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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Emilia Romagna, Italy

Jun 12, 2015 - Ferrara - cycling off all the pasta ...

Ferrara Our host, Barbara, asked us "Why Ferrara?" Well, it's a small city, with no steep climbing, it's almost entirely walled and it's great for cycling. We are so glad that we stopped here; we and only wish we'd had more than three days. What we didn't realize is that vehicles are not allowed on the street for our apartment, Via delle Volte. No wonder our GPS couldn't get us there. Drive it we did ... and we are crossing our fingers that the video surveillance didn't get our license plate. It's a 80Euro fine to drive in the historic...

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Jun 9, 2015 - Bologna in 36 hours!

Bologna Not entirely trusting our GPS, Roberto and Alessia gave us directions on how to get to Bologna. Simple, they say. What they didn't say was that they were directing us to the Autostrada, a three land free-for-all. Posted speed is 130 kph and everyone is travelling a lot faster than that. Neither of us is liking the experience, so we head off the highway to take the coastal route. However, after dozens of huge roundabouts (some call them rotaries here) on our way through Rimini and Ravenna, we head back to the autostrada, change...

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Jun 8, 2015 - Parma - Lucca

We had a really quiet day today. We left our hotel at 8.30am and drove to the beautiful town of Lucca. We were dropped off at the old city wall and Katarina walked us in and showed us around a bit and then shouted us all a gelato! There was a piazza built on the foundations of the old amphitheatre so all the shops and apartments form an oval around the piazza. There were beautiful shops and restaurants and churches and we had a couple of hours to look around. All the shops eventually closed for their siesta and we found a cute pizzeria and...

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Jun 7, 2015 - Parma - Modena & Maranello

This morning we had a later start - 8.15 on the bus. We met our local guide Melanie who is English and she has the best sense of humour. She has lived in Italy with her husband for 25 years. She took us through a castle (we can't remember the name) and then through Parma to the magnificent cathedral. It was quite modest from the outside but inside it was one of the most ornate we have seen so far. We had some free time to explore the town square and then we drove to Modena for balsamic vinegar tasting. We tried some vinegar that was 100...

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May 8, 2015 - Bologna food tour

OMG! What a day we had today!! We were picked up at 7:05 am at our hotel. We quickly ate a breakfast before thinking we wouldn't have a chance to eat for quite awhile - wrong! A black large van picked us up and already had four other people inboard - couple from Texas and a young Asian couple from San Francisco. Really nice people! We headed out if town to the Parmesan Reggano factory. There were two more black vans there already withe the rest of our group and Allessandro, our very animated and knowledgable tour guide. This tour was...

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Trip Journal


Sandys Travels

May 7, 2015 - Travel day to Bologna

We were up and had breakfast using up the last of the eggs. With the bread left I made chicken and cheese sandwiches to take on the train. It was chicken left from night before when I cooked some chicken to go on my leftover salad. Adriana came at 10:00 to check us out, get keys, and call us a cab. He came in five minutes. We each actually were able to take our luggage down in one trip. Edie hurt her leg on suitcase - cut and badly bruised. We sat in a McDonalds till just before train arrived. It was a large and VERY busy McDonalds. Got on...

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Trip Journal


Sandys Travels

Feb 6, 2015 - Ferrara

Well it rained all night long & the wind really blew although it didn't rock Elsie at all. It was still lashing down when I went for a shower at 5.30am in the morning. I got a cold shower on the way to the toilet block & then a nice hot shower when I got there. It is a good job it's not snowing or we would be feet deep in it by now. The rain water was pouring down the site roads in rivers, not really holiday weather. We really enjoyed our day in the old city yesterday despite the weather & it was nice of them to lay on a parade for us...

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Mar 14, 2014 - Hard to say Goodbye

Hard to Say Goodbye After my whirlwind week with Sandra, as my departure day of Friday approached, Sandra asked me repeatedly to stay until Monday. Finally she called in the big guns one night and handed me the phone as I was poring over the map at the kitchen table. “Hello?” “Hi honey, it’s Lisa!” “Hey, how are ya? It’s so good to hear your voice. Did Sandra call you, I didn’t hear the phone ring?” “Well, she’s asked me to convince you to stay until Monday. So listen….” And she proceeded to convince me to stay until Monday, using...

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Mar 13, 2014 - Oh, the Places You'll Go

Oh, the Places You’ll Go I was scheduled to leave Alessandra’s on Friday, so we packed as much in as we could during my stay. The day after our marathon walk to San Lucas, we started our driving tours. Our first daytrip was to Ferrara, then Comacchio and Pomposa, both on the coast. Ferrara was a wonderful exhibition of Alessandra’s quest for information from strangers. This was where she stopped the truck driver, and about eight other people in the two hours we were there, to ask them whatever popped into her head. It was fascinating to...

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Mar 12, 2014 - Home Away From Home

Home Away From Home The next five days were spent on the go with Alessandra. The first morning, she got up before I did and had my coffee and breakfast laid out like I was in a B&B, but once she showed me how to use the little silver expresso pot, I usually woke up before her and tried to have her coffee ready for her when she came into the kitchen. She fussed over me constantly, worried that I wasn’t eating enough for breakfast, making sure I had all the coffee I could stand, packing us 100 snacks for the road trips we took nearly every...

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Mar 10, 2014 - Amazing Alessandra

Amazing Alessandra I was heading for Bologna after a rough night in an iffy hostel in Modena. I had an all female room, but one of the females, who was old enough to know better, laid in her bed and chatted away on her cell phone at full volume voice, from 10pm until 11pm. The next morning, her alarm went off at 6:30am and she hit the snooze button every five minutes until 7:15am. I would have said something, or shot her, but I couldn’t speak her language and I didn’t have a gun, so I just laid on my bed and prayed for patience. The other...

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Nov 24, 2012 - Parma

Our adventure in Parma was doing our laundry! We found a Lavenderia, which was a little hole in the wall of a place. The manager was very kind, and we managed to figure out what to do in spite of language barriers. The washing went fine, but after three rounds with the driers and dozens of euros, our clothes were still not dry. So we hauled all our stuff the the hotel and draped them over everything! They were dry by the next morning, fortunately.

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