We had the wonderful chance to travel back to Italy this summer. We have visited Sicily, Sabaudia, Ardea, Trevignano Romano, Rome and Pisa…. now we flew back to Pisa and drove up to the mountains 65 km west and a bit north from Pisa airport.
It is nice that Finnair offers direct flights to Pisa in the summer time.
Montecatini Terme is the closest town near the mountains and our vacation house. I had never heard of this town. It is an Italian municipality of about 21,100 inhabitants within the province of Pistoia in Tuscany, Italy. The town is located at the eastern end of Piana di Lucca and has a strong vocation for tourism, as well as industrial and commercial industries related to the spa, which in turn has increased the interest for hotel accommodation in the region.
The drive up to the house was exciting and fascinating. So many curves and small roads and up up we drove. The scenery was beautiful and magnificent.
The first look at the view from the house was just what we hoped for.
As always it is nice to just sit down after travelling for many hours. Driving, waiting, flying, waiting, driving and then… finally: vacation time!
Stay tuned for more stories and photos from this magnificent area.
A few years back we decided to rent a house south from Rome. We wanted to enjoy new areas, if possible close to the Mediterranean Sea. I googled for rental houses. After finding houses which were either too expensive or not to our liking, I saw an interesting house in Sabaudia. We had never heard of this city, but found it interesting as it was very close to the sea and the house offered everything we wanted to a reasonable price.
We investigated a bit more. When we realized the sandy beach next to the town was 20 kilometers long we made our decision.
After arriving at Fiumicino airport in Rome, we rented a car (once in Italy, the choice was of course an Alfa Romeo) and drove 90 kilometers south. The drive was a bit longer than we are used to, but it was worth it. The house, the garden, the town and the beach – they were all fabulous.
A little bit of the town history: The architects Gino Cancellotti, Luigi Piccinato and Alfredo Scalpelli made the city plans and the work started in August 1933. 6000 people built the city and it was ready already after a year.
The house had a small garden in the front and on the back.
Even though we like to cook ourselves, sometimes it is great to go to a nearby restaurant. We tried fish, sea food, pasta and of course pizza. We fell in love with the pizza Diavola, which is quite spicy.
The beach was fantastic. Hot summer days and cool Mediterranean Sea is a perfect match.
We can warmly recommend to spend a week or two in Sabaudia.
During our vacation in Megara, Greece, we decided to drive to Corinth. We took the E94 highway and headed west.
Kinettais a small town known for its beautiful beach and sea view. Kinetta is quite close to Athens, just 55 kilometers away.
From Kineta it was only 25 kilometeres to Corinth, our destination. If you do not like to rent a car and drive, you can take the train.
The Corinth Canal separates the Peloponnese from mainland Greece. The canal was built 1883–1893 and the inauguration was a huge happening. Konstantinos Volanakis painted the inauguration.
Loutraki is a famous town by the Gulf of Corinth, very close to the Corinth Canal. It is known for the beautiful beach, the blue water of the Corinthian Gulf and the casino of Club Hotel Loutraki. The casino was though forced to close its doors in 2015 after failing to pay about two million euros in taxes. I found a great video of Loutraki – it is taken from the air!
When we arrived in Corinth, we noticed right away it is not as big a city as one would think. It was very easy to find the way into the center of the town, as well as to one of the many guarded parking areas.
We walked down to the harbour. It is a beautiful harbour, with many small and old fishing boats and shiny new sailing boats.
As many do, also we wanted to photograph the statue of Pegasus. It looks quite amazing against the mountains on the other side of the gulf, the Gulf of Corinth.
It was quite peaceful to walk along the promenade. And the view was fabulous. The blue sea and the gorgeous mountains are amazing.
If you like to view and photograph landscape in bright sunshine, travel to Malta. Of course there are many more wonderful reasons to visit Malta, but the landscape is one of the strongest reasons.
ps. click on the photos to see them enlarged
The Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful seas. It surrounds the whole Island of Malta. To stand close to the seashore up on the small hills, lets you view and photograph almost all the way to the other side of the small Island.
You can often see old, white stonewalls. Malta is known for these. You can feel the history walking along these old paths, close to the seashore.
There are many bays on the Island of Malta. They are all fabulous.
I can warmly recommend to visit Malta. Best time is from April to October. If you like hot climate, travel in July or August.