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Our first stop in Italy was Milan, city renowned as one of the world capitals of fashion, some of the most famous designers, and for the Duomo di Milano cathedral that resembles a large sand castle. After exploring the inside of the Cathedral, Sasha and I walked in and climbed 138 steps (my exercise for that week) to the top terraces to enjoy the panoramic views of the city from up high.

Catching my breath after the stairs

People in Milan are not as friendly as they are in South of Italy. Overwhelmed with the stressful lives that this city offers, everyone is consumed in their own day-to-day activities without many smiles on their face.

Designer Fashion houses occupy a whole district. Via Montenapoleone is the most famous street for the luxurious boutiques and top designers. With a high price tag on every item, the street is busy catering to the rich and famous. Don't get discouraged just yet if you still want to shop, there is Corso Buenos Aires, a long wide boulevard reputed to have the most shops per square meter, than any other street in the world. With a variety of shops you will find something that is affordable and desirable to bring home.

I like coming to Milan for two days. This gives me a chance to browse shops, and sit at the café's sipping the best cappuccinos on the planet while observing the crowd. Enjoy the architecture and move forward to other parts of Italy that I absolutely adore.  

FASHION

In Milan women are impeccably dressed, mostly wearing high heels, looking sharp and business like. Most are either riding bicycles, (yes in their business attire) or little mopeds.  

Happy to have found something I could afford

Look at this lady, at sixty plus she still turns heads of the young studs on mopeds.  

You can't tell from this picture- but at sixty plus, this grandma has flawless makeup, a trendy outfit and a matching purse to go along on the ride.

Here are some more pictures of ladies going about their day

And of course there are always the tourists....

From Milan we drove to Portofino and I fell in love...

Breathtaking views, transparent water, & multi million dollar yachts give you an impression that you are one of the extra's on a movie set that is being filmed while you go about your business.

We visited the Brown castle built in the in mid fifteen hundreds. This was a place where celebrities such as Sofia Loren, Marlon Brando, Kery Grant, Marcelo Mastoiami, and Joan Collins, just to name a few visited often.

Fitting in with with natives. Very top at the Castle

A small garden just below the castle with many statues and sculptures coincidently appeared in my travel through Portofino.  I probably would not thought much of it, but just a few days prior to this visit, I finished reading a book called The Savage Garden The mystery of one of the Italian gardens depicted in the book allowed for an extraordinary experience as I could directly relate to the mystery of the statues and what they represented.

FOOD

I swear I had the best panini on the universe, not to mention that the pizza and the pesto lasagna were so tasty that I had to refrain from ordering another portion. No, this was not all during the same meal, but rather within a few hours of each other. By then I was already regretting the fact that I only had few days left before I go back to my regimen and hopefully my diet, so I was trying to enjoy the moment and my food.  

My daughter and my husband found a cliff with a very secluded beach where the water was crystal clear and the little fishes were so friendly they caressed your skin as you swam.

With happy smiles and full of energy, we left Portofino with many memories, and continued our journey back to Cannes.

Only and hour an half of driving later we decided to stop in another town called Ventimiglia  As we parked our car and browsed the streets we noticed that the cafes were coming back to life as siesta (Italian lunch hour that takes place between 2-5 p.m.) was over and locals were enjoying their vino and their antipasto appetizers. Not hungry at all but wanting to blend in with the crowd, we stopped at such an establishment and took a table outside. When we ordered a glass a wine we were served a wooden board of finger foods that were so delicious I announced that I'm not moving.....and staying until dinner. The only thing I could not understand was how I was going to consume the food, after all even I can only eat so much.

A toast to my husband for making this trip happen

We sat at this little café for at least two hours, while a young waiter named Giuseppe, with green eyes and jet black hair, kept bringing out the wine and the freshly made h‘orderves. Sitting right next to us were three men, and since their faces resembled one another I assumed that they were brothers. They were of medium height, slightly over-weight, and appeared to all be in their forties. One of them had 2 little girls, ages five and perhaps seven sitting at the table. It was fun watching them, just like in a mafia movie, where you see men gathered around a table talking in a low tone of voice with most of the messages being delivered by their hand gestures. As we sat observing them, their party kept on growing, and as people joined them the waiter pulled more chairs and brought out more small tables to accommodate them. Their low voices were soon replaced by high tones as it appeared that they were arguing about something very important. With their hands flying around back and forth, just when I thought someone was going to get slapped, one of the girls interrupted her father.  Conversation at that moment ceased completely, until she was devoted full attention by everyone at the table, only to be picked up again with new gusto.  

The arguing continued for a while, but at one point everyone got up with the arrival of an elder lady, who I presumed to be the three brothers mother. After much hugging, kissing, and finally figuring out where Mama Rosa, as they called her would sit, they resumed their argument once again.

Some time later when the waiter came out with the bill, all of the men jumped up trying to grab it.  Another argument broke out, until Moma Rosa opened her mouth and very quietly said "Basta."  She than proceeded to tell them something in a very composed tone of voice, and the bill was handed over to one of the brothers, who stood their with a big smile plastered on his face.  If I didn't know better I would of thought he won the lottery instead of getting stuck with the bill.  

