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Viva Italia!! Circarama's "Adventures By Disney" Trip Report

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  • #61
    Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report



    We woke bright and early Sunday morning. We had to pack because the Disney guides had requested that our bags be outside our room by 7:45. The bellmen would then bring them downstairs and load them on the bus. Did I mention that all the tipping was taken care of by Disney too? So sweeet!

    After breakfast, we pulled away from the Bernini Bristol at 8:30. Thus began our departure from Rome and our trek towards Tuscany. After about an hour we arrived in Orvieto, a medieval hill town in the Umbria region of Italy. There are 20 regions in Italy, and Umbria is just south of the Tuscany region. Some would argue that Umbria is the unspoiled (by tourism) version of Tuscany.

    When visiting the old district of Orvieto (the new district is at the bottom of the hill), most people park at the train station and take a funicular, or incline railcar, to the top of the hill...










    We loaded up on the funicular and headed to the top of the hill. It was a new experience for me, and it was pretty cool to look at the town below disappear from view as we rose higher and higher.
















    We turned a corner and started heading east, and all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye, I see this huge cathedral looming overhead.





    After a brief discussion about the duomo, and Orvieto itself...


    ...we were turned loose for a couple of hours of sightseeing. We went to an overlook by the church and took in the amazing views.




    Then we took a look around the piazza, and decided to get an espresso with our friends from Chicago. While sipping away at my new favorite drink, we decided to wander thru the back streets of Orvieto. What fun it was to simply explore with nothing on our agenda for a couple of hours. I think all of us felt a sense of relief after pushing so hard, to see so much, in the last couple of days.
























    After that, we decided to get some lunch. We found a great little mom-and-pop diner and got some great pasta!















    Old guys sitting on the wall waiting for...?



    We soon arrived at our hilltop villa in Artimino



    Our villa, La Ferdinanda, was built in 1594!

    Mr. Toad car

    We exited the bus, and the proprietors had a wine and cheese reception waiting for us on the lawn.





    For FishBulb.








    Look at the very happy girl...




    It's always a good thing when you can please the wifey ...























    Tomorrow: We split off from our Adventures By Disney tour group and meet some friends from Parma who take us to see Pisa and another hilltop town, San Gimignano.

    CLICK HERE FOR DAY 6 OF OUR ADVENTURE.
    Last edited by Circarama; 11-02-2008, 09:06 PM.
    Charlie :wave:
    MiceChat User #1037

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    • #62
      Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

      Originally posted by Silver7 View Post
      What guidebooks did you read (or did you) to prepare for your trip? If you did, which ones came in handy the most?
      We planned our trips using the Rick Steves guide books, Frommers day-by-day guide, and we also used the Langenscheidt Italian phrasebook.
      Charlie :wave:
      MiceChat User #1037

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      • #63
        Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

        AMAZING!

        I was just drooling over Adventures by Disney packages yesterday, and it's great to see a first-hand account from someone who has been on one of the trips!

        Thanks so much, and keep it coming!

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        • #64
          Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

          Wonderful reporting, kids! Almost like being there . . . except I'm eating oatmeal right now, not quite the caliber of what you've been consuming! )
          "Not Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Astor together could have
          raised money enough to buy a quarter share in my little dog."

          � Ernest Thompson Seton

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          • #65
            Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

            This is one of my favorite threads ever. I just don't want your trip to end. Each new post is a glorious joy to read. Very entertaining - not just the pictures but the way you are describing your journey!
            MiceChat 101: Be NICE! If you don't play well with others, you are in the wrong sandbox.

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            • #66
              Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

              Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
              Wow Charlie, what a fantastic trip. I can't wait to see the rest. But this image is haunting me:

              Oh my goodness...It was very creepy to think these were actual monks. However, It didn't "feel" bad. I tend to be sensitive to "spiritual" situations and I never got the sense that this was a bad thing as strange as it looks. I think the artist did this out of love. Still creepy though...
              Tigerlily
              aka Mrs. Circarama

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              • #67
                Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

                Awesomely amazing Charlie. Looks like you and Darlene had an absolutely fabulous time.

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                • #68
                  Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

                  Charlie, I'm loving your trip report! I can't wait to read more about your adventure. I'll have to look back at this thread when we (eventually) visit Italy.

                  And count me in as being totally creeped out by that crypt. It would definitely be worth a quick look in person, though!
                  <o>

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                  • #69
                    Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

                    Charlie, this TR just gets better each day. I'm sensing by the end you'll have us all booking our own trip! (you worked out a cut w/ the Adventures peeps, right?)
                    Just countin' the days til the next visit!

