Thursday, February 16, 2017

Travel Book of the Week on Johnny Jet!

I am delighted that Johnny Jet, one of America's favorite travel gurus, chose the revised and updated Europe on a Dime: Five-Star Travel on a One-Star Budget as the book of the week

The book teaches you how to travel luxuriously yet frugally. You'll learn how to fly for free (or very little), buy half-price train tickets, find accommodations that rival any hotel suite for a fraction of the price, and dine like a gourmet for McDonald's prices.

You'll never take an expensive organized tour again once you know how to explore Europe frugally on your own. Read more in the sidebar on the right.

The book is available electronically and in paperback at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ciao, Florence!

The Ponte Vecchio at sunset in Florence, Italy.

I will miss you so....

The Bottom Line

The Boboli Gardens provide a respite from the frenetic pace of the city.
As always, being the tightwad traveler that I am, I will share the information about my expenses with you for this extravaganza in Florence, Italy. Since I'm packed and ready to roll tomorrow, it's time for that final accounting.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

What I've Learned

What I've learned, in no particular order, from my month living in Florence, Italy.

Pitti Palace Collection
Many of the same problems that beset us today have been around for hundreds of years. Here's a mother combing her son's hair looking for lice. Her son is an angel, of course.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Kindness of (Italian) Strangers

Gusta Pizza's Oven
The customary line out the door and around the corner was missing at Gusta Pizza late this afternoon, but there was not an empty table in sight. The place was packed, as usual. I told the clerk it looked as if I'd have to carry out my pizza, but he assured me a table would open up soon. Ten seconds later, a man approached and invited me to join him and his son at their table. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Always Two Sides

Yesterday morning the amount of screeching and banging in my flat indicated my upstairs neighbor was once more honing her career skill set. She was moving the furniture this way and that, again and again, trying to place every item in some imaginary van. I knew enough to wait patiently for her to finish before trying to work, but then I heard men's voices and the sound of steel striking steel. Perhaps the noise wasn't being made by my neighbor after all.

How the Other Half Lived

This bed in the private quarters of the Pitti Palace is gorgeous, but tiny.
Since the Pitti Palace is just around the corner from my flat, I've taken to dropping in several times a week. It feels like visiting an old friend.

One Bust Says to Another....

Museum curators obviously have a sense of humor. These two lovely ladies are in the Contemporary Art Gallery of the Pitti Palace.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Leaving My Roommates Behind

I'm not ready to leave Florence yet, but I am quite prepared to say goodbye to my roommates. Yes, I know what you're thinking. It's true that my name is the only name on the lease, but here in Florence, as in any large Italian city, no one is ever truly living alone.

Friday, June 24, 2016

My Feast on St John the Baptist Feast Day

This feast day, similar to the saint day held in each Mexican city, is only celebrated in Florence. Banks and schools were closed so there were no classes at the British Institute. Tonight, fireworks will mark this special day for St. John the Baptist.

From my perspective, it was a great day to rest, try to absorb the world-changing news of the Brexit passage, and finally eat a delicious lunch of porchetta. If you're unfamiliar with this Tuscan bit of culinary ingenuity, here's a New York Times article that will explain it.