The European Adventure of 2019

We flew from Indy to Detroit to Rome. Leonard had already been in Italy for almost a month, so we met he and Randy (who arrived about an hour before us) at the car rental agency. Scott and Jeremy were delayed slightly, so we lounged around the airport and tried to stay awake until they arrived. A quick drive north to Tuscany brought us to the truly magical villa called Mazzini 31 in the cliff town of Monteleone d’Orvieto. As we arrived, the clouds rolled into the city (not so uncommon since we were on the top of a mountain), so our views disappeared while we explored the villa. This villa is owned by an architect that has restored/rebuilt several villas around Tuscany (and Mexico). He does an amazing job of mixing the ancient bones of the house with the modern design we love. The 3-bedroom villa had very unique spaces (including a deep subterranean pool and wine cellar in the caves deep below the villa).

Having already hosted several friends at the Villa, Leonard quickly showed us his favorite sites and restaurants. Happy Birthday Leonard. After a lovely week exploring towns, churches, restaurants, wineries, and shops, our gaggle of gays drove down to the Amalfi Coast.

While I typically don’t mind driving in Europe, the tight and twisting roads along the Amalfi Coast quickly made me realize why I prefer the train system. OMG! My hands were cramping from gripping the steering wheel so tightly by the time we arrived at the Villa Gianlica in Praiano. Our small hotel was lovely. If you ever need a great place to stay, I highly recommend the Villa Gianlica. Their staff and accommodations are amazing.

Our group rented a 10M yacht to jet around the coast and see the island of Capri up close and personal (including the frigid dip in the Mediterranean); our Captain, Cosimo, was not bad to look at either. Sadly, Jeremy and Scott had to depart mid-week, but the remaining four of us scraped by cars from cliff town to cliff town. Ravello was my absolute favorite!

After a week of relaxation (other than the driving), Leonard, Randy, John, and I made our way to the Naples airport. While Randy departed back for the United States, Leonard, John and I hopped a short flight to Paris. Unfortunately, John had to change our plans a bit and return to work after just a day in Paris. That left Leonard and I to explore the city on our own. This was my fifth trip to Paris and I will admit that it never gets old. New museums and restaurants abound around every corner.

Click on any of the photos below to see the entire photo!