Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Top Ten’

Daily Italian Doses | Top Ten Tuscan Summer Food Festivals

Now that I got to thinking about sagre from yesterday, I shall continue to torture myself with an article I found about all the food I won’t be enjoying this summer.  For the complete article from Tuscanycious I recommend you click HERE.

 

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2013   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Top Ten | Cheap Thrills in Italy

Who says you need to spend a fortune to enjoy yourself when traveling.  The following are my very favorite and very affordable experiences.

10.  Crossing the street.  If anyone disagrees with me here, they have obviously never tried to do so in Rome.

9.  Driving on the Autostrada.  The thrill goes both ways.  I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and out in the open.  It seems though, no matter how well I’m doing or how fast I’m going, some Italian is on my butt.

8.  Ordering an espresso (or two) in the afternoon.  I just can’t get enough of coffee in Italy and I find myself sneaking in and out of bars through the day indulging in my addiction.

7.  If coffee isn’t your thing, then I dare you to double down on gelato.  Ignore those raised eyebrows and go back for seconds or order a triple to begin with.  My mouth watering combo?  Pistachio, hazelnut and something chocolate!

6.   For you ladies wanting to live on the edge and believe in fashion at all costs, try an evening on the town in heels.  There is nothing more amazing or sexy than watching the Italian women strut along the cobblestones.  I have tried this myself and….well, not so sexy but I didn’t break anything.

5.  Passeggiata.  Probably my favorite time of the day, when the day trippers have gone home and the locals come out to catch up on the day’s news.  There is no better time to people watch and be watched!  Even in the smallest of villages, people can be found out and about during the evening right before dinner.  Couples holding hands, old women arm in arm.  Magic.

4.  Sagra.  These food centered festivals are everywhere, in every town or village.  Love garlic, cheese or olives?  You are in luck because there are a handful of places across Italy ready to celebrate.

3. Festivals.  Each and every town has some festival rooted in tradition that you can be a part of with the right timing.  The activities vary widely, from pushing wine barrels up the steep city center to decorating the ground with elaborate works of art made from flower petals.

Another perk to flirting: better prices

2.  Flirting.  It’s free and it’s everywhere.  The men in Italy love women and not just the Victoria Secret model women.  Feeling bad about the extra weight you can’t seem to get rid of?  Having trouble hiding the grey?  No worries!  Italian men are professionals when it comes to making a woman feel beautiful, any woman.  Flirting taken with the right frame of mind can be a great ego boost.  Of course, if they go too far I’m not afraid to let them know they’ve crossed a line.

1.  Battling the old women during the morning market.  You have to mentally prepare for this scenario.  They are plump and sweet on the bench in the piazza, but they are shrewd and as stealthy as any ninja at the vegetable stall.

travel

Sweet and innocent? Don’t be so sure

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Trattoria da Sandro Open Again | Vernazza

When people ask me where my very favorite restaurant in Vernazza is, without hesitation I say Sandro’s.  It is one of the only restaurants without a view of the harbor, but that doesn’t keep it from being packed every evening.  The crowd Sandro’s draws is also important:  locals and Italians.  Going where the locals go has always been my secret for finding the best places and I wasn’t disappointed here.  So much so that almost one year ago I placed it on my Top Ten Favorite Places to Eat list.

Sandro's

The village of Vernazza

But when the floods hit Vernazza last October, I was afraid Sandro’s would be lost for good.  This restaurant was one of the hardest hit and the owner barely escaped with his life.  The location of the restaurant and the way the kitchen was set up meant a difficult clean up and recovery.

This hardship makes announcing Trattoria da Sandro’s re-opening even more exciting.  If anyone is getting ready to travel to the Cinque Terre, make sure to stop by Vernazza and spend an evening here.  Let them delight you!

For the most recent photos from Trattoria da Sandro, I invite you to my blogging friend’s mouth-watering article at Cultural Comments.  I have been trying not to be too jealous of Nicole, but come on!  Those photos are just NOT FAIR!

vernazza cinque terre

Courtesy of Cultural Comments. And I’m not jealous at all. Really.

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Father’s Day Tribute | Travel Memories With My Dad In Italy

I couldn’t help re-posting for Daddy’s Day.

My dad is my great friend and to the disbelief of my old high school self, I have come to realize we are actually quite alike in personality.

Except at some crucial moments when we are traveling.

Over the last few years I have taught my dad the beauty and art of savoring the moment and throwing schedules to the wind.  My dad has reminded me that patience with family and a perfect packing job make for a better vacation.  Here is my list of favorite travel moments with him.  Some good, some bad and some utterly embarrassing.  Hey dad, this is pay back for grilling my boyfriends in the living room before they could date me.

10.  My parents met me in Rome after a cruise.  This was their first time ever in my favorite city on the planet and I couldn’t wait to make the introductions.  One of the first things I taught my dad was how to cross the busy streets; walk out with confidence while maintaining eye contact and never hesitating.  At his first lesson, I told him to stay close and do what I did.  When we got to the other side of the street he turned to my mom and said, “Our daughter has balls of steel!”

9.  I have driven a stick shift most of my life and usually have no problem, but on one particular day I was trying to get up a steep gravel road in our excessively weighted down sardine box of a rental.  I stalled half way up and couldn’t get the momentum back.  My dad saved the day, maneuvering that sorry car up the hill with gravel flying and smoke trailing behind us.  I am sure our hosts were wondering what they had gotten into watching our approach from above.

8.  Speaking of that cracker jack box of a rental, I had accidentally reserved an economy sized car instead of a compact.  Doesn’t sound too bad, right?  Not unless you want to take your luggage with you.  I stood in front of the car and fought back tears.  There was no way we were going to fit four adults, one child with her car seat and our luggage.  Then my dad started putting stuff together like a real-life game of Tetris.  The ride wasn’t the most luxurious but we didn’t have to leave anyone behind.  I know for a fact I could not have done that without him.

Well, hello again

7.  My dad has an uncanny sense of direction, maybe it was all the Boy Scout trips of his youth.  You can blind fold him, drop him in the middle of nowhere and before you can say Bear Grylls he will have found his way home.  Except in Italy.  For some reason his internal compass goes awry and I’m not sure if he would be able to find his head if it wasn’t attached.  Of course, we didn’t discover this until one fateful night in Rome when my dad was leading the charge toward the Spanish Steps.  Instead, we found ourselves repeatedly visiting the Column of Marcus Aurelius.  My dad commented that he didn’t realize Rome had so many relief style columns; I commented that I didn’t realize my dad knew how to read a map upside down.  Not the best night for the two of us.

6.  The issues with directions didn’t end there.  Originally, my dad was to be my co-pilot and right hand man in the car.  Nothing was farther from the truth and the tension came to a breaking point near Milan as I was demanding to know which exit to take for Lake Como.  He was utterly frozen and I was less than kind.  My mom decided to chirp in from the back seat (where her sole job was to entertain my daughter) and ‘help’ which only infuriated both of us more.  My dad balled up the map and threw it in her face, telling her where she could put it.  Mind you, this all happen in front of my four year old and the version found here is toned down for the sake of my readers.  The event made a lasting impression on my daughter, and to this day she will ask me to reenact the day Papa threw that map at Nana.

5.  For the most part though, travel with my dad has been bonding.  One of my favorite things to do with him is go for a morning cappuccino and then spend the rest of the day popping in and out of little cafes for our espresso fixes when my mom isn’t looking.

4.  Another great memory is cooking together with my dad after shopping in the morning markets.  Sometimes we would make nothing more than cheese and meat platters, other times we would go all out.  Once my dad made us steaks cooked over a centuries old hearth in a little villa in Tuscany while I put together a simple Carbonara.  Perfection.

3.  On that first trip to Rome, I took my dad into the Roman Forum.  I can’t explain how touching it was to look over and see him bent down on one knee and weeping over the site of Caesar’s cremation.  I knew then he wasn’t the average tourist.

2.  His love for Italy and travel in general started on that first trip and then blossomed even further when he returned two years later.  Watching him grow to appreciate and love the people and lifestyle of Italy was amazing.

Pants removal not required.

1.  I made sure my parents both traveled with their money belts containing everything of value safely tucked beneath the pants and safe from the fingers of pick-pockets.  They were instructed on the importance of use and what they should keep stowed inside.  What I forgot to mention, because the thought never ever even occurred to me, is that you do not need to remove your pants to access your money belt.  Yes, that’s right.  I happened to walk into the lobby of our hotel and found my dad in the corner with his pants around his thighs trying to pull a credit card out of his money belt.

Sorry dad, but this one was too good not to share.


I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Top Ten | Travel Memories With My Mom In Italy

I have been asked to be more…..delicate with this list.  While my mom is a good sport she is a tad bit more sensitive than my dad.  I was banned from throwing her 50th birthday party after she watched my dad endure poo cakes, pin the colostomy on the donkey and beer served in urinals at his.  I guess I can’t blame her.

