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The Blog today is a request from my readers for help as I finalize my travel plans to Europe this fall. The trip will start in Barcelona, Spain when my Aunt and I, (the two merry widows, Madison and Angie) take off on a twelve day cruise. The cruise returns to Barcelona where we want to spend several days touring the city and surrounding area before heading off to Rome and additional parts of Italy. I have several questions to ask and I hope many of you will answer them in comments and also please repost this on your own blogs and Facebook pages so I can get more comments. I have found over the years, personal recommendation is often the best way to find answers and who else but my internet friends can help me find those answers?

In Italy we are going to a small village, Pacentro. This is where my grandfather (my aunt’s father) was born. Hopefully we will find a few relatives there. If you know the area we would love recommendations of what to see, where to stay, and what to eat while here

We have decided we don’t want to stay in the American owned hotels. We can do that here so why would we go to Spain and Italy and stay in the same old hotels? I am interested in hotels in Barcelona and the cities of Italy that are small, local types, or even Bed and Breakfasts. Now I don’t mean flea bag types, I still want to stay in good accommodations so where would the readers of this blog recommend?? And of course there is the food. What restaurants do readers recommend? I especially am interested in the real flavors of the country not the American ideas of those dishes. I may sample some different wines even though I usually drink nothing but “vino blanco”, (Those of you who read my book know my very favorite is Pinot Grigio). What are your recommendations as to wineries to visit and sample? And lastly, which sites are the ‘do not miss this one’ we need to see?

I am buying a new camera to take with me as I plan on lots of pics. Any recommendations here? I have always liked my SLR but thought perhaps a point and shot might be easier to deal with while traveling. Your help on this would be wonderful.

I cannot thank you enough for your help as I finalize this trip. I plan to blog as much as Wi-Fi spots will allow while I am gone so you can see the spots you all have recommended. I’d like to meet any of you if you want while I am there so let me know that too. The cruise will include France, Italy, and Croatia so recommendations are wanted for those areas too. 

And before I close, I am learning Italian. Any emails in Italian would be helpful so I can work on my translations. After three years of Latin in high school, I hope the Italian will be as easy for me as Spanish!