Summer of 2010

Cheung Family trip to Italy

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July 2 - Day 2: Rome to Montecatini (in Tuscany) via Orvieto

We started this day with a breakfast at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

We then boarded the bus for the journey north of Rome on the highway.  On the way,
 we saw many lush farms such as this large field of beautiful sunflowers.

Our first stop: Orvieto.  This is a community perched on top of a steep hill, which
has protected it from the attacks in the past.

We made our way to the top in this small and cozy mini bus.

We arrived at the top in the main town square.

Facing the main town square is the impressive Orvieto Cathedral.
Its colors are from the rock that has been stacked in layers.

The Cathedral is very ornate with many intricate features.

The town itself is very charming with many small streets and
charming shops.

This was a lovely little niche all made of stone.

My siblings urged me to buy this suit to match my status.

We used this nice lookout over the valley for our lunch spot.

The kids found a small cat that showed us her litter of kittens.

After another few miles north, we arrived at our hotel in Montecatini Terme:
The Settentrionale Esplanade (North Esplanade).

We got some nice rooms at this hotel.  Ours (on the left) was a corner unit with two
windows.  One opened to a small balcony on the front of the hotel.  Around the corner
there was a street market.

After checking in, we had some time for a swim in the hotel pool before dinner.

The hotel had three bikes for their guests' use, and we gladly took advantage of them.
It allowed easy exploration of the local area around the hotel.

Dinner was at the Fattoria il Poggio (The Knoll Farmhouse), and
optional dinner to experience the Italian countryside.

The location is a working olive and wine farm.  The evening started with a tour
of the olive grove.

We then were shown the building were the olives are pressed into extra virgin olive oil.

Video of the day: Tuscan dinner.

Dinner was wonderful, and one of the top two dinners of the entire trip.  There were six wines to taste, and all kinds of wonderful dishes.  Our favorite were the fried potatoes and the roasted pork.  We asked for seconds of the last dish.

Why is Ryan looking so startled?  Could it be what would occur on the next day?
Click below to find out!

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