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Susan Umberger's Blog (51)

day six Rome

Porchetta Day!!

Today we started out with a small pastry and coffee, knowing we were walking to Repubblica in search of porchetta.  We had read the best in Rome was Er Buchetto on Via del Viminale 2F.  We found it with no problem, and it was divine.  Crispy skin, herb scented melt in your mouth pork, a chewy roll, it was divine.  1 E wine from a tap on the wall, it was a lunch for two for 9E, and the shop owner was so nice.  We signed his album, and looked at pork picture…


Added by Susan Umberger on October 7, 2013 at 1:07pm — No Comments

day four Rome

This was a day for further exploration as we begin to find ourselves more at home with the bus system and to realize where we are in the scheme of things that is Rome.  We decided to go to the Pantheon early.  What an incredibly stunning structure, both inside and out.  We had recently watched some TV about the construction so were able to appreciate it even more. It is sooo beautiful, and since it had rained earlier, we saw water pooled on the floor from where it ran into the oculus.…

Added by Susan Umberger on October 6, 2013 at 1:34pm — No Comments

day five Rome

Today we walked 900 miles...at least it seemed like it.  Those Roman cobblestones will make a believer out of whatever shoes you bring here...and you better bring good ones!

Actually we walked from here to the Colosseum and Forum area, taking pictures all the way.  We didn't intend to walk that far, but bus service on Sunday is scanty, and we kept thinking, well, if we walk a little more, we might find a bus headed in the right directions...

We never found the bus but before we…


Added by Susan Umberger on October 6, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Day three Rome

Today we had thunderstorms early so we stayed in for a bit and had a good breakfast.  Then we decided we would go to the Protestant cemetery in Rome, and the pyramid, as well as Eatily, the food store started by an Italian group along with Mario Batali and Lidia Bastenevich.  We love to cook and investigate markets, so it seemed like a good combination.  We caught the bus with no effort, and made it to the cemetery in very little time...what a beautiful, peaceful place it was.  \its the…


Added by Susan Umberger on October 6, 2013 at 1:19pm — No Comments

Day 2 Rome

Today is the day for orientation meeting with Mary and the other Untourists here in Rome.  I think Mary said yesterday there were 14 of us, what a crew!  But our instructions are practically step by step, which actually is helpful here, its busy and confusing...  We met at the Chiostro de Bramante, near Piazza Navona.  In fact, Rhea and I went early to make sure we could handle the buses, etc, so we got a couple of machiatti, a croissant, and sat in a nice cafe, then strolled the beautiful…


Added by Susan Umberger on October 5, 2013 at 5:30am — No Comments

Continue to Rome

We were picked up early by our driver for our journey to Naples to catch the Eurostar.  Oddly enough, with all our traveling around Italy, we had never taken a train!  But what a great ride this turned out to be.  We had first class tickets on the Eurostar!  At times we figured we were going close to 200mph.  But the ride was so smooth and pleasant.  Attendants came through to punch the ticket and also to offer drinks like juice, coke, or champagne!  I-m sure there was a charge for that!,…


Added by Susan Umberger on October 2, 2013 at 4:30am — No Comments

Last day in Amalfi!

Today was an early day--we met our Pompeii guide at Amalfi main bus stop at 8AM.  Rosa had recommended this company -Sunland.it--and it worked beautifully.  We took the Pompeii express tour.  Alessandra, our guide, was perfectly organized, very informative, and fun.  We had headsets furnished by the company for the 2.5 hour tour, and it was about the most any of us could take as it was very hot, dry, and dusty.  We visited a cameo factory at the beginning, right at the entrance to Pompeii,…


Added by Susan Umberger on October 1, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Day 5 Amalfi

Sunday Sept 29

Today was originally scheduled to be a day without much too, but since the weather forecast for Monday is rain, the Amalfi company I had booked a Capri cruise with emailed and wanted to know if we could change the cruise from Monday to today.  We agreed, sounded like a great idea!  So at 9:45 we were at the pier in Amalfi for the cruise.  Limited to 12 people, on a nice boat, with a great captain, we set off on our adventure du jour.

