April 24 – June 27, 2012
Tuscany: April 24 – May 26, 2012
“Benvenuti, benvenuti! Che bella famiglia! I am so happy you are here! I have been waiting for you!” exuded Nadia, welcoming us to her home in Tuscany as though we were long lost family returned to the motherland. We arrived at the old restored mill, MulinMaria, just outside of Arezzo late in the afternoon, and the drive down the arcing dirt road, dotted with cypresses, foretold the long wait to get here would all be worthwhile.
Venice & Florence: May 26 – June 2, 2012
What can be said about Venice that has not been better said before? It’s canals are as mesmerizing as one imagines. Touring its arteries provided countless awe-inspiring views. How is it that what was once a marshy lagoon could become a city housing some of the finest architecture and art the world has ever known? It baffles the mind. Is it possible that the venetians have grown used to the shimmer of the glistening water as the striped shirted gondeliers glide past you from every angle? We don’t think we ever could.
Sardinia: June 2 – June 10, 2012
But what charm Sardinia may have lost in historic buildings and architecture is offset by the island’s remoteness, allowing it to have retained striking landscapes and natural beauty. Climatic conditions here hit upon an interesting balance between lush and arid, yielding an oxymoron of flora and fauna. Driving along serpentine roads atop ocean cliffs, you feel your are in the desert yet are surrounded by green. Cacti and bamboo grow almost side by side. Parched desert soil sprouts tall deciduous trees. In the distance up modest mountainsides, the landscape changes again, taking on a rocky and spartan tundra look. Huge amounts of lavender, Queen Anne’s lace and oleanders seem to grow both wild and manicured in gardens everywhere.