We had a fabulous summer in Bavaria. Unlike last year when the cold grey skies kept temps in the low 60s for most of the summer, we have enjoyed a season featuring bright blue skies and strong rays that kept us going back for a dip in the Parsberg pool. But, oh how quickly we forget the good times had. For most of September it’s been consistently cloudy and seems as if fall is here to stay. So, on a recent long weekend, we packed up and headed south to our favorite sun destination: Italy and this time around, we selected the coast of the Adriatic Sea for some relaxation. We took off from Lupburg around 1:30pm, long enough to give the kids a “full day” of school but allowing us to drive the entire distance in daylight. We arrived in Vicenza just 7 hours later and made a beeline for our favorite Italian restaurant: Al Portego. Of course, I ordered the pear faggotini..mmm, those little pasta purses stuffed with sweat pear and prosciutto that make my mouth water. Tim had a most excellent carbonara pizza, featuring a fried egg right on top. And Lilly couldn’t quite get the German out of her…she ordered the wiener schnitzel with fries and was quite satisfied. We always use booking.com to find cheap but decent hotels on our weekend trips and this time we stayed at the modest Hotel Europa in Vicenza; not much to look at but the price was a bargain–73 euro with breakfast included.
After a filling breakfast the following morning I couldn’t resist being so close to Nove and Dueville and not stopping in at VBC Ceramica in Nove and Nicoli Italia. At both shops I was able to find a few irresistable items–additional seafood platters and a Vietri pitcher at VBC and 4 purses at rock-bottom prices at Nicoli. I have to say, if you’re interested in leather purses, check out Nicoli on Facebook or sign up for their e-newsletter. I stopped specifically because they advertised an end-of-season sale but we came on day 4 of the sale and many of their items were gone. I found great deals but I can only imagine what they had available on the first day of the sale.
We finished up shopping around 11am and made our way to Jesolo Beach, just north of Venice on the Adriatic Sea. The day couldn’t have been better: soft wispy clouds gently sailed across the sky. The sun was warm and the water temp cool. Lilly was the smart one and simply donned her suit first thing in the morning; Tim and I took turns changing into our suits quickly in the car and then packed up towels and books for the beach. I can’t quite describe how good it feels to show up at the beach and not have to fight for parking or a place to sit on the sand; the beach was practically deserted so we have our choice of locations. We spread out our towels near the water’s edge and spent the next several hours lazily gazing at the sky, watching random kites sail overhead and collecting seashells. We did have to endure the various independent salesmen hawking their wares on the beach: sunglasses, scarves and personal umbrellas were popular items being offered but I was intrigued by the lady yelling: “Massage-ee, Massage-ee”. She was able to service the woman in front of me but 30 minutes of a sand massage and oil doesn’t look as good as it sounds. We wrapped up our day at the beach by driving over to Aviano Air Base and checking into our resort-like accommodations featured in their TLF (temporary lodging facility). The view of the Dolomite Mountains from our hotel room was stunning and watching the F-16s fly overhead was just the icing on the cake. We enjoyed a simple dinner from the grocery store and tucked into bed nice and early.