We visited the Emerald Grotto, blue… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on September 30, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Day 6 Amalfi

Monday Sept 30

Our first rainy day on the coast, but after a shower or two,  we set off for Amalfi in a dry period.  We shopped for meat for dinner (turkey scallopine) and a few other basics like tomatoes and fruit for breakfasts.  We so enjoy having an apartment with a kitchen, we try to cook several meals while on vacation.  So far this will make three dinners at the apartment, all breakfasts, and some picnic lunches and alfresco snacks taken care of.  We returned home, beating a heavy… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on September 30, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Day 4 Amalfi

Saturday Sept 28

Today we had a slow down day, we fixed a nice breakfast at our apartment, mostly thanks to Untours, and then we proceeded to wander Atrani and Amalfi,  buying dolce and vino and other grocery necessities.  We stopped at place called Cuoppo di' Amalfi that I'd read about on TripAdvisor and had a cone each of their fried seafood delicacies.  I had cod and chips, Rhea had small fishes (anchovies) and chips all fried up, Will post pictures of the before and after!  It… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on September 28, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Day 3 Amalfi

Friday September 27

A day filled with waiting for busses that never came, or when they came, were too full.  I think the SITA bus service expected the tourist season to end before it really did.  The traffic was packed, dense, really bad.  We walked to Amalfi to get the bus since there was a better chance of getting on one to Ravello there, but teen students from foreign countries jumped the line and mobbed the bus we'd been waiting for for an hour.  So, thoroughly put out we walked to the… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on September 27, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Day 2 Amalfi

Thursday sept 26

Met with Rosa Pauli and four other Untourists (2 were veterans of a bunch of Untours, and two were first timers).  We had lunch at la Marinella restaurant in Amalfi, which included appetizer of prosciutto, melon, pickled veg, then spaghetti con vongole or shrimps and lemon risotto, or seafood risotto.  Plus salad, and of course bread and wine, coffee, waters, and lemon sorbet for dessert.  (part of our refrigerator stock was a bunch of the most amazing lemons--the coast is… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on September 26, 2013 at 3:30am — No Comments

Amalfi/Rome sampler 2013

It was a very loooong thirty hours without sleep to finally make it to Naples airport. We were on time, though, with all bags, and were met by our efficient and charming driver Ottavio. The trip to Amalfi was about an hour, where we were met in the main plaza by Rosa Pauli, the Untours representative here. She's a charming woman, very well organized and full of information. Her English is every good. She stayed in Amalfi to help Untourists there, and we went to Atrani, five minutes down the…


Added by Susan Umberger on September 25, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Home Again

Ok back home again. We made it through customs and had to give up my flower seeds in pretty packs (even tho the US Customs web site says seeds are OK). One bag was delayed but Delta took care of flying it to Lexington for us. We had to go through final security check at the airport just like what we did when we left, which aggravated me no end--by this time it had been 24 hours with little sleep, a big stressful event in Paris, and we were tired.

But we made it home before dark and will… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:35am — No Comments

The (Long) Trip Home

Got an early start this morning and made it to Florence airport with time to spare. This was good as we had time for a coffee and to go through very thorough customs check. We left on time via Cityjet/Air France/Delta. The flight to Paris was uneventful--the plane was small but a jet--and we went to it on a bus and got off on the Tarmac at CDG Paris.  We got on a shuttle that seemed to take… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:34am — No Comments

Drive to Florence

.Wednesday and the end (almost) of our trip. We decided to make an early start and left Pogiarellino at about 7 to make it to Avis at Florence airport by 9--we rolled in at 9:20, enough time leftover to save us a day of rent and insurance charges. Then the day went downhill drastically. I had not closely checked the reservation at Novotel, and it was for … Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:33am — No Comments

Easter Monday

Easter Monday is a holiday here too, and my advice would be--if you are ANYWHERE on a holiday weekend, make sure you have ample:





Ok, enough advice!! Today we had a quick breakfast and went into town, bought some gas (there is self serve 24hr here) and looked… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Tuesday Farewells

Went to Buonconvento for breakfast--machiatto and pastry,yum and since we had such an early start went to the co op and bought juice and fruit for our last morning here in Tuscany. We searched out an extra suitcase across from Tutta Frutta and were happy to get it--remember the rule about buy it when you see it??

Anyway, from town we traveled to Pienza, gorgeous to stroll at any time, the passeigiata around the city is so pretty in morning light. We decided to purchase pecorino… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday in Buonconvento--our first venture after brunch was to the wine tasting at Altesino, immediately across the road. We had made the reservation the day before. (10E) We were the only ones on the tour, led by an intelligent multi-lingual young woman from Denmark. We were surprised by the state of the art production equipment, but understood it was due to capital expansion by the new… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:29am — No Comments


Market day in Buonconvento and a day to do laundry. A nice little laundromat here--bring your own one euro and 50 cent euro coins, tho--no change machines. We went to the local street market and bought big fava beans to cook for Easter and I stopped in a shop called Susy and bought another scarf. Then we bought gas,(the car is NOT a diesel, it takes unleaded gas, that's a whole story by itself!) came home and dumped our purchases off and headed for Montepulciano.

Montepulciano was a… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:28am — No Comments


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