Anni's Grande Viaggio 2006 travel blog

Anni's Grande Viaggio 2006

Anni Smithson travel blog
Benvenuto Amici (Welcome friends) !!

This is the website of my "Grand Tour" in Italy from March 27 to 1 July 2006 !

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to go to Italy. This year my dream becomes a reality. I am fascinated by Italy's rich historical arts and culture, sophisticated fashion and design, natural beauty, geological activity, gorgeous gardens, excellent wine and cuisine, and most importantly, it's beautiful passionate people who "live from the heart".

I fully intend to indulge in all regional food and wines to the MAX !!. Fortunately, I also plan on doing lots of walking, especially around the Amalfi Coast, Toscana and Cinque Terre, so hopefully won't come back any rounder than I already am.

Typically, being a geologist, I have quite a few geologically oriented excursions planned - Mt Etna, the volcanic Aeolian Islands (Vulcano & Stromboli), Pompeii and Vesuvius. Driving from Tuscany to Emilia-Romagna I will be passing by the Cararra mountains where they mine the perfect white limestone from which Michelangelo's David was sculpted. And not to mention being near the Alps in Lombardy. Of course I will be indulging my NZ-bred fixation for hot springs and pools with visits to as many "Terme" as possible. I also hope to examine some of the old aquaducts and Roman water supplies to indulge my inner hydrogeologist.

In April am going to see Mozarts "Don Giovanni" at the world famous (& Europes oldest) opera house Teatro Di San Carlo in Naples. I have a box seat and am just SO excited about that !!!!!! God - what to wear. Would also love to see some Puccini somewhere along the line.

I am very excited because in May I will be joined by my brother Alan (Arnie to those that know and love him) from New Zealand and our good Kiwi friend Diane who is currently living in the UK. Arnie arrives for my week in Roma and then Di arrives as well - both staying for the first 2 weeks at the apartment in Toscana. We plan to explore and enjoy all of the ambiance, old towns, wines and scenery of Roma and Toscana together.

Later whilst in Tuscany I hope to get over to Ravenna to look at the beautiful mosaics and be inspired for my return to that cultural heartland that is Dubbo.

I spend a week in the beautiful quaint area known as Cinque Terra (five towns) on the coast south of Genova, then head up to Lake Como for a few days.

A particular highlight for me is to meet my penfriend Nives who I have been writing to on and off since I was about 8 years old. Nives lives in the very north of Italy in a small town north of Brescia. The town sits mid-slope in a huge valley called Valcamonica. In spring and autumn, Nives works at a famous national park that has hundreds of ancient rock carvings and art (which I hope to visit). Our emails are full of joy and I can't wait to finally meet up with her and the whole Laffranchi family - husband Giulio and children Chiara and Giorgio, to really experience Italian family life !!

For some reason I have a fixation with cruising around in vaporetto's when in Venice, so plan on getting a 7 day pass to fully indulge that one. In late June, Venice will be quite humid, so hope to get out to some of the lesser visited islands and flop about on the beach a bit.

I will keep my site updated with stories and pictures of my adventure, and you can see my updated itinerary and track my travels on the maps. I hope you enjoy sharing all of this with me !


Order: oldest at top ( reverse )

Pompeii, Sorrento, and Ravello
Naples and Don Giovanni
To Roma
A Week in Roma !!
Toscana - first impressions
Tuscany Week 1 - Pisa, San...
Tuscany Week 2 - Fiesole,...
Tuscany Week 3 - Sad Girl !!!!!
Toscana Week 4 - Happy Girl !!!!!
Tuscan Fauna
Lucca and on to Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre - Camogli
Walking the Cinque Terre
Val Camonica and Ono San Pietro
A Day At The Races
Going to Switzerland for the Day
Incisioni Rupestri - Engraving...
Staying in Europe
Zone Pyramide and Isole Iseo
Lake Garda - Riva del Garda
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