Archive | June, 2013

Amalfi Tour

© 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.

© 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.

 

Made it back to the beautiful Amalfi Coast. We saw a movie being filmed along the famous drive. It will be interesting to see which movie it is! The third picture is of the lemon groves which produce most of the lemons for the different soaps, candies, and limoncello for Amalfi. We had lunch at Il Soroceno which is also an incredible hotel. The outdoor terrace is absolutely fabulous, and the view is breathtaking. Mamma Mia! Until Monday… Arrivederci!

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Caserta Royal Palace and Gardens

© 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.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

Caserta Palace is a must see in the Naples region. Sadly, photos were not allowed inside the palace, and outdoor photos just do not seem to do this palace justice. All the rooms are so richly decorated. Even the ceilings are covered in 24K Gold. Caserta Royal Palace was built as a version of Versaille to be the royal residence for the king and his family. The palace was constructed in the outline of a square with four quadrants. The royal family would move quadrants corresponding with the current season. The palace is quite grand and has about 1,200 rooms. The King’s Bedroom and the Queen’s Bathroom were my two favorite rooms. Mom and I now dream of having vanities carved from one solid block of perfect white marble. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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Florence Food

© 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.

© 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.

 

Mamma Mia! What a meal! La Giostra doesn’t have a “Tourist Menu” with simpler Italian meals described in English, so we were completely dependent upon our waiter Sammy to pick us out a delicious feast. We started the night cheersing our Prosecco aka Momma’s Drink. Mom, Pops, and I had thinly sliced mushroom salads topped with white truffle shavings and olive oil. (We all decided that we would train Pod to sniff out truffles for our next family business.) Hubs had an octopus and calamari salad. For the main course, I had the Pear Raviolis. The flavor was absolutely perfect. Our bottles of wine for the night were Vecchie Terre Di Montefili. If you can find it in the States, don’t forget to let it breathe. The last photo was of the short-lived Tiramisu. I couldn’t even stop eating long enough to take a photo. It was that delicious! Then Sammy brought out Grappa and Limoncello. Pops and I danced home. Top Notch Night! In conclusion, if you are near Florence, you MUST eat at La Giostra. (Reservations are a must! Don’t forget to ask for Sammy!) Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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More from 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.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

Being from Texas, I never thought I’d say this….. but, I’m really starting to love all these tiny cars. If I didn’t have a Great Dane to tote around, I think I’d get the Fiat 500 in light blue! I thought these two cars in Florence were exceptionally great (tiny.)

We stayed at the Kraft Hotel for our night in Florence. It was a pretty good hotel for a great price. Our favorite part was the cappuccinos and the rooftop terrace! Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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Florence & The Duomo

© 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.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the famous cathedral which is found in all the famous skyline photos in Florence. It is more commonly known as The Duomo. We (including Mom and Pops Ralls) climbed the 413+ steps between the two domes to the very top. The view was quite spectacular. We earned our pasta and gelato that night! Also, our two favorite quotes from the weekend came from this experience. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

© 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.

 

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Roman Food

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

This place is a MUST EAT if you are anywhere near Rome. WOW! Roma Sparita was even featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” Anthony was sure right– so delicious! The Cacio e Pepe is the famous dish. It is a cheesy spaghetti topped with black pepper that fills a parmesan cheese basket. It is the perfect combination!

© 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.

 

Jamie Oliver on the Food Network says that Maccheroni is his favorite restaurant. I had the Roman Pork Ribs which weren’t my favorite, but they definitely had a unique flavor. Hubs ordered the Chicken Cacciatore which was delicious. He always orders better! Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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Vatican Museum

© 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.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

We finally made it into the Vatican Museum. We pre-purchased our tickets online which saved us from having to stand inline in the hot sun for a few hours. We walked the entire museum and finished at Michelangelo’s famous fresco, The Creation of Adam, in the Sistine Chapel. It was quite spectacular! Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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Great Food, Great Wine, Great People

© 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.

© 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.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 Ashlin Ralls. All Rights Reserved.

 

We had such a wonderful night at Feudi Di San Gregorio Marenna. The winery has the most beautiful rose garden that is filled with roses from all around the world. There is also a lovely herb garden which is used by the restaurant to flavor their delicious food. The wine tour was fantastic, the wine tasting was fantastic, the dinner (plus more wine) was fantastic, the grappa was fantastic, and the company was fantastic. Hubs and I had such a perfect evening and cannot wait to pop open our bottle of Patrimo.

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Anacapri

© 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.

© 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 Villa San Michele is my favorite thing I’ve seen in all of Italy. If you are a lover of books, you must read The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe. The story of how this house and chapel were built is what makes it so fascinating and beautiful. He dreamt of where to find the sphinx and somehow hoisted it up the mountain. There is a little coffee shop on the rooftop terrace that has great cappuccinos, but of course it is more expensive because it’s a tourist spot. Anacapri is on the same island as Capri; it is just above Capri by about 150 meters. Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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Homemade Lasagna

Lasagna

I used the new pasta I got from the factory for homemade lasagna. It turned out pretty delicious for my tiny kitchen. Hubs, being the intelligent man that he is, said it is the best Italian food he’s had in Italy thus far. He’s a keeper! Until tomorrow… Arrivederci!

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