News from the Hearsey's

Hearsey's report from Italy.  We (Bryan and Carolyn) spent three great
weeks in Italy.  We traveled by train (with a couple of bus
trips for short excursions).  We spent most of our time in cities, Milan
(3 nights with a day trip to Lake Como), Venice (3 nights), Rome (5
nights with a day trip to Pompeii), Florence (6 nights with days trips
to Siena and San Gimignano).  We completed the trip with 3 nights in
Vernazza which is one of the Cinque Terre villages.

We overloaded on Art, the Renaissance, and wonderful food.  You have to
work really hard to find a bad meal in Italy.  Rude waiters and
waitresses are more plentiful.  Outstanding experiences:

   1. Most striking building: The Duomo in Milan.  This is as close to
   the definition of Gothic as possible.  We took the elevator (we could
   have walked but saved that for Florence) to the roof where you see
   thousands of figures up close and personal.

   2. Most striking piece of art: Michelangelo's "David".  The size and
   detail are overwhelming.  It is at the end of the hall lined with his
   "Prisoners", which in turn are worth the trip by themselves.

   3. Favorite gallery/art:  Impossible to identify.  We went to quite a
   few of the famous ones:  Milan (Santa Marie della Grazie to see Da
   Vinci’s last supper ), Venice (Currer Museum and Doge’s Palace),
   Rome (the big items at the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel, but
   every church in Rome is an art gallery, the Borghese ), Florence
   (Academia and David, Uffize, Borgello).  I don’t list these to show
   off, but to suggest how overwhelming the supply is.

   4. Most Beautiful places:  It is tough to choose between the Tuscan
   country side and the striking landscape of the Cinque Terre.  Neither
   should be missed.

   5. Best unplanned experience:  The day in Rome when within two hours
   we discovered the Tour of Italy (and stood within 5 feet of the
   bikers as they raced by), and then encountered an impromptu
   performance of Amazing Grace (in Italian) at the Pantheon.

If you like great places to travel (language was never a problem and we
speak no Italian) put Italy on your list.

Some photos

Hearsey's on an old fort in Vernazza. Note the terraced landscape-grape vines and olive trees.

A small piece of the Duomo in Milan

Here they are again. This time on the roof of the Duomo in Florence with Tuscan hills behind.

Gelato is King throughout Italy

One view of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre