Steven and I spent two weeks in Italy this September with Steve’s brother Barry and his wife Anita. It was a wonderful trip to one of our favorite destinations.

We began our vacation exploring Verona, with side trips to the nearby towns of Padua and Vicenza. We also visited a winery in Soave, where we learned about  regional wines, and of course tasted a few reds and proseccos.

Our next stop was Cinque Terra. I’ve had two pictures of Cinque Terra hanging on the wall at home (thanks to Kevin), but we had never been to the Italian Riviera before. Cinque Terre is made up of five small towns built into the coastal mountainside. Our bed and breakfast was in town of Monterroso, and we took a boat down the coast to Riomagiore and then walked to Manarola. This is a delightful area, but I’m glad we didn’t visit during the summer because it must be very crowded. The drive to Cinque Terre is quite an adventure. The pictures in "Day 5" of the tiny streets through the towns to get to Monterroso, don’t do justice to the hair-raising ride!

From Cinque Terra we drove to Bologna, which is known for its wonderful food. We had ragu almost every day. And did I mention our daily dose of gelato? In addition to exploring the city of Bologna, we took a day trip to the tiny town of Dozza, where artists paint murals on the buildings, and visited the castles in San Marino, which is a separate, independent country, located completely inside Italy.

Our last stop was Venice. On the way, we drove the Prosecco Road, stopping for lunch at a wonderful restaurant in the wine country, and for a tour of a Prosecco winery.

Venice is unlike any other city in the world, and I was happy we decided to include it on our trip.  We arrived in the evening, when Venice has a magical quality to it. I could have spent one more day than we planned, but we were able to see most of what we wanted. In addition to exploring the small streets and canals of the city, we took a day trip to the small islands of Murano (famous for its blown glass) and Burano (best known for its picturesque painted houses).

I took well over a thousand pictures on our trip, which I have narrowed down to the ones you can see on these pages. Use the “Day” links at the top of this page to view them. Enjoy!