Tag Archives: Lago di Bracciano

How I spent (the rest of) my summer vacation

29 Aug
Do children still have to write essays about summer vacation when they return to school in the Fall? It occurs to me I wrote about some of our vacation when I posted about the time in the Dolomites (see Cooling off in the Alpe di Siusi and Good Morning Ortisei), but I never wrapped up with the fine time we had with our flock of visitors in Rome.
Elisabetta loved touching the water of the many fountains. Here Mamma Susan indulges.
Elisabetta loved touching the water of the many fountains. Here Mamma Susan indulges.
We were blessed with visits from the Seattle Bravenecs, also known as JSWE, for our time in the mountains and then 4 more days in Rome. We hit the Parco dei Mostri and Lago di Bracciano, entertained the kids while J&S went to the Vatican, shopped in Via Cola di Rienzo, celebrated Susan’s birthday at our favorite trattoria, and then welcomed the Omaha Bartons for their week in Italy.
We were so lucky at Lago di Bracciano. Morning rain in Rome scared off the people who had reserved space on this beach, so we were able to claim some sand. Otherwise they would have been fully booked. It was 82 (F) and sunny for us. Perfect!
We were so lucky at Lago di Bracciano. Morning rain in Rome scared off the people who had reserved space on this beach, so we were able to claim some sand. Otherwise they would have been fully booked. It was 82 (F) and sunny for us. Perfect!
We crammed all 10 of us in our little Roman apartment for a family dinner the night the Bartons arrived. It was fun to see everyone together: older cousins that had not seen each other in too many years (18?), and younger cousins who had never met.
When Susan and the littlest travelers headed off to Bratislava on the night train to Vienna our house felt ever-so-empty. Luckily Trevor, Andrea, Eli and Cade spent a few more days with us to ease the  transition to dining alone with cats after they all left.
We had looked forward to these visits for the better part of a year, but they were over too quickly!  Thanks Bartons and Bravenecs, for coming to Italy. We were happy to spend Our Summer Vacation with all of you!
 
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Minnows for Lunch

5 Sep

I don’t miss having a car, but from time to time we succumb and rent one. For one thing, we need to keep up our skills, and we also find it handy for certain shopping trips. Plus it’s necessary to have a car to see some of the more rural sites not efficiently served by train or bus. So a few weeks ago we targeted the Labor Day weekend for some daytrips and shopping, planning to rent a car.

Because our little neighborhood Hertz franchise closes from 1:00PM Saturday until 8:30AM Monday, we need pick up the car on Saturday morning. So we planned a few adventures: a trip to Villa d’Este in Tivoli to see it at night, which is only possible a few nights each summer; a shopping trip to IKEA; a daytrip to the hill town of Cività di Bagnoreggio, which is hard to reach by bus. Then Ric got roped into working Saturday and Monday, so we curtailed the plan to go to Cività. Oh well.

Freshwater lake in Lazio, peaceful, uncrowded, great lakeside dining.

Freshwater lake in Lazio, peaceful, uncrowded, great lakeside dining.

Summer is waning so although Ric had worked a long day Saturday, in the evening we set off for Tivoli with a Google Map printout in hand, the name of a very good restaurant, and high expectations for Villa d’Este.  But thanks to the genius of Italian street signs and the inefficiency of the GPS on my phone, we never found Villa d’Este nor the restaurant.

The street signs have two points of failure: street names do not correspond to what Google Maps says they should be, and the “way-finding” signs are impossible to follow.  I would turn in the direction pointed to by a neat little Villa d’Este sign, then turn at another, and then see nothing. No further directional, no entrance signs, no parking lots, lots of dark streets. So I would come around and try again. Nothing. I asked locals and they pointed in what (to them) was an obvious direction. But nothing. Maybe we are idiots but with both of us searching high and low, we could not find this place. I resorted to the GPS on my phone which has gotten us out of jams in the past, but she insisted we drive down a limited access street into a Zona Traffico Limitato, which would carry a huge fine. By this time, we’d been in the car about 90 minutes, Ric was tired and cranky as a toddler, so finally we settled on a place to eat – I would rate it as OK – and once fortified tried again to find our star attraction. Still unable to find it, we headed back to Rome, where apparently we should have stayed for this evening. I seldom get lost walking.

Cut guy I had lunch with at Lago Bracciano.

Cute guy I had lunch with at Lago di Bracciano.

On the bright side, we got to IKEA before the crowds on Sunday, then headed north to a lake I’d read about, Lago di Bracciano.  Here we found a quiet freshwater beach scene with excellent lakeside dining. We did not get lost and had a fine lunch. I had a broiled freshwater fish called coregone, which is much like some of the types in lakes in the Midwest of the U.S., and Ric had a fritto misto that included a large number of what looked like whole fried minnows. We certainly used a lot of minnows as bait for fishing in Minnesota but can’t say I ever saw them in a Friday fish fry. These were very tasty, but we got the giggles to think of eating minnows.

Next summer our niece and nephew will visit with their two kids, followed by Ric’s son with wife and four children. Since they will be here during high heat, a trip out to Lago di Bracciano might be just the ticket for cooling off. But we’ll have to rent a car. <SIGH>

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