Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio was a stop on our way from Amalfi coast to the Umbria region. It is located about 55 miles northeast of Rome. It sits on a volcanic tuff island rising up from the valley and was founded by the Etruscans 2500 years ago. 

We paid our small entrance fee of 5€ and started our dramatic entrance up to the plateau. 

The pedestrian path led to this town gate. 

Once inside we were surprised at the number of cafes and restaurant that were available. Also, there are several apartments you can rent. 

The town had one main avenue with intriguing off shoots that showcased its'  pristine appearance and blooming flowers. 

The views of the valley were gorgeous. 

There were so many terraces perched on the cliff sides with birds eye views. 

I loved how the owners really spruced up their town with beautiful stones paths, wisteria and archways. 

We enjoyed exploring Civita di Bagnoregio in the province of Viterbo. It is hard to fathom why this special place was almost completely …

Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy

It had been 11 years since we visited the Amalfi coast and we loved it so much we named our dog Amalfi. We were super excited to come back and stay on the eastern side and complete the whole coast. 
This was our hotel, Villa San Michele in Ravello. As you can see, it sits on a side of a mountain and a lot steps were involved to get to and from the main road to your room. Pack lightly, this is common!!

The hotel is situated below Ravello and has sweeping views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The property was very relaxing with the sound of waves crashing on the rocks. We were in awe of the panoramic views from the property, however disappointed in the rooms. They were small and outdated. 

We had direct access to the water. It looked so clean and clear, however still too chilly for a dip. 

Our car even had a great view!! The hotel offered free parking which was a huge bonus since parking on the Amalfi coast is a rare commodity and very pricey.

The property is entirely family run with the grandm…

Ancient Matera, Italy

This is Matera. A maze of unpainted stone, caves, and churches perched at the edge of a deep canyon. My first impression was that we had been transported out of Italy and into some ancient middle eastern city. That feeling is brought on by so much raw stonework with chisel marks still visible where they had been hand carved out of the nearby quarry. The uniformity of so much blank rock also has its own beauty which is best taken in from the far side of the gorge looking back towards Matera. From the distance the rock seems to blend into one jumbled puzzle with only the gaping openings of the caves looking back at you like vacant pockets in a bee hive. All of this is dominated by a single prominent church tower. This imagery has not been lost on filmmakers, who have used Matera as a stand-in for Jerusalem. Recent movies have been the remade Ben-Hur and The Passion of the Christ. Matera itself has leapt on board with this portrayal and frequent re-enactments of the crucifixion can be wi…

Ostuni, Italy

Ostuni is a white washed walled city situated just inland on the Murgia plateau in the Puglia region. It is referred to as the La Cita Bianca, "The White City". It was resettled by the Greeks after it was destroyed in the Punic Wars. 

The old city demands that the buildings are repainted every year to keep up its pristine white appearance.

Passing through the gate, which leads into the old town, we came across another example of a helpful Italian. I was carrying a bag of dog waste and a car stopped right next to us and rolled down his window. We understood only one word he said, "cane", Italian for dog. Immediately I thought, are dogs not allowed in Ostuni?!?  Of course they were! He was just trying to point out where the garbage was to drop Bogi's waste, then off he sped in his Fiat Punto!

The city was beautiful, with clean limestone pathways and newly planted flowers that popped against the white backdrop. 

Ostuni is extremely photogenic, the residents reall…

Alberobello, Italy

Ever hear of a Trulli? Me neither until I started researching our trip to Italy and discovered these interesting little hobbit like houses. The village of Alberobello has been a Unesco World Heritage site since 1996. 

Alberobello is located inland in the Puglia region and the first trullo was built in the 14th century. It was gifted to the Prince of Taranto and the King of Naples as a recognition for his services during the Crusades. 

The houses were originally built as temporary shelter for workers and animals. They were constructed without mortar, making them easy to disassemble for tax evasion. The bases are typically square with a cupola style roof. They were normally one room until the 18th century when they were "modernized". The inhabitants added water collecting systems and also started building on creating multiple connected trullos. 

The town has turned a lot of the homes into shops, restaurants, and hotels, however there are still many that are lived in by the lo…