we spent the last 4 days of our two week trip doing/seeing everything we planned. We traveled back to Milan by train to see Michelangelo's Last Supper and to catch out flight back to Boston. We saw many more heavily armed soldiers in Milan, but thankfully there were no incidents.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Benvenuto in Italia! Welcome to Italy! Such an exciting greeting! It's one I've missed for the past two years. We have taken a break from what was becoming a yearly pilgrimage to Italy. Having  sold our home and bought another, our time has been taken up moving and making improvements. Also, our English Setter, Sandie, dislocated her hip which has required a long rehabilitation. We haven't been comfortable leaving her at the kennel.

Of course, I still receive all of the email alerts with plane fares from Boston to Florence or Milan. At first glance, the prices this year seem to be the lowest in the last four years! That seems to be at odds with the stories of higher fares across the board. A closer look tells us that choosing our own seats now comes at a price. On Swiss and Lufthansa it's $35 each both directions ($140). Say the alert or advertised price is $550 RT, we'll have to add $140 to that so two of us can sit together. Still, the total ticket price of $690 each is not bad. We like travelling to Italy in the "shoulder" period of late October-November because airfare and lodging are much less expensive. We have paid as much as $1400 RT (2014) each travelling in September, and $1252 (2011) in June/July, but when we went to Italy in November 2015 & 2016 we paid about $650 RT each. All of these flights took place before airlines starting to charge for the "privilege" of picking your seats.

Debbie and I are talking a bit about a shorter 8 or 9 day trip to Italy in the future, but we are still worried about our dog, so it's not on the front burner yet. Still, it's good to keep the dream alive. We're looking at visiting a few places we have yet to see and maybe a return to the Sorrento/Amalfi Coast area which we liked. Puglia might be another region for us to see. And, I have yet to visit the town where my grandparents emigrated from - Pedavena which is north of Venice. And, the area where Debbie's grandparents were from down near Naples.

Planning is half the fun, so even if you're not ready to go this year, take a few minutes every day to do some research. Familiarize yourself with the Trenitalia train site, TripAdvisor forums, Hotel.com and any other helpful site you can find. It's all within your grasp. And, it's fairly easy to do.

Be sure to check out all of my posts here for tips on trains, apartments, city buses, museums, taxis and more. Just the photos are worth a look. Have fun! Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

No Trip in 2017; Revisiting Our Italy Trips Plus Great November 2017 Airfare!

British Airways November 2017 fare: $453.99 round trip from Boston to Milan (Linate Airport)!!!

For the first time in four years, we are not going to Italy in the Fall. Upon our return last November, we closed on our "new" house and put our "old" house on the market. So here we were loading U-Haul trucks throughout December for our move, right after we received an almost immediate offer on our house. With improvements also to be made on the new place, we knew we would have little time or inclination to travel too far this year.

That leaves me with no travel planning this summer which has left kind of a void in my favorite pastime - booking plane tickets, reserving fast train seats and renting self-catering apartments or a hotel room in Florence, Bologna, Sorrento, Milan or Cinque Terre. Suffering some withdrawal pains here suddenly, I decided to share some more photos from our four Italy adventures in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

I hope you find something to whet your appetite and to urge you on to Italy. I know there are still places we'd like to visit. We would also like to spend a week in a couple of places that we have already gone to like Riomaggiore and Sorrento. Of course, we love Florence still, and I have really been excited about Bologna after visiting on two trips and would love to spend more time there, too. So many places, so little time...

One surprising development today, is that airfares for November 2017 are even lower than we have ever paid. Yesterday, I was alerted to a British Airways round trip fare to Milan's Linate Airport for $453.99 each! And, the flight times and durations were also very good (no long layovers). Since we traveled last November on Aer Lingus for $667.00 RT each with only two carry-on bags, the British Airways fare represents considerable savings of $$426 (for 2 RT tickets) even if we have to pay extra for our carry-ons (which I have yet to research).

Still, we won't plan a trip for this year, but you still could! Now would be the time to start your search for a great airfare, lodging, train tickets, individual tours or car rentals. Please see past posts here for great worthwhile information on making plans and reservations. Italy IS waiting for you - get going!

Now, here on some photos from our four trips to whet your appetite:

2011 Cinque Terre

2011 Lucca

2011 Cinque Terre

2011 Greve in Chianti

2011 Venice

2011  Venice

2011 Florence

2011 Florence

2011 Florence

2015 Siena

2015 Siena at Cane e Gatto

2015 Milan at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

2015 Milan Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

2015 Milan

2015 Milan

2015 Milan

2015 Varenna, Lake Como

2015  Lake Como

2015 Varenna, Lake Como

2015 Florence

2015 Florence Sasso di Dante

2015 Florence Palazzo Pitti

2015 Florence Palazzo Pitti

2016 Bologna

2016 Bologna

2016 Sorrento

2016 Sorrento View of Vesuvius from Sorrento

2016 Modena

2016 Modena Lunch

2016 Almafi

2016 Almafi