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Venice – Days 8, 9 & 10

What to say. We had relatively low expectations for Venice. We’d heard comments like “too dark,” “too smelly,” and “too dirty.” We experienced none of the above. In fact we’d return to Venice in a heartbeat.   We have visited a number of cities in the Baltic area who try to lay claim to being […]

Modena – Day 8

On our way across Italy from Liguria to Venice we stopped in the outskirts of Modena. We visited a balsamic vinegar producer (an acetaia). Acetaia Paltrinieri has been in the business since 1845. We have long been balsamic fans and our interest has grown in recent years as we’ve watched our friends at the Terraces […]

Porto Venere and the Cinque Terre – Days 6, 7 and 8

We pulled into Porto Venere just in time for the golden hour of light (the last hour or two before sunset or sunrise is ideal for photography). The warmth of the light is wonderful. The next morning we were scheduled to take a ferry to the towns of Cinque Terre. Unfortunately they were cancelled due to high winds. […]

Lucca – Day 6

As we headed towards Liguria and the Cinque Terre we stopped for a couple of hours in Lucca. It is known for a couple of things – among them the very well preserved walls that date back to the eleventh century, the church San Michele in Foro, built before 795 and rebuilt in 1070, and […]

Firenze – Days 4-6 (part 2)

There are other things wonderful about Firenze, including d’Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accademia with Michelangelo’s David. Not to mention the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio (with the crazy crowds) and the fun streets scenes (was this a BYOB party/parade).  We also experienced an Italian cooking class, complete with student participation (the cooking AND the eating part). We […]

Firenze – Days 4-6

The Duomo, the Duomo, the Duomo (Also known as Santa Maria del Fiore.) The Duomo up close. The Duomo from across the river. The Duomo as a backdrop. The Duomo after a rain in the early hours of the day. I am glad I wasn’t shooting film, it would have been expensive.

Siena – Day 4

We left Roma and headed north towards Firenze through the heart of Tuscany. We stopped along the way to visit Siena – one of my favorite cities in the area. The Palazzo Publico tower can be seen from the outskirts of the city and is even more impressive up close. Last time we were here (~9 years ago) the Duomo was […]

Roma – Day 3

Today we ventured to some of the piazzas of Roma: Piazza Navona with the Bernini Four Rivers fountain (and the artists trying to sell their wares), the Della Rotunda and the Pantheon, and Piazza Colonna with the carved column dedicated to Marcus Aurelius.     Of course we also had to visit the normal touristy […]

Roma – Days 1 & 2

We set out for the third installment of European Vacation, Feikema family style. This involved the six of us descending on JFK from SFO, MSP and BNA. After the normal JFK high jinks, we all boarded a flight to Roma. We arrived in time to grab a quick pizza, a beer and/or glass of Prosecco, […]

And now from The IVY

We’ve moved from our Lake Elmo home of 23+ years to a condo in downtown Minneapolis. We are loving it. Expect more about that later. In the meantime, here is a sunrise from Lake Elmo and a contrasting shot from the IVY. Quite a change of scenery.