So here goes nothing, don’t be too mad mom.

Traveling was something my mom and I talked about doing together for years, but I refused to go anywhere with her until she learned not to pack three suitcases.  She did eventually learn the art of packing light-ish and I was able to teach her there is beauty in unexpected places (even those with bathrooms down the hall).  She showed me that accepting differences is easier than expecting change and that sometimes people need time to adapt.  Patience and understanding were lessons well worth learning for me.

10.  No matter how old you are, when you feel sick there is nothing better than a mom.  I was slammed with the worst stress induced cold on one of our trips and she kept me rested and hydrated until I could get back on my feet.

Disposal of the offending outfit.

9.  There were many fashion items I learned to just endure when traveling with my mom, but one item in particular was just more than I could take.  The guilty item was a light blue matching warm up suit that screamed LOOK AT ME, I’M A TOURIST!  Weeks of relentless pleading, begging, taunting and threats finally lead to the disposal of that horrific suit.  We called it the walk of shame.

8.  I introduced my mom to one of my Italian indulgences.  Handbag shopping.  My favorite spot is a little boutique in Orvieto.  The ladies kept bringing out more and more bags for us to ‘try on.’  We were the center of attention while they gave us their opinions.  I walked out with two that day!

7.  On one of our long trips together, my parents watched my daughter while I led a tour group.  I scheduled a day of my tour so that I could spend the afternoon in Florence with my daughter.  I insisted my mom come with us and we spent the day riding in horse-drawn carriages, chasing pigeons and chatting with the locals.  Somehow having the three generations of ladies together made the time that much more special.

6.  Civita.  One of my most special places in Italy.  I could not wait to share this experience with my parents.  But fate had other plans for us.  My daughter was sick and puking, so I took her up to the village to try and get her settled.  Meanwhile, I had left my parents to bring up their suitcases and planned on going back for mine later.  What I did not realize was that my dad would take my Rome lecture about safety to the extreme here in this village and insist that my mom help him carry EVERYTHING from the car, uphill over the bridge and to the B&B.  Mind you, this was also during my mom’s transitional packing light stage.  She arrived at my most special place exhausted, overheated, angry and crying.  And that was before she discovered she had to use a bathroom down the hall.  Things were not as I had envisioned.  Civita has a magical effect though, and by morning she was under its spell.

antico forno civita B&B

The infamous bridge of luggage terror.

5.  My mom is the great encourager.  On a trip to Italy when my daughter was only two and I was still a single mom, I found her constantly telling me how brave I was and what a good job I was doing.  One day in particular we were climbing Giotto’s Tower in Florence.  I had my daughter secured to me in a sling while I marched up to the top.  When my mom met me there, I remember her telling me she couldn’t believe how strong I was.  Of course she meant physically but the encouragement was taken even deeper.

4.  My parents have been together since high school.  Yes, one of those sickly sweet romantic true love stories.  I’m used to it and all the mushy, lovely dovey stuff that comes with it.  Over a dinner in Cortona, my mom consumed a little more than her usual amount of wine and I found myself asking them to cool their jets.  The making out was beginning to draw attention and I found myself blushing as she french-kissed him over dessert.

3.  I am a control freak when it comes to my daughter.  I am also a control freak when it comes to driving in Italy.  I needed to leave on tour and decided to make my mom the designated driver while I was gone.  We spent a full week practicing how to drive with the crazy Italians.  I showed her the best ways to deal with passing or being passed on the autostrada, how to assertively but safely manage the round abouts and how to park without getting boxed in.  The thing I loved the most was watching her gain confidence.

2.  While mom might have trouble with rooms lacking private bathrooms, she certainly knows how to roll with the punches when it comes to glitches in travel.  The rain rolled in and threatened to ruin our plans, but instead we embraced the grey and grabbed our umbrellas.  We spent an entire day in Cortona sipping on coffee and splashing in puddles while other tourists (whose names will be withheld) pouted in their rooms.

1.  Life hasn’t always been fair for my mom.  She missed out on experiences as a child that should have brought her comfort and given her confidence.  On a visit to this amazing little pottery studio (read more here), I learned about a passion my mom possessed that I was completely unaware of.  I don’t think her face ever looked more peaceful or beautiful than it did that day as she worked at the pottery wheel.

