Bien` Bien`

Adventures by Disney in Italy     May 20-June 1, 2018

My bucket list just got shorter and sharing the experience with my entire family was such a blessing.  The Amalfi Coast was all I could hope it would be.   Twinkling lights of the homes along the coastline, private boat tour of Capri along the route where Ulysses was tempted by the Sirens coupled with seafood and a glass of Campania white wine—bien` bien`.  No trip to Positano would be complete without a stop at Valentino’s limoncello factory. Yes we split a case which we received shortly after our trip.  The adults were treated to lunch at the gorgeous Il San Pietro Di Positano hotel while the kids were entertained by GaGino, mackie’s newly acquired snail.  Our last stop in leaving Positano was at Ceramiche Casola where Heather and I purchased beautiful dinnerware for familigia Wise.

When in Rome…Disney takes that to a new level.  I fully expected Russell Crowe to appear in his Gladiator attire at the Coliseum and St Peter’s basilica was a site in itself to behold.  Of course no trip is complete without the toss of a coin into the Trevi fountain or a a cone of gelato. But the icing on the cake was Mickey Mouse’s connection with the Pope by providing a private tour for of our group in the Vatican museum.  My knees literally buckled when I stepped into the Sistine Chapel.

What another way to celebrate your 16th wedding anniversary than in Rome at a small intimate Italian restaurant recommended by our tour guide Alexia.  To set the mood the lights were lowered as the entire restaurant of motly locals sang in Italian.  Plenty of helpings of meatballs and great vino made our last night in Rome a memorable one.

Disney does not disappoint as they allowed us to experience the reverence of Memorial Day by stopping at the American cemetery outside Orvieto  to honor our fallen soldiers who helped liberate Italy.   What a beautiful medieval setting on the way to Borgo Cortefreda our Tuscan destination in the San Gimigiano area. The wine tasting trips to Fattoria Pollio Alloro and Castello Di Verrazzano allowed us to enjoy stunning vistas with wonderful food and wine accompanied by an opera singer from our group.  YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.  The pasta making experience was one of many highlights for all to enjoy. Fattoria Polio Alloro has represented Italy at the Disney Wine and Food Fest the past three years and will be there this fall.  The Chianti and white wine from their farm was “bellissimo” and yes we shipped back wine and olive oil.  We made day trips into Florence and YES we took pics with THE DAVID.  We also enjoyed a wonderful Florence steak and of course plenty of pizza.
We bid goodbye to the beautiful Tuscan region and hoped aboard the bullet train for our cross country trip to Venice. Europe does it right with their train system.  We stepped from the train station into our gondola for a trip into Venice while Disney took our luggage across the canal to the beautiful Hilton Molina Stucky.  NOT MAKING THIS UP—when our gondola turned into the Grand Canal there was an opera singer accompanied by an accordion to complete our trip to disembark for lunch.
The history of the Medici family throughout Florence and the elected leaders of the former Venice republic with the Palazzo Ducale (Doges Palace) shows the magnificent architecture of the country.  The history of the Bridge of Sighs connecting the east side of the Doge’s Palace with the state’s prison over the Rio de Palazzo was a point of interest noted by our tour guide. Prisoners were led through to their execution with that beautiful view the last they would see.
Our farewell to beautiful Venice took us aboard the Jolly Roger where we dined in our masks we made at the tour in Venice.  It was an emotional goodbye as we bid farewell to our wonderful Disney guides Alexa and Kelly.  Arrivederci to a beautiful country. Thank you for memories I will cherish the remainder of my time.