The Hilltop Village of Eze, near Monaco

Our ship docked in Monaco.

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We walked into the city past the Opera House …..

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and the famous Casino.   DSC03298 -9 C Casino Stitch

But, rather than tour here, we caught a bus for a 25 minute ride north to the medieval village of Eze, France.

DSC03302 C Eze on the hilltop

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We climbed up the steep little streets to the Jardin Exotique at the very top of the village.  The garden was created after WWII and hugs the ruins of a chateaux.  Most of the plants are cacti and other succulents from around the Mediterranean.  The best part of the garden is the view of the Cote d’Azur. 

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We took our time walking back down the hill, peeking into shops.

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Eze is pretty much a tourist village, with shops, art galleries, hotels and restaurants.  It’s often called a village-musee (museum village) because there are not many residents from the local area.  Wikipedia notes that Walt Disney spent time here!

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DSC03351 C Ham & Cheese crepe       When in France …

have a ham & cheese crepe!

After taking the bus back to Monaco we walked through Monaco-ville on our way back to the ship.

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The palace is in this lovely neighborhood with wonderful views of the bay.

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DSC03370 C  Here’s a closer view of the end of the marina where the Monaco car race takes place. 

Great weather and another great stop!

Posted in Eze, France, Monaco | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Tarquinia, Italy – a day trip from Rome

Our ship docked at Civitavecchia, the closest port to Rome.  Many on our ship took day trips into Rome but we decided to have a more relaxing adventure and took a bus north to Tarquinia.  

Tarquinia was an early Etruscan city.  It was a trading power as early as the 8th century BC and reached it’s peak in the 4th century BC.  By the early Middle Ages the ancient city had shrunk to a small fortified settlement on the “Castellina”, a high hill.

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Our first stop was the Tarquinia National Museum.  There are wonderful views from this building as well as from the town walls.  This is looking west toward the sea.

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This museum is filled with Etruscan artifacts recovered from nearby archeological sites.

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These stone burial coffins are pretty impressive.

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The museum is in a beautiful Renaissance palace that was built in the mid 1400s.  They were doing some renovating or repair in the courtyard.

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This was a burial chamber that was moved and reassembled in the museum.

There are cases and cases of Grecian urns .

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Our favorite part of the visit was wandering through the old walled town .  We had it almost to ourselves!

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Views from the city walls……again, to the west and the sea.

And to the north.

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We peeked in at this gate and were invited in.  An artist lives here and we were able to view some of his sculptures.  It turns out that Tarquinia is an artists community.  I could not bring myself to take pictures of his work since we weren’t buying anything.  It was pretty pricey.

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A view to the east.

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The modern town lies to the south.

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The weather was lovely and we thoroughly enjoyed our day in Tarquinia.

Posted in Italy, Tarquinia | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment