Life in the Ferrari Fast Lane

ferrari_museum
I climb into the cherry road cockpit of the Ferrari, nervous.

“I haven’t been behind the wheel of a car in months,” I explain to my instructor, clad in a jumpsuit the same bright red color as the car, the Ferrari emblem on his chest.

He smiles and then leans over the car, showing me the various gadgets in front of me. I’d tell you what they were, but it’s car talk, and I don’t speak car talk. The only thing I remember is the switch to hit when I want to go fast (I don’t) and to kick it into manual (which I have never driven before).

“OK,” he says after his how-to-drive-a-Ferrari tutorial. “Ready?”

I cringe, smile, and then I’m off.

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History and charm: Riomaggiore’s Alla Marina

riomaggiore_alla_marina
We stand outside the cafe, a gorgeous stone terrace with little tables, overlooking the tranquil blue water of the Ligurian Sea (a far cry from the tumultuous experience the day before when attempting to take Cinque Terre’s water ferry). Mom and I stand waiting, our suitcases at our sides, when the owner of Alla Marina comes up to us. We’re renting an apartment in Riomaggiore for our last night in the gorgeous region of Italy, and moved from our Flipkey rental in Vernazza to the most southern of the five towns to enjoy a the remaining moments of our mother-daughter Italian vacation.

“Hello, hello,” Sandro Pasini greets us. He’s one of the two brothers who run the Alla Marina, a small cluster of rooms and apartments in the village. Sandro is tall, his English perfect, and his willingness to help us is apparent immediately.

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Photos of Venice, Italy

photos of Venice

Venice, Italy is quite a photographers dream.

With the sparkling lagoons, tiny car-free lanes, buildings in a state of beautiful erosion, colors, lights, the historic landmarks and buildings … it is hard not to simply see Venice through the lens of a camera versus simply experiencing the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Of course, during my visit to the city, when I wasn’t trying to dodge the tourists, I was snapping photos and making sure I didn’t trip and fall head first into one of the canals. ‘Cause I totally could have.

With hundreds of photos of Venice to choose from, it was difficult to narrow it down. The city is that photogenic.

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Things to do in Venice: Alone in St. Marks Basilica Tour

Alone in St Marks
The thick doors of St. Mark’s Basilica close behind us, shutting us off to the whir and clamor of the throngs of people in Venice and we step into the entryway of the historical and iconic St. Mark’s. Located in Piazzo San Marco and connected to the Doge’s Palace, in the most recognizable city in the world (according to moi), tonight our visit to Venice’s St. Mark’s is blessedly quiet. Being one of the most popular things to do in Venice, the tourists which flock to this well-known attraction by the thousands during the day, are not standing here with us tonight. In fact, it is only a handful of us in this building, which dates back to the 800s. I’m really not one for visiting churches, but this opportunity is different; this is a Walks of Italy guided tour with an art historian through this massive, guide-book-recommended must in Venice … at night.

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