About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Friday, September 19, 2008

La Via Italiana


All photos will enlarge if you click on them.








I have no idea why, but I was quite surprised that the Italian highways are so good. They are smooth, wide, and have great signage with lots of time to prepare to stop for gas (petrol) or a quick coffee. I took this photo of the car Umberto was driving with four of our group from the SUV in which the other six of us squeezed together.






However, when we reached the actual city of Rome, we had to maneuver the narrow cobblestone roads of the inner parts of the city. Our hotel was right beside the Pantheon and cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, and other modes of transportation juggled amongst the many pedestrians. We were warned that in Italy the pedestrian does NOT have the right of way so it's every man or woman for him/herself.
This boy and his Dad had set themselves up right in the middle of all this furor. As the Dad played his guitar, the boy played his accordian and sang at the top of his lungs, "O Solo Mio." He was utterly fantastico!




One of the other modes of transportation in this area was horse and carriage. Several waited to be hired when the tourists exited the Pantheon. That's my hotel there in the background on the left - L'Albergo del Senato, rated 6th out of 1199 hotels in Rome. Great start for the trip!












While waiting to get into the Vatican, my roomie took my picture "pretending" to climb on this Italian motorcycle, parked right on the sidewalk. We were hoping a good-looking Italiano would come and offer to take us for a ride. At least, I was!












Again, the highways were fantastico and they took us to Florence where again we saw lots of cobbled streets.


Just as we rounded the corner into the Piazza della Signorina, a parade came by with flag bearers.....














...and drummers, all dressed in colourful garb.












As we wandered the streets looking for the Accademia where we would find "David," we came upon a street artist doing a chalk drawing of the Mona Lisa. You can see the type of tile this part of the street is made with.






Three weeks later, we found ourselves in Sicily. From the top of a mountain in Segesta (well, I'd call it a big hill since I live in the middle of the Coastal Range in BC), I got this shot of the highway snaking through the Sicilian hills.
All in all, I wouldn't hesitate to drive a car in Italy by myself. The roads are great, the scenery is spectacular, and the people are very helpful if you need a bit of direction.
For more Photo Hunt participants, go to tnchick's site and feel free to join in. The more the merrier!

41 comments:

Leslie said...

Oh my stars! Look at your Rome and Florence pics! Two of my favorite places. :)

Good morning to you from slowly warming up Canberra. :)

I've just finished sipping my cappuccino, it's 7.35am.

Colin Campbell said...

Beautiful shots. I want one of those drummers outfits.

ellen b. said...

Ahh Leslie, These are some nice roads. I wouldn't mind strolling down some of these...

Pretty Life Online said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pretty Life Online said...

Yeah! most European countries are safe to drive... Perfect choice for today's theme... I'm back! Mine's up too hope you can drop by.... Happy weekend!

Carver said...

Wow, what a wonderful trip and thank you so much for taking us on those interesting roads with you. Great post! Hope you have a happy weekend.

Bengbeng said...

i enjoyed this week's post of yrs. thanks for bringing us along on this trip of yrs. fantastico :)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Wow great shot of roads in Sicily, amazing :-)

Expat Traveler said...

Oh I love the painting the most. Very very cool photos.. I love it!

PERBS said...

You sure have some great photo memories!

Paulie

jmb said...

Good post Leslie with lovely photos.

We have driven in Italy many times and trust me it is not so simple. Italians while good drivers do not respect the rules and you have no idea what they will do next. They hate to be behind you and will do everything to overtake you even with their terribly underpowered vehicles, then they immediately slow down as if exhausted.

In any city if there are three lanes of official traffic there are always four lanes of actual traffic and while driving looks simple on the highway it is another matter getting around by car in any city, with Rome being the worst.

And don't talk to me about parking, as there triple parking is the norm and when the inner car wishes to leave the driver just honks incessantly until the others come move their cars. Not a fun place to drive at all, but a wonderful place to visit.

Have a great weekend Leslie.

Kathy C. said...

Wow! Those are fantastic roads and you took us on a road trip through Italy. :)
Beautiful.

gen/entry here said...

wow i like your entries this week...Cool ...Happy weekend.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Bella Italia, my fave country in the world bar none

EastCoastLife said...

That's a lovely holiday you had! I love cobblestone roads, not easy to find them in Singapore.

Happy weekend!

Blur Mommy said...

Looks like a fun place to visit.

Suzanne Says... said...

Beautiful pictures!

Napaboaniya said...

I'll be wishing that a hunk will offer me a ride on that bike as well :)

YTSL said...

Love cobbled streets -- and wow, that street artist looks very good indeed! :)

Alice Audrey said...

I'd be real uncomfortable driving close to that truck in the first picture. I'd be afraid something might fall out.

Aileni said...

Oh dear, a Honda scooter in Italy.Must be when Rossi was with Honda.

Carin said...

Wow lovely pictures especially that one of the highway through Sicily!

jams o donnell said...

What a delightful set of photos. I have no idea why I have nver been to Italy

Hootin' Anni said...

That last photo is tops!!! I love the cobblestone with the horse and carriage too.

Mine's shared...all about the "Devil" this week. Come see. Have a great weekend, and happy hunting!

Sienna said...

Great road trip.. I was a little scared for my safety at times with the drivers, (especially Rome), it was like anything goes. I couldn't figure out a system at all apart from that many seemed really impatient.

Florence is so beautiful. Great photos Leslie.

I am for you adopting the cat! btw, she seems to have adopted you already.

Only drawback is a babysitter, but she sounds so lovely natured.

Pam

Dragonstar said...

What a lovely and informative post Leslie. So many beautiful photos. I particularly like that last one, with the road curving away into the distance.

Forever Foster said...

Fantastic photos for the theme. I love the last photo.

June said...

Not only good road shots, but great vacation photos! Looks like a grand time was had!

Patsy said...

Love the last shot! We haven't traveled to Italy --- you've made we want to venture there now. Drop by -- I went a different direction with *road*. :) Have a good weekend.

Gattina said...

The roads are usually very good in Italy even in the high mountains but driving is another story, lol !

Smalltown RN said...

my goodness Leslie...those are fabulous photos...what a wonderful time you must have had travellng all of the roads each telling another tale of your trip.....I love the street artist and the drummers

lucy said...

Your shots are wonderful! Too bad you did not find that studly italiano.

Claudia said...

Wonderful...I'm jealous, I've never been!

JO said...

great collection of pic... i esp love the street painting one.

Here's mine. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Maggie May said...

Oh this is superb. I've been to Florence. I just love the photos. Took me back!

starnitesky said...

A wonderful trip around Italy, thanks for all the interesting information. Italy is a place I would love to visit.

Belle said...

wow! wonderful place and thanks for sharing those greta shots.

Annie said...

Thanks for this vicarious trip to Italy, my favorite place in the world! Happy weekend, Annie

PastorMac's Ann said...

These are terrific. Love the last two!

peppylady said...

Thanks for visiting earlier today. I would stay longer but I'm tired and I'll stop back and read your health system post

pat said...

Oh I love Rome - great photos!

Have a good day.