Per Non Dormire.

We started talking about it in 2007. Put it off. Brought it up again in 2011. Then 2012. 2013. You get the picture. Everyone around me was tired of hearing me talk about this “someday” trip to Italy. Every year, we placed our priorities in other projects, other goals, other trips. Until now….

Ponte Vechio

It was worth the wait.

florence-mosaic

While visiting a few of the magnificent palaces in Florence, our guide shared the story of Bartolini Salimbeni, who’s family crest includes 3 poppies. Rumor had it they made opium. And sold textiles. One of the family members heard of a large shipment of exceptionally fine wool was arriving soon for auction. The night before it’s arrival, the family invited all of their competitors to dinner where they served them wine, with a little something extra. The next morning, the competitors were still sleeping off the effects of the drug when the Salimbeni family scooped up all the wool for a minimal price. The gains of this deal ensured the financial foundation of this family and they adopted their motto “per non dormire”, because we didn’t sleep. And this then became the motto of our trip.

per-non-dormire

Onto Venice for a quick day trip.

venice

venice-mosaic

Then on to our next adventure in Tuscany. We visited Chianti, Montepulciano, Montalcino and San Gimignano.tuscany

tuscany-mosaic

Then on the train to Cinque Terre.

cinque-mosaic

 

cinque2

The towns are absolutely breathtaking. But don’t let any one fool you, hiking Cinque Terre is no joke.

Since we were finishing our trip in Nice, I looked for a little town along the coast to stop for a few days. Research turned up Alassio. Never heard of it? Apparently not many have. The train pulled up the Alassio station, it was gloomy and overcast. We pulled up to the stop and we were the only ones to get off. The station looked deserted. Oh, no, what have I done? Dragging luggage through pouring rain, a GPS who led us to….well, nowhere. By the time we got to our hotel we were less than optimistic. But the next morning, the clouds broke and we had a gorgeous couple of days in this cute, quaint little beach town. It was without a doubt one of my very favorite parts of the trip.

alassio2

alassio-mosaic

Then off to Nice for the last stop on our journey. A quick trip to Monaco and some relaxation on the beach was a wonderful way to finish our trip.

nice

monaco

nice-sunset