Subject: Our June trip to Italy
Hi Ziners,

Our trip to Italy this year in June was the first time we went at that time of year. Harvey is an avid photographer - and quite good - so he wanted the opportunity to get the foliage. We have a great many photos of sunflowers, one of poppies and many other very pretty scenes.

We were in Southwest Tuscany - the Maremma area, we especially wanted to visit Pitigliano, which has the oldest synagogue in Italy - we spent a week in Florence with Italian-Canadian friends of ours who have an apartment in downtown Firenze - steps from Piazza Signorini, the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. As this was our 3rd visit to Florence we did not do many tourist things but spent time with their friends and family seeing different sights. We visited the Monastery of San Scenario, just outside of Florence and visited Santa Brigida, a small town outside of Florence, where John's brother-in-law has some property.

With our friends we spent a day in the Montalcino area, went to the Castello Banfi winery, had an amazing lunch, toured their glass museum which was very interesting to see and then had a tour of the winery. We then visited Sant Antimo a monastery where they do Gregorian Chanting - taped recording except when there is a service, we lucked into the vesper services so heard the chanting.

We then spent one week in Umbria visiting Cortona (which is still Tuscany). Stayed in a lovely place called Locanda del Molina (from Karen Brown's Book) - they serve wonderful meals - we ate there 3 nites and worked our way thru the menu - From Cortona we travelled to Gubbio, Deruta, Chiusi where we visited their very small market but visited their recently uncovered Etruscan ruins. Also visited Assisi Bevagna. We then moved to Villa Pambufetti, quite beautiful, amazing service and serve wonderful meals - we then visited Spello, Spoleto, Todi and Montefalco - wonderful hill towns.

Regards, Carol and Harvey Toronto