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Reasons Traveling with Kids is Cool

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I was crazy to take my toddler to Italy by myself I would have never come back.  “You are wasting your money; she will never remember anything.  She will be a mess on that long flight.  How will you pack everything by yourself?  She won’t stand going to museums or sitting through long dinners.”  Jet lag, potty issues, getting sick, being bored.  I heard it all.

But one month after my daughter’s second birthday I defiantly boarded a flight to Rome armed with a backpack of her necessities, one suitcase for both of us, a stroller and Benadryl.  I could see that look in the other passengers’ faces.

You know the one, just before they quickly darted their eyes away hoping to avoid direct contact.

The dread and fear of having to sit next to a kid on a long flight.  Then the absolute elation as we walked by.  I could actually hear the sighs of relief.  I don’t blame them for hoping we were nowhere near their seat; thirteen hours with a small child in an even smaller space could be considered a version of hell on earth.  Yet, she fooled them all.  To the shock and relief of those around me she was an angel on the plane.  After devouring her ‘fancy’ meal, she watched a movie and then proceeded to pass out.  I can’t say the same for many of the other passengers.

Once in Italy, I quickly found out that traveling with my daughter did two things:  opened doors to experiences and got us free stuff.  People who would have done nothing more than complete their transaction with me or more likely not even noticed my presence were suddenly whisking us behind counters and showing us part of the real Italian life I had not seen before.  We met dogs; we met grandkids.  We watered plants and learned to make pizza.  We held rabbits and petted goats.

I haven’t even gotten to the free stuff.

My daughter learned a simple smile meant extra scoops of gelato or little candies in her hand.  I don’t think I went anywhere with her that some old lady wasn’t trying to feed her or put sweets in her pockets.  She was the star at dinner, our waiters taking pride in her appetite.  She had no need for a menu, they would prepare whatever she desired without hesitation.  I was once chided for not ordering her enough food and found extra plates appearing on the table free of charge.  Did I ever pay for dessert?  Maybe my own.

She loved the Roman Forum, although it was the beetles not the ruins that caught her eye.  Every new hill town was exciting; who knew how many kitties would be hiding in the narrow cobblestone streets.  Trains were a marvel.  Maps became new toys.  Piazzas her playgrounds.  My passion for travel deepened with each new discovery she made.

Maybe I was crazy and it is true that she doesn’t remember that trip, but my daughter has no fear of the unknown and loves new experiences.  I have since taken her back to Italy (see the photos below) and she now has her own travel bucket list.  The lesson to be taken here is that having a family does not mean your travel dreams are over.  They are just different.  I may not be able to travel as much as I did before, but I never use children as my excuse to stay home.  Travel is good for them.  They begin to understand the world is a bigger place and differences are to be celebrated.  Travel is good for you.  You will find indescribable joy watching your child experience another culture.

I could list the top reasons why traveling with kids is cool, but I think these pictures do a better job.

Joining up again with the fabulous writers at yeah write. Click the button below to read some truly wonderful writers and don’t forget to return on Thursday to vote for your five favorite posts.

Copyright 2012  Andi Brown  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Top Ten | Travel Memories With My Dad In Italy

My dad is my great friend and to the disbelief of my old high school self, I have come to realize we are actually quite alike in personality.

Except at some crucial moments when we are traveling.

Over the last few years I have taught my dad the beauty and art of savoring the moment and throwing schedules to the wind.  My dad has reminded me that patience with family and a perfect packing job make for a better vacation.  Here is my list of favorite travel moments with him.  Some good, some bad and some utterly embarrassing.  Hey dad, this is pay back for grilling my boyfriends in the living room before they could date me.

10.  My parents met me in Rome after a cruise.  This was their first time ever in my favorite city on the planet and I couldn’t wait to make the introductions.  One of the first things I taught my dad was how to cross the busy streets; walk out with confidence while maintaining eye contact and never hesitating.  At his first lesson, I told him to stay close and do what I did.  When we got to the other side of the street he turned to my mom and said, “Our daughter has balls of steel!”

9.  I have driven a stick shift most of my life and usually have no problem, but on one particular day I was trying to get up a steep gravel road in our excessively weighted down sardine box of a rental.  I stalled half way up and couldn’t get the momentum back.  My dad saved the day, maneuvering that sorry car up the hill with gravel flying and smoke trailing behind us.  I am sure our hosts were wondering what they had gotten into watching our approach from above.

8.  Speaking of that cracker jack box of a rental, I had accidentally reserved an economy sized car instead of a compact.  Doesn’t sound too bad, right?  Not unless you want to take your luggage with you.  I stood in front of the car and fought back tears.  There was no way we were going to fit four adults, one child with her car seat and our luggage.  Then my dad started putting stuff together like a real-life game of Tetris.  The ride wasn’t the most luxurious but we didn’t have to leave anyone behind.  I know for a fact I could not have done that without him.

