Posts tagged Italy
JONES FAMILY TAKES ON ITALY - VENICE
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It was really sad saying good-bye to Florence so soon, but we were really looking forward to Venice!  We woke early to catch our train.  I can’t say what the countryside looked like from the train, because I slept the entire trip.  It was great to wake up refreshed ready to enjoy Venice.

We stayed at Hotel Londra Palace which has an enviable location right on the Grand Canal.  We enjoyed a beautiful view of the Grand Canal from our room, and our rooms felt very regal and large.  We were able to enjoy lunch at dinner at Hotel Londra.  Both meals were delicious!!  It was so great experiencing the meals from different regions in Italy with the variety of cooking methods and specialties.  Although I do believe Teddy ordered spaghetti with red sauce for every single meal.

We only had one day to experience Venice.  We opted for a more unique tour by renting our own private boat and driver to take us to the three islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.  Murano is where you can watch the art of glass blowing.  It is a nice island with a quaint canal of shops.  Burano is a nearby island where the artisans specialize in lace.  We enjoyed this island a bit more with its colorful buildings and gorgeous view of the Venice skyline.  We sat on a sea wall with our gelato and took in the beauty.  Torcello was my favorite island.  It is really small and quaint.  We just had a wonderful time walking along the canals and climbing the bell tower where we had a superb view of the entire region.  

A highlight of our trip was the night-time gondola ride. Unlike the experience of visitors in the summer, we were in the only gondola on the waterways!  It was a really magical way to conclude our trip in Italy.  

I would love to share our experiences in Italy.  Contact me anytime at 314-780-8845 or email me.

JONES FAMILY TAKES ON ITALY - FLORENCE
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Next stop on our tour of Italy — Florence.  We drove from Norcia to Florence with a quick visit to Assisi.   Assisi in March is a real treat, because there are very few visitors.  It is very beautiful and great to visit if you are passing through the area.  

We had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Lungarno during our visit to Florence.  It has recently reopened after a complete renovation.  It has a nautical theme and is right on the Arno River.  When you look out the window, you literally look down at water.  The hotel hangs over the edge.  It overlooks the Ponte Vecchio and is across from the river from the main part of Florence.  It is actually really nice to walk across the bridge after a long day in Florence and experience a more local feel with wonderful, small and traditional trattorias within a block of our hotel.  

We had a beautiful room overlooking the river.  I stopped every few minutes to stand on our Juliet balcony and take in the view.  It is a real treat.  Our boys were in a Jr. Suite without the fabulous view.  Their room felt like a suite with a living room and a step up to the bedroom with a huge bathroom.  It was really inviting and had such a great layout.

The staff is just wonderful.  The bellman with the great smile even walked us to our first dinner and introduced us to the owner of the trattoria.  The Lungarno Collection, owned by the Ferragamo family, has three other hotels in Florence.  They all have very different vibes, and the Hotel Lungarno is their flagship property.  We enjoyed a drink at La Terrazzo Rooftop Bar at the top of the Continentale.  It has the best views of Florence and was wonderful for enjoying the sunset after a long day exploring the city.

We enjoyed a wonderful tour of Florence.  You learn so much more about a city when you have a private guide.  We opted for a half day in Florence, so we could spend the afternoon shopping.  Our wonderful guide Angela is so knowledgeable about the art and history of Florence.  She also knows where to find the best gelato!!!