Sunday, November 27, 2016

Italian Riviera: Santa Margherita and Portofino

After spending the morning in Genoa (birthplace of Columbus), we checked into the Lido Palace Hotel (overlooking the promenade) in the seaside resort of Santa Margherita.

I took this photo while waiting to board the boat taking us on a cruise to Portofino . . .

Within minutes of leaving the harbour, the sky threatened rain . . .

However, as the boat neared Portofino, the front cleared and we enjoyed a lovely visit.

I was amazed at how small the harbour was in Portofino.

Mega yachts were docked side-by-side with small fishing boats and dinghies for sailing.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Gardens of Villa Taranto of Lake Maggiore

Our beautiful weather continued with a morning visit to the Gardens of Villa Taranto on Lake Maggiore.

The 40-acre park - started in 1931 by Captain Neil Mc Eacharn's botanic passion - features azalea, rhododendron and camellia avenues, rare lilies and 300 varieties of dahlias.

As we walked closer to the fountain, Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" was playing in the background - perfect!!!

After we left the dahlia beds, we walked up to the greenhouse and were amazed to see "monster" water lilies.

Victoria Cruziana (Santa Cruz water lily) inhabit the upper reaches of the Amazon; the lily pads, with a thick rim, can measure up to 7 feet.

Although neither of us have a "green thumb" for gardening, it was a delightful morning!

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Milan: Castello Sforza Museum, La Scala, Duomo Milan and Galleria

Doug and I had a very busy day in Milan - both the financial capital of Italy and the design capital of the world.

Castello Sforza Musem

Fashion Week was scheduled to start in a few days so many of the major sites, including the Castello Sforza Museum, had been rented for parties and designer fashion shows.

La Scala Theatre/Opera House

The 2016-2017 opera season opens December 7th with Puccini's Madame Butterfly

Duomo Milan

The largest church in Italy and the fifth largest in the world; the Gothic cathedral took nearly 6 centuries to complete.


One of the world's oldest shopping malls - designed in 1861 and officially opened mid-September 1867 - was developed in the historic area between the Duomo and La Scala; it's sometimes called "the living room" of Milan.

We enjoyed a late lunch at Biffi, located on the main arcade entrance nearest to the Duomo.

The 2 iron and glass covered walkways meet at a central piazza below a 154-foot glass dome.

Outside the main arcade entrance nearest to La Scala, there's a small park (Piazza della Scala) with a statue of Leonardo da Vinci, who for many years lived and worked in Milan.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)