L’Italia È Molto Bella

Dr. and Mrs. Skeptical Cardiologist have returned from two weeks in Italy and I have to say, this is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

Here are my top 3 experiences:

  1. The Cinque Terre. Five villages tucked into the cliffs above the Mediterranean and connected by trains and trails, featuring gorgeous vistas available to those willing to climb and hike.
Vernazza, one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre, viewed from the trail that connects it to Monterosso.
Vernazza, from the beginning of the trail to Corniglia. The hike took us about 2 hours and was strenuous but wonderful. 
From high up on the Vernazza-Corniglia trail. Corniglia in foreground, Manarola in distance.

2. The heart of Tuscany, in the Val d’Orcia,

View from our B&B at La Foce, near Montepulciano, looking into the Val d’Orcia.

Garden at the La Foce Estate
From the base of the ruined castle known as the Rocca di Tentennano, which sits on a pinnacle high above the Val d’Orcia, with the small village of the Rocca d’Orcia just below.
Sunset, Rocca d’Orcia with Monte Amiata in the distance.

3. Florence, chock full of Renaissance architecture, art, tourists and incredible panoramic views from Giotto’s Campanille and the top of the Duomo:

Perusing the artwork in front of the Duomo, part of the complex of buildings that make up Florence Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo in Florence, Italy.
“the gloaming” on the river Arno


We did lots of stair climbing in Florence. We climbed 463 steps to get to the top of the Duomo, from which Giotto’s Campanille (bell tower) can be seen. An hour earlier we climbed the 414 steps of the bell tower. Per Wikipedia “the tower is one of the showpieces of Florentine Gothic architecture with its design by Giotto, its rich sculptural decorations and its polychrome marble encrustations.”
The skeptical cardiologist descending the narrow and often windy stairs from the Duomo roof. 

To any patients who were inconvenienced by my delayed return, my sincere apologies. The good news is that your cardiologist is now fully recharged and ready to resume practice with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.




9 thoughts on “L’Italia È Molto Bella”

  1. Awesome set of pics son. I am totally amazed at the beautiful scenery and the wonderful and so historic buildings. Dad

  2. Ok. So headed there in September. Can you please share where you stayed and if you loved them. Did you do Como or Amalfi coast? I want to spend a week in Tuscany. Your B and B looked like it had an amazing view.

  3. Magnificent photos!! Thank you! But I need to hear what you ate to give you that mega= stair climbing, hiking energy?? I’m Italian as you can tell by this question!

    • We ate lots of fine pasta. Pasta bolognese, alla carbonara, etc. We consumed a lot more carbs than our typical diet what with all the pizza, pasta and focaccia type sandwiches.
      When possiblle we consumed local fish like sea bream, octopus, John Dory and red mullet. At one restaurant in Rome we ordered puntarella, a vegetable we were told was in season and unique to Rome. Not a fan.
      Thanks to all the hiking and climbing my weight did not change.
      I drank a lot more red wine than I typically do and Jen developed a fondness for the amaro known as Montenegro, something she began ordering for dessert after dinner.
      In Manarola, I purchased a bottle of good Limoncino , the consumption of which resulted in me greeting tourists with “Buona Sera!” as they passed by our balcony.


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