Tutto Andrá Bene

March 24, 2020:  The news over the past 2-3 weeks has been beyond distressing on many levels from every part of the world.  But the situation in Italy has been heart breaking.  As I write this, the death toll there now exceeds that in China and the entire country is on lock down.

As I was searching for a way to pay tribute to some of the world’s most beautiful places, many of which are now completely empty, I found this article https://www.thehour.com/news/medical/article/AP-PHOTOS-Italians-cooped-up-by-virus-cope-with-15132301.php   and realized that the Italians were paying tribute in a way that only they can. I can only repeat what the article says: Joy did seem to exude from many balconies, or at least optimism from the hands of children. Many families hung banners with crayoned, or painted, rainbows, with a hashtag mantra: “Tutto andra’ bene,” or everything will turn out OK.

In the Mazza family, in Rome’s working class Tuscolano neighborhood, two children were busy painting just such a banner.

“Everything will be fine, we are strong,” said Marco Mazza, the father of Davide and Diana and husband of Alessandra. “Come on, we have antibodies, we have antibodies as a nation.”

So this post will simply be both new galleries and some of my favorite galleries of this special place.  And I also hope that if anyone out there reads it, that they will ask themselves, ‘Did I do something to help a neighbor in need today?  Or did I grab the last loaf of bread off the shelf even though I had plenty at home?’


I’m starting with Venice because, as I wrote in my Tears for Venice post, the Venetians have already suffered tremendously because of last November’s ‘acqua alta.’ There are so many stunning places in Venice that it was difficult to choose a favorite gallery.  I finally decided on Campo San Barnaba because, to me, it represents the ‘real’ Venice; a charming, quiet campo where you can sit for hours and watch the people.

I’m also going to include my gallery of ‘The Hands’ sculpture that we saw in 2017 because it represents all the struggles Venetians face.

Still there are some positives.  As this article states https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/nature-is-taking-back-venice-wildlife-returns-to-tourist-free-city/ar-BB11sjfH?ocid=spartanntp  the canals are much cleaner due to significantly reduced number of boats including the massive cruise ships and as a result wildlife is returning.  Perhaps,  the campaign among some Venetians to take back their city, encourage environmentally responsible tourism and rediscover their unique biosystem will gain traction.

March 2021 update:  In late March 2021 dolphins were spotted in the Grand Canal (see https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/venice-canal-dolphins/index.html)

While residents were thrilled to see them, as the article states ‘they were also in a lot of danger because of all the boats going back and forth, which could have injured them with their propellers.” The group tried to halt traffic while waiting for the police to arrive.”

“[T]he authorities called in the experts — a team from CERT, or Cetacean strandings Emergency Response Team, from the nearby University of Padua. They caught up with the dolphins back in the Giudecca Canal, between the churches of San Giorgio Maggiore and Zitelle, grand marble-clad churches designed by Palladio, which enjoy eye-popping views over the Basin of St Mark’s, and St Mark’s Square.
“The traffic was intense, and we realized the dolphins were completely disorientated, swimming around in all directions, mostly because they were scared,” Guido Pietroluongo from the group told CNN.
There’s a beautiful video in the CNN article or on Youtube.com.  As I write this I’ve been unable to share the video as I normally do.

Verona and Padua

Northern Italy, including the Veneto, seems to be the hardest hit so I also want to show the beauty of Verona and Padua.  There are so many lovely sights in both cities that I created a new gallery with pictures from some of my favorite places.


In my Forty Eight Hours in Bologna post, I wrote that while I wasn’t drawn to return to Bologna, I thought it was a lovely city and was glad I’d seen it.  Now, according to  a friend whose granddaughter lives there, it is totally shut down.

My favorite places in the city were Piazza Maggiore and the area around the university.

Ostuni and the Puglia

I’m going to jump to southern Italy, specifically the Puglia, which I wrote about in my Ostuni and the Puglia and Flying solo posts.  It’s a spectacular area and every year I say I’m going to return.  Ostuni is a lovely town as are Lecce, Alberobello, and Otranto.  The pictures that I scanned in don’t do it justice but hopefully this gallery gives the reader a taste of this region.


My sister and I spent just two and a half days here but we made the most of our time, seeing the Colosseum and Forum, the Palatine Hill, and Isola Tiberina (which you can see and read about in my  Rome post) plus took a Rome by Night tour which we loved.

Southern Tuscany

There are so many beautiful towns and places here–Montalcino, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, Sant’Antimo, Abbazzia Monte Oliveto– that I created a new gallery which hopefully showcases the beauty of this area, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

You can read more in my Montalcino and Southern Tuscany and Cathedrals and Abbeys posts.

Siena and San Gimignano

I visited Siena and San Gimignano on my first bike trip and have come back four more times (plus a trip to Siena from Firenze on a very rainy day in 2018 when we were only able to see the Duomo.)  When I brought my sister to Siena for the first time in 2010, she said seeing the Duomo alone made the trip worthwhile. I love the winding streets and the campo of Siena as well as the spectacular Duomo.  And I’ll always remember the first time I saw San Gimignano’s towers rising above the plains.     I created a collage of both cities plus Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa which are also lovely.

You can see and read more in my Siena to St. Gimignano post.


As you can tell from my  Sempre Chianti and The Towns of Chianti  posts, this is one of my favorite regions of Italy.  I have hundreds of beautiful pictures of both the countryside and the towns so it was difficult to choose a few for this gallery.

August 2020 update: Not being able to travel this year and not seeing Italy for the first time in six years, has been difficult for me.  So I’ve been watching dozens of travel videos and sharing them with friends.  Here’s one on the ‘Fifteen most Beautiful Villages in Tuscany’ which I really enjoyed.

Lucca, Pisa and the Garfagnana

My sister and I visited this area for the first time in 2015 and returned in 2016, and 2019 plus did a day trip to Pisa from Montecatini Terme in 2018.  My favorite places will always be the botanical gardens and walls of Lucca, the Devil’s Bridge, Bagni di Lucca and Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa.  Here’s a little taste of all of those.

Firenze and Fiesole

And what can I say about Firenze and Fiesole?  I fell in love with both the city and tiny Fiesole on my first trip and have returned nine times.  I hope I can come back many more.  No matter how many times I come or how crazy and crowded it is, I’m always amazed by the Duomo and the museums (see Cathedrals and Abbeys and Museums, monuments and interesting sights posts)  But as I said in my Florence and Fiesole post, what I love to do the most is wander the winding streets, piazzas and gardens.  So here are some pictures of those beautiful places along with a video of the Bardini Gardens, my absolute favorite place.

As usual I’ve written way more than I intended to, so I’ll end this post with a gallery of some equally beautiful places:  Perugia, Assisi, Passignano sul Trasimeno, Vinci, Montecatini Terme and Alto and the lovely countryside in between.  Salute!!

PS:  About a week after publishing this, I saw a performance by Andrea Bocelli on James Corden’s ‘At Home’ show and thought it was lovely.  Here it is:



April 2020 update:  If you enjoyed the performance for the Corden show, you’ll love his performance on Easter, April 12, 2020, live streamed from the Milan cathedral.  The ending where he sings Amazing Grace in the empty piazza in front of the cathedral is heart breaking.


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2020-2021

2 thoughts on “Tutto Andrá Bene

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *