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Italy October 2017

John was invited to speak at a conference in Milan so we made a vacation of it. We flew into Rome but bypassed the city entirely, renting a car and spending our first night at a B&B near the Roman thermal area. We were out in the country and found a tree weighed down with ripe persimmons and stopped for a very messy snack.

(All photos expand to full size when clicked on)

Our road trip started with a stay at hotel on a hilltop across from Montepulciano with a glorious view of that town.

We visited a Tuscany vineyard which ironically has eleven Swiss owners and the Italian winemaker. That seems to be the direction these traditional vineyards are taking. International ownership aside, the wines were good, but what impressed us was their grappa, which we brought back with us.

We walked Montepulciano enjoying the historic and very picturesque town. As the day approached golden hour it was even more photogenic.

Our friend Richard introduced us to Agriturismo Podere Prasiano in the Emilio Romano area where we stayed for a couple of days. The location was idyllic, breakfast and dinner were delicious and the owners, Massamo and Emanuela were delightful. And it was so aesthetically pleasing.

We visited an excellent winery where we purchased wine to take home with us, as well as some 25 year old balsamic vinegar.

We also explored Fanano, which is where Emanuela is from. The town is known for its sculptures.

And driving the Italian countryside was so beautiful. Everywhere you looked it was a delight to see.

Our final stop was Milan for five days. John mostly attended the conference and I spent my days exploring. I had been in Milan before and had seen the "main" sites so took the opportunity to explore.

I visited the Monumental Cemetery, named accordingly because of the sculptures. It was very beautiful and not at all morbid.

Aside from the main cathedral I visited some lovely churches and walked various neighborhoods.

There was interesting graffiti everywhere and advertising that looked like graffiti.

And I discovered a canal section in Milan that I had not heard of before.

It was a wonderful trip and we ended with a lovely dinner with Per. (The camera was set to creative--so a B&W photo is what we got.

A great trip from beginning to end. Ciao Italia!

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