More ladies room doors from our Italian adventure. (Here’s Part One in case you missed it.)
We said goodbye to Florence and took the train to Cinque Terre. These five seaside towns on the Italian Riviera are connected by walking trails and rail. A moment of moments: The sea from the train window!
We stayed in a a small apartment at a B and B in Monterossa al Mare, the largest of the towns. I found the sign at the top of the post on our first night, at an outdoor bar where we shared apps and sipped drinks.
We’d hoped to hike from town to town, but some of the trails were destroyed in a 2011 flood and are yet to be repaired. But it ended up that one hike was enough for me. Phew! I was not prepared for the steep steps and strenuous climbs. Cliff, a much more proficient hiker than I am, was surprised that the trail was marked “moderate.” He said it would have been rated “difficult” over here. But the rigor came with a reward. We descended (finally) to find one of the views of a lifetime. This is the town of Vernazza.
I liked this colorful display and am now painting this scene for art class. Might just turn out well enough to hang in the laundry room of the new house.
Cafes and restaurants abound in Cinque Terre. And so do great bathroom signs. Here’s a fishy one at Ristorante al Carugio in Monterrosa al Mare.
With a funky mirror:
Wine served in pitchers!
Here’s the wine cork door to the unisex bathroom at the Cantina di Miki in Monterossa. Cliff and I tend not to seek out high end restaurants on our travels. Just too much $$. But if you go to Monterossa, this place is worth a visit thanks to its excellent food and funky, modern decor. Cinque Terre is one of the world’s sardine capitals. Wish I had a photo of the sardines we tried, prepared five different ways.
After Cinque Terre, we took the train to another watery location. Venice! I’ve wanted to go since I learned about this place as a little girl. We walked through the train station and there is was! The Floating City.
I ate pasta almost every night in Italy. Look at the choices!
This was my favorite pasta of the trip, and I keep meaning to make it now that I’m stateside: Spaghetti all’arrabiatta. It’s peppery!
I worried about gaining weight on a month long trip. We walked and walked and walked, which helped of course. And although I indulged, I did so with some degree of moderation, something I wouldn’t have done twenty years ago.
The gelato did not disappoint, but we both thought the bread earned a C in Italy, at best-dry with little flavor. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t gain weight, as I can never resist good bread.
Loved the meringues. They come in lovely colors and flavors.
We were sad to say goodbye to Venice. And yep, we rode in a gondola. Loved it!
Car rental time. Even though Cliff did a fine job, riding in a rental car put my nerves on edge. The Italians love to tailgate, and we went through some narrow passages in the hill towns.
But the rest stops are incredible-clean and modern, with fabulous fresh food and great bathrooms. Here are stall doors that advertise a fruit drink, I think.
And here’s the ladies room sign at another rest stop.
and a blow dryer near the changing table for bottoms.
We were headed to Assisi in Umbria. I was relieved when we finally pulled into the hotel parking lot. And even happier to take in the view from our room.
I’ve been a St. Francis nut for years. Frances art abounds.
On to bathroom doors.
I’m not sure where I found this lovely lady.
A sign on the street:
And at a pizzeria
Part of the pizzeria floor is covered with Plexiglas, so visitors can note the Roman ruins below.
We visited the churches and tombs of both St. Frances and St. Clare. I pondered the lives they lived and their dedication to the poor.
On our last day in Assisi, we visited the church of San Domiano, where Frances received his call from God. Here’s a handmade sign at a ladies room near the parking lot.
Nuns on pilgrimage.
Our next stop was the town of Montepulciano in Tuscany. Here’s the door to the bathroom at our B and B.
And the view from our window.
The emergency pull in the same restaurant bathroom.
This wine cellar, located right in town, is 1000 years old. We were disappointed that most of the wineries required reservations, which may not be difficult to get, but we didn’t try.
Our trip was nearly at an end. I’d been worried about being gone for a month. Happily, we got no reports of trouble from our friend watching the house, and the kids and granddkids stayed safe and healthy.
I packed very light, so I definitely got tired of my clothes. Washing clothes in the room worked really well, so we never officially did laundry. It was time to tidy up that suitcase one more time, turn in the rental car, and hop on the train to Rome.
Part Three coming up soon!