Well, hello again

7.  My dad has an uncanny sense of direction, maybe it was all the Boy Scout trips of his youth.  You can blind fold him, drop him in the middle of nowhere and before you can say Bear Grylls he will have found his way home.  Except in Italy.  For some reason his internal compass goes awry and I’m not sure if he would be able to find his head if it wasn’t attached.  Of course, we didn’t discover this until one fateful night in Rome when my dad was leading the charge toward the Spanish Steps.  Instead, we found ourselves repeatedly visiting the Column of Marcus Aurelius.  My dad commented that he didn’t realize Rome had so many relief style columns; I commented that I didn’t realize my dad knew how to read a map upside down.  Not the best night for the two of us.

6.  The issues with directions didn’t end there.  Originally, my dad was to be my co-pilot and right hand man in the car.  Nothing was farther from the truth and the tension came to a breaking point near Milan as I was demanding to know which exit to take for Lake Como.  He was utterly frozen and I was less than kind.  My mom decided to chirp in from the back seat (where her sole job was to entertain my daughter) and ‘help’ which only infuriated both of us more.  My dad balled up the map and threw it in her face, telling her where she could put it.  Mind you, this all happen in front of my four year old and the version found here is toned down for the sake of my readers.  The event made a lasting impression on my daughter, and to this day she will ask me to reenact the day Papa threw that map at Nana.

5.  For the most part though, travel with my dad has been bonding.  One of my favorite things to do with him is go for a morning cappuccino and then spend the rest of the day popping in and out of little cafes for our espresso fixes when my mom isn’t looking.

4.  Another great memory is cooking together with my dad after shopping in the morning markets.  Sometimes we would make nothing more than cheese and meat platters, other times we would go all out.  Once my dad made us steaks cooked over a centuries old hearth in a little villa in Tuscany while I put together a simple Carbonara.  Perfection.

3.  On that first trip to Rome, I took my dad into the Roman Forum.  I can’t explain how touching it was to look over and see him bent down on one knee and weeping over the site of Caesar’s cremation.  I knew then he wasn’t the average tourist.

2.  His love for Italy and travel in general started on that first trip and then blossomed even further when he returned two years later.  Watching him grow to appreciate and love the people and lifestyle of Italy was amazing.

Pants removal not required.

1.  I made sure my parents both traveled with their money belts containing everything of value safely tucked beneath the pants and safe from the fingers of pick-pockets.  They were instructed on the importance of use and what they should keep stowed inside.  What I forgot to mention, because the thought never ever even occurred to me, is that you do not need to remove your pants to access your money belt.  Yes, that’s right.  I happened to walk into the lobby of our hotel and found my dad in the corner with his pants around his thighs trying to pull a credit card out of his money belt.

Sorry dad, but this one was too good not to share.


I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Things I love about Italy | A Valentine’s Day Tribute

I thought in honor of sweetheart’s day I would simply list the things that I love about Italy.  Here they are, off the top of my head and in no particular order.  Go ahead, I encourage you to make your own list and send me the link to include in a future post about our love affair with this amazing place!

  • passeggiata
  • house wine
  • pistachio  gelato
  • bells tolling in the morning
  • the sound of swallows in Siena
  • the smell of sunrise
  • the sound of silverware on china plates in the late evening from my balcony window
  • guessing how fast the car that just passed me is going
  • the thrill of a good parking spot
  • porchetta straight from the van
  • the click of high heels on cobblestones
  • a cool drink from a fountain when in Rome
  • the bored look of the officials after baggage claim
  • osso bucco in Rome
  • polenta served family style
  • giving exact change
  • cheek kisses
  • espresso shots
  • savoring a morning cappuccino
  • following my nose for dinner
  • old men on benches
  • marveling at what an ape can carry

    Courtesy of Italy from the Inside

Did I miss something?  Send my a link to your Things I love about Italy list.

I love feedback, so leave me comments!

copyright 2012  Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel

Top Ten: Embarrassing Travel Moments in Italy

It is only fair that I include my personal top ten embarrassing travel moments after poking fun of others.  Ready or not here they are, and a third of them have to do with poo.  I apologize ahead of time.

