Archive | May, 2013

Florence

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

Ah, Beautiful Florence! This trip was more of a scouting trip for when we bring Mom and Dad Ralls back. We are so looking forward to their visit! We decided to save the Duomo and the David, so instead we waited in line for 2.5 hours to visit the Uffizi Museum. It was very impressive to see the originals works from all the famous masters. Sadly, no photographs were allowed inside the museum. I have seen so many bulldogs while in Italy, but I thought this guy was exceptionally beautiful. Have a great weekend! Until Monday… Arrivederci!

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Lucca

 

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

Lucca is known as the walled city with 100 churches and few tourists. We stayed at the bed and breakfast Al Podere Di Rosa our first night in Tuscany. It is about 15 minutes outside the city walls, so it adds another neat aspect to seeing the entire city. The best thing was the price– only 85 Euro a night! The owners are also very nice, the room was clean, but the breakfast was only fried eggs, cheese, and bread. Overall, it is a good place to stay. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

 

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Pisa

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

The black beauty above was our car for the weekend! My favorite thing about Pisa was watching all the different people from all around the world trying to taking the same picture of someone holding up or pushing down the tower. Surprisingly though, there was more to the tiny town than I thought, but we only stayed long enough to see the tower. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

 

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Tuscany Road Trip

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

We rented our little EuroCar and took off on a road trip through Tuscany. Sadly, our car wasn’t the tiny Panda Fiat. Photos to come! (Hubs became quite the expert in driving manual transmission!) We stopped at this great little Bed&Breakfast/Vineyard named La Pietriccia in Siena. We are planning a trip back to stay the night because the staff was so friendly and the views are spectacular. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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Chiocciole Pasta with Mushrooms

Chiocciole naif

Chiocciole Pasta

Chiocciole Pasta with Mushrooms (4 servings)

Ingredients: 40 gr Chiocciole pasta, 300 gr peeled tomatoes, 1/2 bullion cube, 1 clove garlic, parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil.

Process: Sauté cleaned and diced mushrooms, chopped garlic, and parsley for 10 minutes. (I also added a diced onion sautéed in olive oil.) Smash the tomatoes and add to the mushrooms with the bullion cube. Cook and drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Stir and serve with sprinkled Parmesan cheese.

Recipe is from the back of Pastifico delle Colle’s Chiocciole Pasta Bag.

I agree that it doesn’t look the most appetizing dish you’ve ever made, but it is quite tasty. The lady at the pasta shop told me that each pasta dish calls for a different type of pasta. This one calls for the chiocciole pasta, which means snail shaped. The pasta is made here in Italy, and you can sure taste the difference!

Off on a new adventure tomorrow. See y’all on Monday! Until then… Arrivederci!

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End of Milano

Castello Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco Gate

The last day in Milan, we went strolling through the city to find something interesting to see. We found Castello Sforzesco which was built by the famous mercenary and fourth duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza. Sadly, this castle has been rebuilt many times since 1450. There was a flea market going on which mainly sold aged cheeses and meats. A rather bizarre thing we discovered was that down in the moat, there are about a hundred stray cats prowling and pouncing.

Parco Sempione

Milano is called the New York City of Italy. In those terms, it would make Parco Sempione the Central Park. (It is a bit over 350,000 square meters.)

City gate

Arch of Peace

At the end of the park, we stumbled upon the the old city gate and triumphal arch, known as the Arch of Peace. That wraps up our trip to Milan. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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More of Milano

Duomo

Duomo Candles

Duomo2

Milan is mostly known for two things: The Duomo and Shopping. The famous street Monte Napoleon has all the top luxurious designers including Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, etc. Let’s just say, I didn’t do much shopping there, but I did get a little pair of Italian shoes from a tiny store near our hotel. I call them my European bowling shoes. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

bowling shoes

 

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Milano Arrival

Modern Milan

Sheraton Diane Majestic

Sheraton Room

Milan Window

We traveled to Milan this weekend on our favorite Italo train. The area near the Milano Porta Garibaldi Train Station is newly built and very modern. We walked about a mile to our hotel which turned out to be fabulous. Plus we got at a great price including free breakfast. More tomorrow on the sites and shopping. Until then… Arrivederci!

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Inside Pompeii

Pompeii Garden

Pompeii2

Fresco

Hot Dog & Fries Pocket

Finally made it inside Pompeii today. I found a sunflower fresco for my Sunflower Queen. Love you, Grandma! Yes, that is a pita sandwich stuffed with hot dogs and french fries. Yumm! More details to come.. off to a picnic in an old volcano.

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The Naples Influence

Kicks

I know it is hard to believe, but platform tennies and colorful converse are all the rage here in Naples. Now, curtesy of Hubs, I have these gems to add to my shoe collection. Yes, I am collecting orders for shipments back to the States. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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