Short version - Amo Italia Nord!

Medium version - An idea that had been brewing for a few years took crisper shape in Spring 2015, with definite dates and plans set by Autumn 2014.
          We four set off for 24 days from late April until mid-late May 2015 to explore five sections of northern Italy.
          Six nights in Umbria, centered in Todi, gave us an initial taste of hill towns, geography, food, and life. Seven nights in Siena allowed us to explore Tuscany, our initial must-see area. Three nights in Cinque Terre’s Monterosso introduced a very different slice of Italy. Three more nights in Treiso in the Piedmont, and three last nights in Lake Maggiore’s Stresa filled out the itinerary.
          A typical day might find us in a town or two, with the long lunch breaking up the day. Don and Tim would find a bottle of local wine for the evening; and we would shop for food for breakfast and dinner for the sixteen days we had a kitchen. Touring back roads to our destination, or back to our Italian home, provided insight to the area.
          Along the way, especially at the agriturismo and at the hotel, we would know more closely families that worked hard to make a living. And we would have many a conversation, usually with other Americans or Brits, at the more touristy areas. Otherwise, we waded into the sea of humanity that is Italy, and watched as people do the same as we Americans do to live and survive. The similarities are many, although it is the differences that grasp the first attention.
          After 3000 kilometers (Tim drove them all), northern Italy became a more concrete picture in our consciousness, a comfortable one that easily could find us living there as easily as staying in America.

Tim, Judy, Deb, Don

city wall of San Gimignano


Don's thematic account - 8,000 words

Judy's chronological journal - 17,000 words


Todi (our home for six nights)

more of Umbria (Saint Frances Basilica, and more)


seven nights in Siena (in the Cathedral)

more of Tuscany (Etruscan arch in Volterra)

three nights in Cinque Terre (a view of Vernazza) Treiso hills in Piedmont (our view from Il Bricco room)
Stresa's Isola Bella (Lake Maggiore)