We Stayed at Great Places


Hôtel de Charme Le Hameau

Hotel Le Hameau

See: Great Places To Stay


Hotel Violino D'Oro

Hotel Violino D'Doro


Hotel Riviera & Maximillian's

Hotel Riveria Maximillian's



We flew from Vancouver to Paris, and then at the Paris Airport met our friends Chris & Carmen Grant to travel to Nice, and start our 2009 trip.

In Nice we picked up our car. As with previous trips, we arranged our car through the Renault TT Program. You select your car for a period of at least 21 days. At the end, return the car and it is sold within France as a used vehicle, not subject to the VAT tax in France.

We pick up the car, get a very brief overview and then drove up to the small town of St. Paul de Vence, located about 20 minutes north of Nice. we stayed at the Hôtel de Charme Le Hameau. We have stayed at Le Le Hameau many times always finding it to be a very relaxing enjoyable stay.

Hotel Le Hameau in St. Paul de Vence St. Paul de Vence

Scenic and peaceful Hotel Le Hameau.

St Paul de Vence, a scenic stone village in the hills above Nice.

Small scenic alleyways of St. Paul de Vence St. Paul de Vence

St. Paul de Vence is enjoyable to just walk about.

Many of the small walkways in St. Paul de Vence are just streets, with no retail. Very enjoyable.

Market in Nice Market in Nice

When in Nice, visit the market in the old town.

Great food at the Nice Market.


From Nice we drove to Venezia (Venice) for two nights. On this trip we stayed at the Hotel Violino D'Oro and found it to be a hotel with just what we wanted: a great location, pleasant rooms and very helpful staff. It is located not too far from Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square) so it was easy to get to and from. The hotel even has a roof-top patio.

When we arrived a major water regatta was underway. That meant the Grand Canal was closed to regular boat traffic. We were dropped by the water taxi at the Zattere stop on the outside waterways.

Here are some of our postcards

From there made our way walking through the maze of streets, luggage in tow, and trying to get over the bridges where were jammed with tourists watching the regatta.

For those of you who think, just use your GPD to guide you, ours would not work in the narrow passageways. "Can't Locate Satellite" was all we could see on the screen.

Venezia Venezia
Venezia Venezia
Venezia Venezia


On Monday Karen and I took the train to the town of Bassano del Grappa to visit with Giuseppe Aquila, the CEO of Aquila Brand - the new owner of the Montegrappa Pen company. Montegrappa is the older pen manufacturer in Italy and makes high end pens. It was a great visit.

Giuseppe Aquila and Glenn Marcus at Montegrappa Glenn at Montegrappa

Giuseppe Aquila, CEO Montegrappa Pen with Glenn Marcus

Glenn Marcus standing in front of rods of celluloid used for the body and caps of Montegrappa fountain pens.


From Venice we traveled to Trieste. We stayed at the Hotel Riviera & Maximillian's - a great hotel located about 7 km from Trieste in a very pleasant bay not too far from the Miramare Castle.

Miramare Castle Roman Theatre in Trieste

Miramare Castle with its interesting history of linkage to Mexico.

Remains of Roman Theatre in Trieste.


Istria Peninsula

The Istrian peninsula, is the westernmost section of Croatia. This is considered one of the primary tourist regions of Croatia. Think green slopes, versus the limestone cliffs of the Dalmatian coast.


We are now only about 100 from Trieste Italy. The write-ups on this town were correct. This is one of the most scenic towns on the Adriatic coast. Even Rick Steves notes this as his favourite town on the Adriatic. It is a town of twisting streets, old buildings.

Rovinji Rovinji

Coastal town of Rovinji.

Narrow streets, just walk and explore.



We sent to Pula to see the Roman ruins. The Roman Arena is the 6th largest surviving Roman amphitheatre in the world. It was built in the 1st century AD during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian.

The Temple of Augustus (of the goddess Romae and Emperor Augustus) dates from the 1st century. The portico has six Corinthian columns and a closed cella.




We made our way to Opatula, on the Kvarner Gulf and stayed at the Villa Ariston. It was great to have a good hotel, right on the water to relax and have a swim. The meal was great.

Slide Show - Week One


A Slide Show

StPauldeVence 0027
Week Two