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                    • #70
                      Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

                      This TR is easily one of the BEST ever here on MiceChat. No exaggeration. Wow! As many others have posted, the combination of your photos and exquisite writing makes me feel like I've been to Italy. This is Hall-of-Fame worthy. Thanks so much, Circarama and Tigerlily!

                      :bow:

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                      • #71
                        Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report



                        Monday was supposed to be a kick-back day on our tour of Italy. The days events included going to Castle Vicchiomaggio







                        Sandro and Rosella drove two hours from Parma to pick us up at 9:30 Monday morning.

















                        We eventually saw some Polizia and stopped for directions.


                        Within a few minutes we were at the Piazza dei Miracoli, or




                        The babtistry is in the foreground, behind it is the cathedral, or Duomo, and then the leaning tower.










                        All the art is mosaic... itty-bitty little pieces of mosaic tile.










                        The University of Pisa piazza.















                        All the sandwiches were on focaccia bread that was toasted in a brick oven. One was Panelle (a deep-fried chickpea flour pancake) and cheese, another was tomato, prosciutto, and mushroom, another was tomato and mushroom, and the last one was a roast beef, tomato and mushroom. Along with a carafe of red house wine and we were living "la dolce vida" or "the good life".


                        After lunch we took in a few more sights in Pisa, but we still had places to go, so we started heading for the car around 1:30 pm.

                        We hopped in the car, and Sandro announced we were now going to go to San Gimignano, a medieval hill town about 1.5 hours away. We drove thru the flat lands south of Pisa, and slowly started working our way towards the Tuscan countryside that we had come to know...








                        Along the way we came across a driveway lined with cypress trees that looked quite familiar...







                        Skyscrapers... Tuscan-style


                        These towers were built over 900 years ago...




















                        Click the filmstrip to watch the video.
















                        "I like window shopping..."






                        After looking around some more, we decided that we needed to get going. Sandro and Rosella had gotten up very early to come for us and they still had a two hour drive after dropping us at the villa. We left San Gimignano, and took in the fall colors as we wheeled back towards Artimino.




                        We had a wonderful day visiting with our Italian friends and I hope that they come out to California some day so I can return the favor.




                        CONTINUE THE ADVENTURE... CLICK HERE FOR DAY 7!!
                        Last edited by Circarama; 11-05-2008, 10:17 PM.
                        Charlie :wave:
                        MiceChat User #1037

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                        • #72
                          Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

                          I know everyone probably does this shot but you really make it look good. What a wonderful, I am still loving this report and am so glad that we got a fresh installment.

                          sigpic

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                          • #73
                            Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

                            This made me laugh so hard!! what a great picture!!




                            :lol: a boars head? not my kind of living room center piece. sooooooo funny !!!



                            I can not believe you went to see the place of my favorite movie!! Under the tuscan sun.. I swear some day I am going there !! man I hope you got that famous ocean scene.
                            I leave tomorrow, I can not believe I will be missing the rest of this until I come back. Charile, this was and is an amazing report!!

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                            • #74
                              Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

                              Wow!! What a wonderful time! Ya know, me and hubby got the dvd and info about these trips, but, were thinking that we'd rather not take a guided tour. We figured, we'd rather do it on our own. But, your trip report has kinda changed my mind. It all looks so easy....and laid back.



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                              • #75
                                Re: Viva Italia!! Circarama's &quot;Adventures By Disney&quot; Trip Report

                                Originally posted by Stitchy View Post
                                Wow!! What a wonderful time! Ya know, me and hubby got the dvd and info about these trips, but, were thinking that we'd rather not take a guided tour. We figured, we'd rather do it on our own. But, your trip report has kinda changed my mind. It all looks so easy....and laid back.
                                It was easy! The cool thing about the trip was that we were free to participate (or non-participate) in as much or as little as we wanted. Our ABD guides were very helpful if we needed any info on museums, restaurants or shopping, or even helping us with dining reservations.

                                The best part though, was knowing that everything was already taken care of for us. We didn't have to worry about getting tickets to the attractions, or transportation to the sights, or hotel ressies, or train tickets, or... anything! It was ALL taken care of! ABD took the stress out of a European sight-seeing vacation, which allowed me to come back home (believe it or not) rested and relaxed.
                                Charlie :wave:
                                MiceChat User #1037

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