Ray and Anna Blog


Wednesday March 27, 2019 We are getting ready for another Italian soggiorno… After a three-night stop in Rome – this will be the second time I celebrate my birthday in that glorious city – we will be spending the month of April in Tuscany, where we rented an apartment within the medieval walls of Lucca. it is with great anticipation that we prepare to discover the birthplace of the Renaissance and be… Read More

Friday,  March 29, 2019 Yes, the trip was very long. No, I do not recommend Air Canada culinary experience. No, the cabin was not perfectly pressurized for the descent, leaving my ears in a shape that is taking the whole day to recover, but who is complaining… We are in Rome, and it is wonderful!! We will be spending three nights at Hotel Napoleon (www. napoleon.it), a typically Italian old-fashion hotel, with European… Read More

Saturday, March 30, 2019 What a day!!! After breakfast, we bought a 48-hours Roma Pass and set off to revisit the Roman antique trio, i.e. the Coliseum, the Forum, and Palatine Hill. You would think it was a good plan, right? So did we… until we exited the Colosseo subway station and hit massive crowds of tourists. So, bear with me as I unfold this packed day… 1. As of March 1,… Read More

Sunday, March 31, 2019 Last full day in Rome and enjoying it! Both Castel Sant’Angelo and Saint Peter Square are in the same vicinity and if you take the subway, you will exit at Ottaviano, on Line “A”, and let the Basilica dome guide you along Via Ottaviano. Yikes!!!! It is late morning and the lineup leading to Saint Peter Basilica is HUGE! Time to switch sites and start with Castel Sant’Angelo…. Read More

Monday, April 1, 2019 Europe has such an amazing railway infrastructure, with high-speed trains (Frecciarossa) that almost burn the tracks at 250 Km/h (and 400 km/h between Rome and Milan on dedicated lines, covering that distance just under three hours), while the countryside goes by in a flash. Fun fact: There are 120 Frecciarossa train connections per day throughout Italy: from Turin, in the North, to Bari, in the South. After the 1.5-hour… Read More

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 This rainy morning offered a perfect opportunity to do some photo cleanup. With the number of photos we are taking, it would be an overwhelming task, back in Canada. Here is a new observation: We saw so many groups of tourists this afternoon, and they all possess a kind of discipline that Raymond and I will NEVER acquire: following strict directions and staying together with the group. While… Read More

Thursday, April 4, 2019 Umbrellas and rain gear were part of today’s landscape… This weather was an invitation to some “inside” exploration, and we responded to the call. Lucca is definitely a Renaissance city through and through, and it is odd not to be surrounded by the Baroque extravaganza of Bernini, so present in Rome. It takes some getting used to… Chiesa di San Michele in Foro (free entrance) — Dedicated to… Read More

Friday, April 5, 2019 This lazy day took us back on the streets of Lucca. By now, we have our baker (Forno a Vapore), our butcher (Macelleria Tuccori), and our friendly grocer (Carefour Express). We are getting closer to the end of week one, and haven’t left Lucca yet (lol). Actually, I could stay the whole month without leaving Lucca! We even got used to the nearby clock tower that joyfully chimes… Read More

Saturday, April 6, 2019 On Wednesday’s and Saturdays, you can go to the market outside the historic centre, on Piazza Don Franco Baroni (exit under the ramparts near Porta Maria, turn left and it is a 5-minute walk from there). This also gives you a full appreciation of how thick these walls are! And there you have it… your typical local European market. Need socks? Pants? A fancy dress? A purse, maybe?… Read More