Category Archives: Italy

GEA Day Four…Badia Prataglia to La Burraia

As we left the village we bumped into the French Guys enjoying a smoke and a coffee, so we had a chat before setting off on our day πŸ™‚

French walkers

The paths were harder to follow today,but much better sunny weather so we arrived in Camaldoli in good time and enjoyed a look round its 16th century pharmacy,where all kinds of herbal lotions and potions were on sale but I resisted from buying any.

Camaldoli pharmacy

We had a choice of coffee shops too, so picked a random one and enjoyed coffee and biscotti before finding our way back onto the GEA,heading for Poggio Scali which promised a panoramic view and would be a change from all these trees!

The french Guys had set up camp by the time we reached Poggio Scali and they were eager  to show us the views and what a delight they were,our first glimpse of what scenery there was outside the trees.

Poggio Scali

After a short break enjoying the views it was off to La Burraia where thankfully ,we had a very warm welcome at the stunningly positioned Rifugio CAI di Forli.

Rifugio CAI di Forli

GEA Day Three .. Chiusi La Verna to Badia Prataglia

We started the day by finding the Campari Fountain a hangover from the 1931 publicity campaign but alas there was no free Campari.

Campari fountain

Then the days walking started off nicely with a walk up to La Verna sanctuary , which we had a wander round before enjoying coffee and cake in the first open cafe to be found πŸ™‚

La Verna Sanctuary

Easier walking today but just as we started the climb up to Poggio Tre Vescovi the heavens opened and we got caught in an amazing hail/thunder storm turning the path into a running stream,making it a very wet and muddy walk for the rest of the day.


A welcome down hill stretch into Badia Prataglia where we found a room at the so called up market hotel Bosco Verde.

GEA Day Two….. St Stefano to Chiusi La Verna

IMG_0652Another tough day with an never ending up hill walk to the ridge but then St Stefano is the lowest point in the walk .

A nice sunny day with the thunder storms just behind or in front of us although we did catch sone rain going up to Eremo La Casella,where we finally met 2 other French walkers doing the GEA.

These walkers were camping so had decided to stay at Eremo , they had a nice warm fire and offered us tea before we set off again by which time the rain had stopped.

Disappointing to find all cafe bars and restaurants that we passed closed and we could get no answers from the hotels so it was a worrying time wondering if we would be sleeping on the streets.

Finally the guest house Da Giovanna answered the phone we booked a room so could really enjoy the 2 hour walk to La Verna

Some pictures of the day are here

GEA Day One…Bocca Trabaria to St. Stefano


A tough start to the walk

We spent most of the day walking in thick gloopy extremely slippery mud, which made the ascents and descents very tricky.

The end of our day was meant to be at Passo di Viamaggio but the only hotel is closed on a Tuesday so we had to carry on to St Stefano.

Where we found a room at a hotel which goes by many different names but today it’s hotel Santo Stefano a souless place to say the least.

The best thing about today was the glorious all day sunshine and the fact we both arrived in one piece after walking over such slippery mud, something I would not have been able to do without my walking poles !

Tomorrow will be a shorter day and I hope the gloopy mud is now behind us.

Some pictures of the day are here

The Wedding

The reason we went to Italy was to see Geoff’s nephew get married πŸ™‚

As it was a late afternoon wedding a little spot of sightseeing had been arranged for during the day.

The mini bus picked us all up at 10.30 and our first stop was…

Montefiore Conca, where we could stop in the local square for coffee and people watch or walk up to the castle rock and look down on Conca valley to the Adriatic sea .

We did both πŸ™‚

Then it was off to il mio casale a small biological farm producing wine and olive oil as well as freash home made pasta.

We had a most wonderful lunch here in an unique railway carriage.

Then back to the Belvedere Hotel for a swim in the pool or a siesta before the wedding.

The wedding was at the beautiful church San Simeone, in Serra di Sopra, Montefiore Conca  the service was wonderful.

The Italian language is so lovely to listen to, the service felt like listening to a song it just flowed πŸ™‚

The reception was at Signora Merli Todaro’s house and was an out side affair which was lovely in the Italian heat.

An 8 course meal was served which included some very unusual food like basil Ice cream πŸ™‚

It was a most wonderful day enjoyed by all πŸ™‚

More photos can be seen here

Sight seeing day 2

Our second day of sight seeing took us to a place also taken from ” A thousand places to see before you die “

That place was Ravenna famous for its mosaics.

This time we missed nothing as I bought a guide book called the Treasures of Ravenna πŸ™‚

We visited 5 of the best sites ,but no photos could capture just how magnificent these mosaics are.

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Wonder if I will ever get the chance to go back and visit




and of course the famous leaning Tower of Pisa

Sight seeing Day 1

As we were too far away from the major sight seeing places in Italy.

We decided to visit two places from the book “a thousand places to see before you die”

So our first visit was to Urbino.

Unfortunately as we had no internet we could not research our visit.

So its only now that I realise we missed out on a visit into Ducal Palace and the Botanical Garden

But we did have a fantastic day and I loved all the beautiful buildings πŸ™‚

more photos can be seen here