Untours Cafe

May 2011 Blog Posts (20)

(14) Paris Untour 2010 (Day 15) Sidewalk Serenade

Day 15  Sidewalk Serenade

Tuesday  May 4, 2010

Mardi  4 Mai 2010

That morning…

Added by Bill Kover on May 17, 2011 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

(13) Paris Untour 2010 (Day 14)

Day 14
Monday  May 3, 2010
Lundi  3 Mai 2010

We both got up at 7:05am.  Before long I was out the door and on my way to Boulangerie 28 for two croissants at a total cost of 1.90€ ($2.47…

Added by Bill Kover on May 14, 2011 at 3:00pm — 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

Murlo to Montalcino


Got up a little late, made a big old breakfast, and set out for  Murlo and then Montalcino. Murlo has an Etruscan museum worth touring--fascinating civilization with beautiful decoration from B.C. Then on to Montalcino. It's been eight years since we have been there, and if possible it looks even better than before. I think the fortress has been spruced up some and the town had lots of flowers out--and it was market day. We had a… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:26am — No Comments

Thursday, First full day in Montalcino

Thursday again-this is our first full day in Tuscany and it was orientation day at Monte Oliveto Abbey, about a 15 minute drive from here. We met the other Untourists staying about the area and had an orientation led by Harriet Gussoni, the Untours rep in this area. She's been working for them a long time, raised her children here with her Italian husband, and is generally a font of information and helpfulness. While there was nothing she could do to add to the perfection of our place or our… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 8, 2011 at 10:25am — No Comments

Wednesday travel day

Wow. An exhausting day Wednesday, we drove from Venice airport--all arrangements went fine there, a minor misunderstanding about the car rental, but we ended up with a new Audi automatic diesel(see later note!)--cute car gets great mileage. For the car nuts in my family, it lacks vroom vroom. We have seen Maserati's and Alfas with plenty of vroom though!

We drove to Bologna on the A13, toll… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 5, 2011 at 9:15am — No Comments


Our last full day here-Tuesday, and we agree that another week would be great fun, but we're ready to move on, Montalcino beckons! We took the vaporetto to San Giorgio and saw the Palladian church there, it was quite astoundingly beautiful. We rode up to the top of the campanile...the views of Venice and the lagoon were spectacular. Then a stop along the Zattare for gelato at Nick's, recommended… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 5, 2011 at 9:12am — No Comments


This morning we got up early again and made our way to Rialto--how beautiful!! The fruit and veg displays were art, the vendors were singing, the delivery boats were everywhere, the bustle of weekday Venice is back... The crowds not so bad, the sun is out (again-- every day since we arrived.). Not a drop of rain has fallen except for the one day… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 5, 2011 at 9:10am — No Comments

Saturday we go to San Marco!

Got up early this AM to beat the San Marco crowds--and we succeeded!! It was very quiet when we arrived about 8:10. We took pictures with the lions, walked all around the square and were some of the first in line for the campanile. What magnificent views from there!! Then we joined a long line for St. Mark's. That didn't take long to get to the entry, and we walked through the magnificent church. Words cannot describe it--it was even more ornately decorated than St. Peters' in Rome. We left and… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 2, 2011 at 3:46pm — No Comments


Friday--we decided to sleep in a bit, go shopping for fresh veg, and then go to Murano, the island famous for glass making. We went first to Campo S. Margherita, where we purchased the artichokes for tonights dinner. We also bought Bibb lettuce, bread, tomatoes, an onion, and got a fillup of a one and a half liter water bottle (we changed it into wine at the fill up shop--you bring the empty container, they fill it with the wine of your choice.). All this for under 10 USD. We have decided that… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 2, 2011 at 3:45pm — No Comments

Sunday April 17 2011

Palm Sunday in Venice, and everyone is here from Hare Krishna to Orthodox Jews-- and us. We decided to sleep in and make arancias out of our leftover risotto, and they were delicious. A decision was made to go to the public gardens at the very end of San Marco side...and what a wonderful place it turned out to be. Leafy green canopy, lots of space, little crowds, we needed a break from Venice proper. It can be an overwhelming space--yes, full of glory from all its ages, but staggering in the… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 2, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Thursday-day 3 Venice!

Thursday--we met our guide Denny Jennings at P Roma with 4 other untourists for a guided walk. We went first along the canal by way of San Pantalon to the campo of Santa Margherita. We had cafe latte and the best cappuccino Rhea has ever had. Then we went to the Gondola workshop or squero for a tour by the owner who was very nice and answered all the woodworking questions Rhea had. From there we went to a place called Pane Vino e San Daniele… Continue

Added by Susan Umberger on May 1, 2011 at 6:39pm — No Comments

(12) Paris Untour 2010 (Day 13)

Day 13 

Sunday,  May 2, 2010

Dimanche, 2 Mai 2010


At 7:15am we were up, and looking forward to a restful day.  I wasted no time going out to Boulangerie 28 for two croissants.…


Added by Bill Kover on May 1, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

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