Our vacation this year was mostly spent in Italy with a side trip to Switzerland and another one to Dubrovnik, Croatia. The following pages chronicle our trip with words and pictures.
Since I am now hosting our web page on a server in our house, I am no longer constrained by upload times or storage space limitations so there will be more pictures in this report than in previous cases. In order to keep the number of pictures per page down for those who use a dial-up connection there will be a quite a few, shorter pages. All pictures shown are thumbnails so double clicking on them will bring up a larger version of the picture. If you fall in love with any of them we have higher resolution originals available by email, cd, or some other means of transmission.
Questions, comments, corrections should be sent to the web master who might do something.
Thanks for stopping by.
Jim and Gail Pattison
Skip the commentary and go to the pictures
The following opinions are those of the writer and may not reflect the opinion of any other living human.
I've been visiting Italy off and on since 1982 (well actually my first visit was in the summer of 1968 but all I saw on that trip was a very jammed packed couple of days in Rome). Going back to Italy periodically allows one to see changes easier than if one lives there. Some of the changes I noticed over that period are that Italians actually pay attention to traffic laws now (except for speed limits).
Cars are much bigger now. Our first rental on this trip was a Fiat Chroma which is almost as large as a Dodge mini-van. And there were a lot of big BMW X3's screaming by me on the highways. For those who haven't seen one of these, they are a hair larger than a Ford Escape but one heck of a lot faster. We normally cruised on the Autostrada at 140 km/hr, a little under 90 mph. The X3's would go by like I was standing still as would the big Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Alfa sedans. I bet some of those were running at well over 120 mph. The parking spaces haven't gotten any bigger though which makes life interesting with all these larger cars. The price of gas in Italy has gone up as it has everywhere. It costs somewhere between 6 and 7 dollars per gallon now and an X3 gets 16-23 mpg according to the EPA, who doesn't test at 100mph so those who think that raising gas prices will reduce consumption should visit Italy. While thinking of cars I should also point out there seem to be a whole lot more of them on the highway than there used to be. Traffic is getting to be very bad in some locations on the Autostrada.
Another change is that there are lot of supermarkets there now. There are a couple of big chains that you see across much of Italy which of course has led to fewer small specialty shops. Sound familiar?
Another change is a more national menu. You don't see menus that are as totally regional as you used to and some of the recipes are being experimented with. I had at least three different versions of Tiramisu which was a real surprise. In the past it was the same wherever I tried it.
Some things seem relatively unchanged though. There are still a ton of great restaurants which serve great food.
So, there you have it. Hope you enjoy the following pages.
Continued on Page 2