Continuing on with our European Adventure , we flew from Stuttgart to Italy to visit my friend Nancy who lives in Vicenza. With Sicilian blood flowing through my veins, I just love being in Italy - the food, the ambiance, hearing the language -- it all reminds me of my heritage as we lived for many years with my Italian grandmother, who immigrated from Sicily. Sue & I stayed with Nancy in the Piazza dei Signori area where the Basilica Palladiana is located. The church is an impressive example of Italian architecture and was under renovation. I loved staying right in the heart of town as everything was within walking distance. Every night a group of us would stroll through town until the enticing aroma of one of the many fine restaurants pulled us in. Using the clocktower as our landmark, we never had to worry about finding our way back. We also visited the Teatro Olimpico ("Olympic Theatre"), built in the late 1500s, which is considered the first example of a covered theatre in the Modern Age. That's Sue and Nancy in the Teatro Gardens.
Have you heard of Vicenza? It's world famout for its fine, intricate golf jewelry which is widely advertised on HSN. Some travel tips for Italy --- most stores are closed on Monday until 1 pm; the Italians love to dress well so leave your jeans at home and their hotels aren't up to our standards. Since you can't count on a 3-star hotel being what you'd expect, don't hesitate to ask to see the room before booking it.
Above all, relax and have fun as the Italians truly know how to enjoy life. Be prepared to spend at least 2 hours having dinner as Italians consider conversation just as important as the food!