Trip to a slower pace

Trip to a slower pace

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Yep! Tired and hungry he couldn't find his way back through the fence so we rescued him.
He went right to his food dish, ate and settled down for a long nap. He has no worrries in the world.

What a treasure! I just read Marian's Trip Report on the SlowTrav site and then she sent me a list of the restaurants, caffes and shops she used on her trip to Florence.

Having the restaurant recommendations is very we did not experience the best places on our last trip to Florence. Many of the places on Marian's list are in the area where our apartment is located, and that is probably where we will have dinner.

We were really hoping to take a couple of organized tours in Rome this year and maybe this will still happen, but we will have to take one day at a time because of my husband's recent surgery. He is doing very well, but a 2 hour walking tour will probably be the limit during our first few days in Rome. We have a tour guide's phone number and tour times and dates handy...hope it works out for all of us...but we're okay taking one day at a time. True slow travellers...this time.

Gloria, please check today's email from me for a change in plans.
The airline notified me that my flight will be later than I expected...less time in Italy!
It will affect my plans for my first full day in Roma,
but give me more time to pack, which I must get serious about doing.

Almost everything on my To Do List is done.

Cat ran away, so we've been out looking for him. He's an indoor cat and has very little experience out there in the real world. He ran away once before but showed up for a late midnight dinner.

Well, he wears a red harness and tag with his phone number and address.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Mountain Coop is the best store up here to buy duffle bags and backpacks, so that is where we went today.It is in downtown Toronto and about an hours drive from my home.
We bought the kid a nice backpack that even has a padded compartment for a laptop. This will come in handy for taking to class in the fall and for the trip to Italy.
The other thing my husband suggested getting was a smaller version of the canvas duffle bag like we took to Italy with us last August. It is perfect and will fit nicely in the kid's suitcase.

After reading about all the types of sandals the ST suggest wearing for travel in Italy, I finally found a pair! I bought them at 1:00pm, put them on then and wore them all day. They are comfortable and were on SALE! They are 'arche', made in France, very good soles, support and soft suede.

Didn't accomplish anything else on my To Do List today, except for the laundry.

Monday, June 28, 2004

What's left to do?

*get euro
*get International driver's license
*finish laundry & pack
*call Visa to let them know we don't want our credit blocked in Italy
*call Insurance company to verify coverage
*reconfirm flights & seats
*clean house as we have family staying here
*review tickets/apartment vouchers etc. and deposits paid
*get digital and canon elph cameras ready
*choose maps that we'll take
*choose travel guides we'll take
*animal food & toys to last them while we're away
*buy the kid a backpack to take
*read B.T.'s diary notes from recent trip to Rome

I have arranged to meet a few people in Italy this year. This should be fun! They are all members of the Slowtrav message board, where you should go to ask your travel questions.
Now off to watch the news...wonder what the election results are?

Saturday, June 26, 2004

A 25 inch suitcase looks a lot bigger on the outside than it does inside!

How will I do this?

I've already eliminated 1/2 of the travel guides. And shoes and sandals have been reduced to 2 pair. Wear one and pack one. So I'll buy more when I get there. By the time we leave Venice my husband should be able to carry his own bag. Right?

My travel agent tells me we do have Interruption insurance which would cover a flight home earlier or later than our scheduled flight. So that is a relief. Well, this might only pertain to the airline I have booked with. But they have several departures to Italy each week. The more difficult return flights to get are at the end of Aug. and beginning of Sept.

I'm on the internet as a means to avoid packing.

Tomorrow I will buy Tide and Woolite to do laundry in Florence.
I wonder where I can find a laundry near our apartment? Maybe Marian knows.

Monday, June 07, 2004


Since we stayed at a historical building in Rome and will do so again this year we started our exploring from the Spanish Steps which were built in the 1720s to make it easier to reach the Trinita dei Monti ( a 16th century French church ) from the the square below.
The historical building we stayed in is called the Palazza Pierret, located to the left of the Spanish Steps, as you face the steps and look up at the Trinita dei Monti. Also housed in the building is Babbington's Tea Room which was opened by 2 English ladies in 1896, a bank, and a leather shop.
Just down the street from the apartment is the Keats-Shelley Memorial House where the poet Keats died in 1821. It is open to the public as a museum and we could see in through the windows from our room last year.
After a full day of walking we would sit on the edge of the Fontana della Baraccia, designed by Bernini's father, Pietro, or on the Steps themselves and people watch. We watched people filling up their water bottles from the fountain and soaking their feet. I was turned off by this when I saw someone with a skin disease doing this!
There were many locals, horse & carriages, only a few tourists ( as we were there in August of 2003 ),and several taxi drivers in the Piazza di Spagna area, day and night. With the windows and shutters closed at night we did not hear a sound. Our room was air conditioned and this worked out well for us. We liked the location and have therefore decided to stay there again.
In front of the apartment was the famous shopping street called the Via Condotti,with many lovely and expensive shops, selling shoes, handbags, and clothing. The Caffe Grecco, an 18th century cafe is located along this street. It was not open in August 2003, as many of the other shops and restaurants were also closed down for holidays, as well. This year, we are travelling in July and hope they are open.
Not far from the Piazza di Spagna is the Piazza del Popolo with one of the first Renaissance churches in Rome...Santa Maria Del Popolo. This church was commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere in 1472.
We will continue our exploring tomorrow....