World Trip HomePost Eleven

Post Eleven - Northern Italy

Innsbruck from AboveInnsbruck from Above

Heading south from Garmisch we left Germany and entered Austria. We spent a couple nights in Innsbruck before continuing south into Italy. In the center of the old town is a bell tower with great views of the surrounding area. The tower is quite tall and the ledge one stands on at the top is very narrow. Both Karen and Julia came to the top but were a little unnerved at the exposure. I forced them to stay long enough for me to get this great photo.

The DolomitesThe Dolomites

On September 11th, we were in Bolzano, a small town in the Italian Alps. We arrived that morning and spent the day walking to a nearby castle. On the way back through town to our hotel, we passed by a group of people standing around an appliance store staring at a TV. Through the window we could see the images of the World Trade Center coming in from New York. At first we thought it might be a movie but as we continued watching we realized it must be real. There were no TVs at our hotel so we found an Internet café and eventually found out what was going on. We were stunned but had no idea what to do. We made a few phone calls back home to make sure everyone we knew was alright, ate a quiet supper, and spent the evening at our hotel discussing what this would mean for the U.S. and the world.

The next day we had planned to go hiking. There was no new information, so we headed up in the hills to try to clear our heads in the mountain air. The Dolomites are fantastically beautiful and the exercise, the views, and the great lunch we had helped us forget, for a while, what was going on back in our country.

Italian Wine TastingItalian Wine Tasting

Every country in Europe is fiercely proud of their wines and Italy is no exception. We chanced upon this wine bar one night in Bolzano. We don't speak Italian but in this part of Italy, many people speak German. Since Karen and Julia speak German (and I know a bit) we ended up entering into a lengthy conversation about wine with the proprietor. We tasted and discussed many wines from the north of Italy as he kept the bar open for us long after the normal closing hour. At one point in the evening he said "because you appreciate Italian wines, I will share something very special with you." He disappeared into his cellar and returned with a vintage Amarone - the richest (and most expensive) of the Italian reds. It tasted of earth, jam and spice and we felt honored that he would pour something so precious for us.

That evening proved once again, that to really appreciate a foreign country you need to be able to converse (to some extent) with its inhabitants.

Verona ColiseumVerona Coliseum

From Bolzano we continued south out of the mountains to the town of Verona. Filled with Roman ruins and seeped in history, Verona was a pleasant surprise and we spent a few days here. This was truly Italy and the food, culture, and friendliness of the populace reminded me why I love this country. In the center of town lies an old Coliseum in pretty good repair. They still use it for concerts and sports events (though no more gladiator games). I would bet the Romans who built it would be proud it was still being used for what it was intended.


Anyone who has been to Italy will know what this photo shows. Gelato comes in a multitude of flavors so there is always something new to try. Karen's favorite is rice (creamy with a custard flavor and bits of rice in it). I prefer pistachio. There are gelato stands everywhere so you are always walking by one (and are constantly tempted).

Mrs. KarenMrs. Karen

Yet another good photo of my beautiful wife - this time on the top of the bell tower in central Verona.

La Dolce VitaLa Dolce Vita

We had a great time in Verona and decided that northern Italy was as beautiful as the central regions. They say if you like Italy keep going south because it only gets better (and if you don't like Italy, don't go south because it only gets worse). Our next Italian trip will be to the south.

Julia and MattJulia and Matt

This is a good shot of a photogenic couple taken at some Roman ruins to the north of Verona. Julia told me she wanted a picture of her and Matt in sepia tone. Here you go.

Next Up: To Spain

Copyright 2002
Scott & Karen Semyan