Polly & Paul Flask

The Perugia concert at Basilica di San Pietro was very enjoyable. The soprano was especially good. The bass was good. The entire evening was delightful. We sat next to an Australian man and his Italian woman friend, who had been a consultant to Montesorri, headquartered in Perugia. She had been assigned to Australia. We had a very enjoyable conversation. The Basilica sits on a hill at the southwest end of the city. We were able to get to the Autostrata in 10 minutes. However, Perugia is a very complicated place in which to drive.

The Four Seasons concert by Virutuosi di Venezia was extraordinary in both the excellent musicians but also the location: 50 meters to the left side of Duomo di San Marco. The ambience was wonderful.

You may recall that Lucca was on our itinerary. As the birth place of Puccini, not only does it have a very fine Ristorante Puccini adjacent to the square in which is his birth home is located, but every night of the year, including Christmas and New Years, there is a concert of his (and other) music in the church in which he played the organ as a young man. The name of the church escapes me as I write this but it is in the same square as the cathedral. It is no longer consecrated as a church but as a concert hall for Puccini and his music. I strongly recommend that you recommend this to your clients. It makes for a wonderful evening. And the restaurant is excellent.

Our trip was very enjoyable. We drove over 4,000 kilometers. The Autostrata is an excellent road system. It is difficult to select which town was our favorite. Each had its own charm, history, and unique features. Our hotel in Lucca, the Villa Giona near Verona and the Locanda Solarola near Bologna (with its One Star restaurant) were especially pleasant. Florence was very crowded. The tour groups amounted to thousands; and many were from Asia and herded in and out of historical sites and restaurants. We stayed one day and returned to San Gimignano and the solace of the country side. The town of Alba was among our most favorite spots. It was the International White Truffle Festival with its display and ingestion of the wonderful fungus, its Barola and Barbersco and Aneris wines, and the hilarious donkey patio, and over 1000 citizens from the seven neighborhoods all dressed in 15th century costumes that made it so enjoyable. Again, put the festival on your schedule of events.

Wines and food, particularly the fresh and colorful vegetables, were great. And, the people were very hospitable and happy to have the slowly evaporating U.S. dollar-denominated tourist visit.

Thank you for your assistance. We hope to see you again and ask for your assistance.

Polly and Paul Flask, USA