May 7 –24, 2008
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17
As in the past we spent many months planning where we wanted to go after our week in Florence. We had loved our two days in Venice in 2004. It was a time to go back because my wife fell in love with Venice besides there were twenty four churches that I hadn’t seen.
Our original plan was to fly into Venice on May 9th, take the train to Ferrero, spend the night and pick up our rental car. We booked a hotel and rental car. Then we would drive to Fiesole on Saturday. Mike and Mary would not arrive until Sunday. Three months before the trip, Iberian Airlines, which we had booked, cancel our flight. We had to book another flight three days earlier which necessitated a six hour layover in Madrid and would get us in Venice in the late afternoon instead of the morning on the original flight.
At that point we decided to go to Padua for those three days and pick up our car there. I had been taking an Art History course at Smithsonian on the Age of Faith. Dr. Judith Feldman had spent a lot of time talking about Ravenna and the mosaics in the churches. She really encouraged me to spend some time there so we planned a whole day in Ravenna as a detour our way to Tuscany.
As in the past I spent time researching churches that we would visit, keeping a notebook with outlines of things to see. My wife did a lot of research on other things we wanted to explore. Since we had so much fun having an apartment in Paris, we decided to rent an apartment in Venice rather than stay in a hotel. She reserved a two bedroom apartment in the Cann a Regio area near the Ca’d’oro vaporetto stop. She also booked three restaurants in Venice, bought tickets for Arena Chapel in Padua, the Uffizi and Academia in Florence, a secret tour of the Doge’s Palace in Venice and a concert in Venice. All of these attractions have very long lines. With pre-purchased tickets, we went to the head of the line with almost no wait. The internet and credit cards make these arrangements very easy. We would encourage those who travel to purchase tickets and make reservations in advance.
This CATHEDRAL QUEST was more relaxing than our other tours since we did not have to travel to a new city every couple of days. We did need our car, or at least one car, to get us from the villa in Montoloro to Fiesole where we caught the bus to Florence. I didn’t drive too often as Mike wanted to drive because thought he was a race driver in one of those Italian movies. He loved the narrow winding roads. I had to close my eyes often and say a lot of prayers.
Click on the links below to visit the fun adventures that we had every day of this trip.