As this family departed they hugged and kissed one another with such warmth, and such respect that I was moved to tears.  When we left the restaurant a feeling of nostalgia swept over me, I really missed my family and it was time to come home.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Beverly Mahone wrote Jul 28, 2008
    • Thanks for taking me along on this fabulous trip!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Jul 28, 2008
    • We just want to know when you are going to be DONE with this trip.

      We‘re not sure we can take another Fahhhhhhhhbulous trip blog from you—and now you obviously grabbed some gorgeous Italian male model off the street and are trying to convince us he’s your husband!

      No one could be this lucky!  A never ending trip to Europe and a gorgeous husband??????

      Can anyone say, “Gag me with a spoon!”

      Lorraine and Mary
      Hot Women/Hot Humor
      www.hotwomenhotflashes.com



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lois Stern & Patty Kovacs wrote Jul 28, 2008
    • What beautiful memories! I loved taking this trip with you. You and your husband look like a couple of love birds!

      Now I guess it’s back to reality for you. Take it slow as you settle back in.

      Very best,
      Lois W. Stern
      Co-columnist for Eye on Beauty



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sharman G. Lawson wrote Jul 28, 2008
    • Yana,

      What an AWESOME vacation and pictures, too. I know the next place I want to vacation. Wow...the place looks absolutely amazing! Also, I can’t believe you have a daughter 20. You and your husband make a really cute couple. It will be really hard for you to get back to life as usual, huh?

      Sharman Lawson
      Debt and Personal Finance
      Coach and Trainer
      www.freedomconceptsusa.com



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Debra Stokes wrote Jul 28, 2008
    • Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories!  What a fabulous trip.  You are truly blessed!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Alexandra Popovic wrote Jul 28, 2008
    • Fantastic pics, great stories, and priceless memories!  I’ve been to Milano too and noticed they ALL manage to look stylish without even trying - must be genetic! ;)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Meanmagenta wrote Jul 29, 2008
    • Hi Yana! SO glad that you enjoyed Italy! I am originally from Genoa, which is not that far from glorious Portofino,...yes, pesto sauce is really yummy!
      Many thanks for this wonderful and stylish post, love the Portofino shot, I feel like jumping into the water!
      All the best, Paola



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gwen Wheat wrote Jul 29, 2008
    • I just got to work and have a very full day ahead of me.  I sat down and read your adventure before getting started.  It has kinda calmed me of the anticapation of the work filled day I have ahead.   Thanks... and i am so jealous!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Jul 29, 2008
    • Yana, the pictures were beautiful and your hubby quite handsome!  Thank you for sharing this trip with us-so glad you were able to go, enjoy and remember it for a life time!
      Congrats on all of it!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Amy L. Harden wrote Jul 29, 2008
    • Yana:

      You are too cute....and I am totally envious of your trip...thanks for sharing your adventures with us here at Fab40.  Your hubby is a hottie!

      Shepherdess



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne Lyken-Garner wrote Jul 30, 2008
    • Yana, I too was touched by the story of the brothers.  Maybe the argument was about who got to pay the bill.

      When we lived in Ireland, it wasn’t uncommon to hear such arguments at the local pubs.  

      In some countries, the honour lies with the one who treats, not the ones who get treated. Shows you how much we haven’t yet learned.

      Take care,
      Anne



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Donna08 wrote Jul 30, 2008
    • I enjoyed the pictures and reading about your adventure! Very nice Yana, thanks for taking us along! You two are a cute couple!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Goldivas-com wrote Aug 1, 2008
    • Very Nice! [Link Removed]


      Goldivas-com, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gail Travillian wrote Aug 8, 2008
    • Thanks for sharing! Looks like you had a great time.  My husband & I went in 2000.......I want to go back!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kajenn wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • Thank you for that wonderful vicarious journey.  So far, I have my “Learn Italian” program (still unopened) and a 5-year old promise from my husband.  He told me if I finished first in my class in Statistics that he would take me to Italy.  I’ve never known him not to keep a promise but I do know that he was quite surprised when I got the job done.  Always know how competitive your spouse is!

      Now you’ve reinvigorated my desire to REALLY get to Italy.  And I WILL be going to Portofino - how gorgeous!  You and your husband make a great couple.  Ever thought of starting a travel company? happy  You definitely make me want to start planning my trip. -Karen



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pr-cocoa wrote Aug 24, 2008
    • Yana,
      Your pictures are breathe-taking, and you and your husband look so in love. What a blessing to have, someone who would love one so much, that even through these pictures the love shows. I would love to experience that with my husband. Thanks for sharing your romantic adventure. When my husband wakes up and smells the coffee” I too, will share my dream trip to the Greek Islands with you one day. Keep sharing.
      [Link Removed]


      Pr-cocoa, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dennie05 wrote Oct 14, 2008
    • My daughter and I went to Italy last summer (from Rome upward to Lake Como). It is a trip we will never forget!  I am looking forward to the day of returning!  Looking at your pics brought back many happy memories! Thanks for sharing.



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