Sunday, July 28, 2019

La Scala

A few weeks ago, I posted about seeing Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper in Milan Italy and I mentioned that in order to get to see it, I scheduled a four hour "Highlights of Milan" tour.  The second stop on that tour was at the world famous opera house, La Scala.

Our group was shown the beautiful lobby with it's crystal chandeliers.

And then, taking four of us at a time, we entered a box to see the inside of the theatre.  There was a rehearsal going on at the time so the theatre was dark and the stage well lit.  However you can still see what this wonderful theatre looks like inside.

Here is a closer look at those actors  working on an upcoming opera.

After everyone in our group got a peek inside the theatre, we explored the museum inside the building where we saw a grand assortment of memorabilia from the operas of the past.

There were also numerous portraits of various opera stars, musicians and composers.  Above is Maria Callas and to the left is Guiseppe Verdi.

It was a great opportunity to see the inside of one of the most famous theaters in the world.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Quick Stop in the Oregon Wine Country

When I go to the Oregon Wine Country with Julie and Dave, they always make a stop in the town of McMinnville for either lunch or dinner at a tapas restaurant called La Rambla.  You can see their street sign in the photo above.

It was my second meal at this place when we visited last May and I can see why Julie and Dave have made this a "must-stop" whenever they go to Oregon.  The food is delicious,  authentic Spanish cuisine and the atmosphere in the restaurant is beautiful.

I love the look of the bar with it's beautiful peacocks framing the back wall.

But, I must say it's the town itself that appeals to me.  It just seems like the perfect little all-American town.  It's warm and friendly and has the most appealing main street.

I snapped this shot in February of 2018 when I was there the first time.  It gives a clearer picture of that main street after the trees have shed their leaves.  I would love to return here and explore this city much more.  I bet it has quite a lot to offer a visiting wine lover or any explorer.  

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

One of my favorite events on my recent trip to Italy was the day we had lunch at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo.  The building is a grand Art Nouveau palazzo that was so stunningly beautiful that I think I walked around saying "wow" every time I entered a different room.  We went there the same day we were taking the private tour of Lake Como so we arrived at the boat dock in front of the hotel via a private boat.  That was a perfect way to arrive at such an elegant hotel and certainly lent a special status to our little party of travelers.  We were greeted at the dock and then shown to a small lift (hidden behind all the greenery) and whisked up to the first floor foyer.

The lobby of the hotel was simply breathtaking with beautifully tiled floors and red velvet furniture and elegant displays of red roses scattered throughout the lobby and all through the hotel.

Beyond the main lobby, a grand staircase added to the atmosphere.  The only thing missing was seeing elegantly gowned ladies escorted by tuxedo clad gentleman descending the stairs.  That would have made the scene befitting of a James Ivory movie.

We were having lunch on the grand patio overlooking the lake so to get there, we were escorted through the bar which looked like something out of a movie set.

After the bar, we entered a lounge that was beautifully decorated in a rainbow of colors.  The sofas and chairs made me think of colorful scoops of sherbet in their lime greens, tasty oranges and luscious raspberries.

Finally we were on the patio where we had a wonderful lunch with views out over the water.  The food was delicious and the service impeccable.  It was truly a special treat to dine here.

I can't help thinking that it would be so exciting to actually stay at this hotel.  I'm afraid I'd have to win the lottery to afford a stay at this wonderful place.  However having lunch there was a perfect taste of bygone era with all the comforts of today's luxuries.

P.S. I just saw that this hotel was named one of the World's Best in Italy by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Take A Seat...

I have something a little different today.  I decided to post a few random photos from my recent trip to Italy.  Some are amusing and some are just interesting and none of them really fit into an event or special place.  I'll start with this great sign I saw at a the cafe at Villa Carlotta on Lake Como.  The nice part is that we were "soonest" attended!

Some German tourists brought their cute little dog along on the visit to the gardens of Villa Carlotta and they had fun posing him for photos.  I decided to join in.

This statue in the gardens of Villa Melzi in Bellagio brings to mind the saying "button it".  I wonder what this poor fellow said to get his mouth buttoned up.

We took the ferries across the lake many, many times during our stay in Varenna and Bellagio.  It was always fun to watch the cars coming and going.  Above was a whole ferry load of Volkswagens and to the left a couple of classic cars exiting the boat.

We saw this sea plane several times while we were there.  It never landed near us so I'm guessing it just flew from one end of the lake to another.

We did see several rowing teams out on the lake practicing.  

Another sign I saw in Bellagio reminding pet owners to clean up after their dogs.  

Wouldn't it be great if the dogs cleaned up after themselves?

Italian lizards look a whole lot like Arizona lizards!

My only of view of the apartment building in Milan called the vertical garden was in passing on our way out of Milan headed for Lake Como.  I've seen photos of this place before so I'm at least glad I got to see it in passing.

Between me and my friends, we consumed a lot of Caprese Salads. This one was one of the most picturesque.  

When we returned to Milan for our flight home, we spent the night at the Roxy Hotel just outside the airport.  That's where I found this humorous drawing depicting The Last supper with clowns in monkey masks.  It was a very eclectic hotel.