56 Photos - Jul 9, 2014
Photo: Our first stop was at the Agriturismo Ca Beatrice near the Venice Marco Polo airportPhoto: Italian law allows farms to have a restaurant serving local food and an inn with up to 12 bedrooms as a way to preserve small farmsPhoto: The restaurant at the agriturismo is open to the public as well as the guestsPhoto: When John is not cooking he is also the shuttle driver and the night desk clerkPhoto: A toast to Italian food and wine.Photo: First stop, Venice.  This is Santa Maria church seen from the lagoon side.Photo: Palazzo Pisani MorettaPhoto: The main tourist area is around St. Marks and the Doge, or Duke's palacePhoto: Venice has many small canalsPhoto: But the Grand Canal is the star of the show.  In this photo, two water taxis in the foreground, two private boats and a gondola in the mid ground, and a vaporetto or water bus in the background.Photo: The Rialto Bridge is one of the few that cross the Grand Canal.  A gondola ride is the classy way to travel, but the vapoertti water buses (on the right) are far more economical.Photo: The famous Cafe' FlorianPhoto: Gran Teatro la Fenice.Photo: Photo: Photo: The main theater.Photo: A smaller concert parlorPhoto: Santo StefanoPhoto: Venetian ball masques.Photo: The horsemeat butchershopPhoto: Photo: Conegliano was our next stop.  Most second floors here project over and protect the sidewalk.Photo: Photo: Photo: Prosecco tastingPhoto: Our main mode of transportation was these 20 passenger bussesPhoto: Our group meets the guide (white scarf) at the grappa factory.  Marina (left) was our tour leader.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: The Baptistry in Parma.Photo: Photo: Awaiting the balsamic vinegar tasting.Photo: Photo: 25 and 12 year old Aceto Balsamico Traditionale de Modean is the traditional bottlesPhoto: A rail station along the highwayPhoto: Place Garibaldi in ParmaPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: The brining of parmasean cheese.Photo: Aging.  24 months is typical.Photo: Photo: Prosciutto or Parma hamPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Roast pig in San Gimignano .Photo: Greve in Chanti was a really charming town.Photo: Our tour and lunch at Castello de Verrazzano was the high spot of the trip.Photo: Gate to Lucca.Photo: Puccini.  His birthplace, now a museum, in the background.Photo: Cooking class.Photo: It was all about the food.