Sunday, September 15, 2013

I think we will have some fresh wild mushrooms....

Bernie & I go to Italy almost every year since we moved to Colorado in 1997.  Bernie thinks the Italian food is not as good in China as it is in Italy.  I just feel at home there.  We both love the food, wine, art, landscape, architecture, people, and history.  Bernie also loves the language and has been studying it for years.  We love to share our knowledge of Italian travel and we thought that a blog would be a nice way to document our trip and share to those of you who have clicked on the Icon that was emailed to you by Blogspot. 

We decided to go to Italy for an entire month this year.  We haven’t been there this long since we became the parents of 2 longhaired dachshunds.  We are thrilled to finally find a 2nd family for them while we're travelling.

We've been planning this trip for almost a year.   We do not go on commercial tours.  We plan and devise these trips on our own:  when we get off the train in Parma we know where we are, what we are doing and what we are going to eat and drink!  We do that much research.   Italy can be a challenge for the uninitiated (or the initiated).  And we always have stories to tell.     Sometimes they are about us…but not always….e.g. there was the New Jersey group of a certain age that got off a tour bus in Erice, Sicily and they didn’t know what town they were in or why they were there, a World Heritage Site.  The tour bus guide had fled the bus in frustration and left them to their own devices. 

Grauer Italy Trip - Rome, Maremma, Monte Amiata, Vidiciatico, Pietrasanta, Parma, Ferrara, Rome
This trip starts at the Rome airport (see blue line on map), a drive up the Tuscan coast to the Maremma area for some sightseeing (jet lag will be an issue) and a walk in a coastal nature preserve and "First Lunch" (Primo Pranzo) near where Carravagio died. Then several days in the southern Tuscany in the area of Monte Amiata, an extinct volcano.  Here we will hike and explore and dine and drink. Wild mushrooms are in season and will be on all the Tuscan menus, can you say "luscious fresh porcinis?"
Next three days will take us further north in Tuscany to Vidiciatico, where in WWII the  American 10th Mountain Division ascended Riva Ridge and broke the German Winter Line.  We hope to see the WWII memorials, hike, see the country side. 

Then a week on the Tuscan Coast in Pietrasanta which is near Cararra where Michaelangelo quarried his white marble.  Best of all is that the Alpuani Alps will be at our backs (if we are looking at the coast).  We will be touring this area by car and foot and include a walk along the Cinque Terre path.  Again wild mushrooms, but lots of seafood too! 

We leave our car in Parma and will be in Emilia Romagna and even better food (is that possible?) for the next 10 days…staying in Parma and Ferrara…with many side trips for art, architecture, history, and nature.

We end our trip in Rome.   6 days of looking at Michaelangelo and Bernini and the best art in the Western World. Oh and of course the "Last Supper" (Ultima Cena) (the painting is in Milan, but the meal will be in Rome)  We will let you know when things are posted and picture worthy.  Hope you want to follow us.  Best, Donna & Bernie


  1. I think I am signed up via Blogspot but am also subscribing by e-mail. Every morning, 5AM here in Aspen, I will wake up to a Blog Post from the Grauers. I am so pleased that you want to take your friends (of which I am one) on this journey with you. Have a wonderful time, travel safely, and Eat, Pray, Love. No, make that Eat, Drink and Be Jolly. xoxoxo

  2. this is great news...but don't worry if we miss a day! Oh the pressure as you well know.

  3. I haven't heard from you...............worried.