Ah, Italia! Oui Travel took a small group to Italy September 2007 and…… spectacular was the consensus. What a great time of year! The beauty of the land as well as seeing all the grandeur of the past, the styles of the present and the delicious food and wine excited our every sense. Feelings become very close to the surface when in Italy. Just landing in a place where we all know was the ruling power of the one time civilized world is thrilling. The blue of the Mediterranean Sea is like no other shade of blue. Driving along the Amalfi coast, the steep drops and hairpin curves, makes the scene seem surreal. Somehow you feel like you are in some glamorous movie set and you are the leading star twisting and turning and catching glimpses of sheer beauty out of the window beside you.
The villa where The Oui Travel Group stayed in Tuscany was so typical. The grounds were sprawling and beautifully maintained. Flowers, lemons, and beautiful foliage decorated the land artistically. Florence was picture perfect, and San Gimignano, still walled with the old stones was also so gorgeous. Of course, Sienna and Pisa offer much to all travelers…..art, culture and a “typical” Italian way of life. What is there to say of Sienna except from above it seems to be painted in earthy hues of the richest red-brown! Breathtaking! There are not enough words to explain Tuscany. The old walled cities, fields and valleys, the clarity of the air, and the sheer beauty must be experienced to be believed!
Although Milan is a bustling city it offers style and a sense of history. A highlight of any excursion to Milan is visiting Santa Maria delle Grazi where Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper" is panted on a wall in what was once the refectory. The Galleria, La Scala, and the Duomo with its famous sculpture of St. Bartholomew are all “musts” to see.
Lake Como and its beautiful little towns and its magnificent lakeside villas (mostly owned by celebrities and business entrepreneurs) are so beautiful that it takes away your breath. A great way to see the beauty is to take the boat ride getting off at areas of interest. Not to be missed is a little town called Varenna.
Venice is the city of canals and winding, narrow streets. The noise in Venice comes not from cars (none here), but from the water transports. The splendor of Venice is found on the banks of the Grand Canal where the wealthy of the past built sumptuous, gold covered structures to impress traders and travelers from the East. Small shops, selling beautiful glass and fashions, line the small, crowded streets.
Sorrento is a wonderful base from which to travel to see Pompeii, the ancient city covered by ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79AD and captured life as it typically was at that time. The Isle of Capri where the rich and famous have vacationed and lived for years is easily reached from Sorrento. If the waters permit, take the boat ride to see “The Blue Grotto, and don’t miss the sky lift which gives an aerial view of the whole island. Naturally, the coastal ride alone is worthy of a visit to Italy.
And, perhaps the most Italian of all would be Rome. What would our world be like without the history provided by those who inhabited, set the standards, and ruled much of the world for so many, many years! Steeped in history and full of life, Rome is teeming with cars, Vespas, and humanity. People virtually live on the streets. They dine outside, they read outside, they show their affection their disgust and anger outside. For all that has been and has died here, this city is vibrant, alive and bustling. Rome could truly be studied as a history book, an art museum, a culinary discovery and a Utopia where life is lived most passionately. Walk Rome and visually gather its treasures.
Naturally, there is too much more to see than what can be mentioned here. Oui Travel staff has traveled all of Italy extensively and would be most happy to help you customize a trip or find the right tour for your desires and budget.