10.  On a night train from Brindisi to Venice (when I was a teva wearing college backpacker) a very intoxicated older man slipped into our sleeping car and proceeded to try and feel me up.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt due to his state the first time and politely moved his hand.  The second time he grabbed my butt I kicked him in the face.

9.  I found a passport on the ground in Rome and spent the next several days feeling smug wondering if poor Sheila ever made it out of the country.  When I went to check in at my next accommodation, I realized I had left mine in the lobby of our previous B&B.  Not so smug anymore was I.

8.  Being related to my parents who bum-rushed the train from Rome to Florence, pushing and shoving everyone out of their way (with their luggage) in a hurry to find seats together.  They figured out too late that their seats were actually assigned.

The guilty party.

7.  I didn’t realize there is etiquette on a train when it comes to using the loo.  I found myself taking a poop in the middle of a station as the train made a painfully long stop.

6.  At a restaurant I had to use the one and only bathroom on the premises (and yes, it was a #2 again).  To my horror I absolutely could not figure out how to flush the damn thing.  I gave up and went to leave….bumping into a very handsome gentleman heading in to use the facilities after me.  Check please!

5.  Too late I realized there was not a square of toilet paper in the bathroom and I was without my trusty multi-purpose guidebook pages.  I had no choice but to use my favorite pair of polka dot underwear.

4.  After enjoying a splurge at a restaurant in Rome I went to the bathroom to…..just kidding!  I looked over the bill and saw that the tip was included so I did what I had been told to do and rounded up the total.  The waiter seeing that I had not given a second tip started throwing a tantrum and flapping the receipt all over the restaurant.  Horrified I threw him some money and ran out.  To this day I have no idea what happened.

3.  I rented my car…..for the wrong month.  Worse yet, it was for my tour group.

2.  I blame Rick Steves for this one.  On my backpacking college trip I took his Italian Phrase Book which had a fun section with things to say that were a little off the cuff; fun slang and curse words to break the ice with the locals.  One word we really latched on to was stronzo, the definition said it meant a dried hard piece of poo (I again apologize.  I’m a mother of 3 and a nurse, poo is a way of life for me).   We yelled it out at random times, more so when intoxicated.  One night, while watching the World Cup with some local friends we had recently made, we used our new word.  The crowd became silent and all eyes were on us.  Evidently dried hard piece of poo is putting it nicely.  We never uttered that word again.

1.  My friend and I decided to try and take an earlier train out of Rome but the line for tickets had taken forever.  We had no choice but to run for it (backpacks and all).  Just as we were about to climb the stairs to our platform, my friend slipped and fell backwards.  The weight of her pack prevented her from getting up and she literally looked like an upended tortoise.  I got her back on her feet and we went screaming up the stairs, taking them two at a time.  Red faced and breathless we were greeted with disapproving stares.  To my confusion, there was no train on the platform and everyone seemed to be just milling about.   I noticed the reader board.  One word.  Ritardo.  Late.  Aahh Italy.

Joining up again with the fabulous writers at yeah write. Click the button below to read some truly wonderful writers and don’t forget to return on Thursday to vote for your five favorite posts.

I love feedback, so leave me comments!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Top Ten: Things actually heard or done while on tour in Italy

On tour in Vernazza

When I was taking small groups on tour in Italy, I learned to never be too surprised at what I overheard.  Some funny, some unbelievable but all entertaining.  I can laugh at this even more knowing I have an entire list dedicated to the embarassing things I’ve said and done over the years.  Enjoy!

10.  Two lovely ladies got a jump-start to my tour but taking a tour of their own in Rome.  They aren’t sure what they saw or why it was important as the whole thing was in Italian.

9.  Get R Done.  Repeatedly said during a walking tour of the Roman Forum in response to the architectural accomplishments.

8.  Wet T-shirt contest!!  Yelled out on the Rialto Bridge during a sudden rain storm.

7.  Great, more Chef Boyardee.  Referring to the homemade pasta being served.

6.  I was asked if the artists at the market used paint by numbers.

Travel Italy

5.  During a wonderful wine tasting, we were being educated on the types of grapes used in the area.  One of my members proceeded to explain how they made dandelion wine back home.

4.  While enjoying the sun on the tiny beach in the village of Vernazza, I was asked “Is this Florence?”

3.  Does the food and wine happen to get any better?  We were in Rome at the time.

2.  I’m not going on the Colosseum tour.  It’s just not my thing.

1.  I was worried about getting my passport in time but my jail probation period was finally over!

Roman Forum, part of the Colosseum tour

I love feedback, so leave me comments!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 417 other followers

%d bloggers like this: