Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Northern Italy from Milano to sunny Venezia

We left Lake Maggiore this morning and headed for Trentino via the towns of Salo (lunch stop: spaghetti vongole) and Limone (afternoon stop: nocciolo e fragola gelati) on the picturesque Lake Garda. It was a beautiful drive through hills, vineyards and lakeside towns before we settled at Trentino higher in the hills close to the Austrian Border.  Here is a town of about 160,000 inhabitants and the highest standard of living in all Italy.
Trentino looks like a typical Italian town - a beautiful medieval Old City with cathedral (Duomo) and a castle once inhabited by cardinals, nobles and popes. See me dutifully posing in front of it above. The shops, restaurants and businesses within the Old City are all chic, and high mountain peaks surround it all.  Some of the restaurants offer pork knuckle and beer, which suggests the influence of other cultures and customs, but I opted for a very light, early dinner of parma ham and melon for a change because I am tired of eating. It was a refreshingly light and simple repast.
So, as our holiday starts to draw to a close, I am very grateful that we holidayed with Zenga and Michael because they added so much to our enjoyment. The boys were always there, and yet I think we all felt we had plenty of 'space'. We never disagreed or argued - those boys are incredibly chilled, but I think Steve and I were too. The secret, though, is that we tend to agree and want to do the same things. Steve and Zenga love eating and drinking, and everyone lets me be when I need "time out".  Zenga is great at taking photographs, Steve is good at sourcing good eateries and wine, and Michael and I are always confused and don't know where we are. The holiday has been an orgy of Grand Bouffes, plenty of laughs, and many, many beautiful sights. We are continually delighted and grateful to have had a truly memorable respite from our everyday lives (which aren't too shabby either, I confess).  Above a photograph of Zenga in Verona where he was able to see an exhibition of his Diva inspiration, Maria Callas. The weather was torrential, but the following days in Venice, fortunately, were brilliant blue. A great end to a wonderful month abroad!

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