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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Walking the Appia Antica

Everyone says to visit the Via Appia  on a Sunday when the road is closed to traffic. But what they don't tell you is that "closed" is a relative term in Italy and that there's a reduced bus schedule on Sunday which is when you'll be needing it! I think you can tell where this is going, yes - getting there was a BIG hassle.

Overall I'm not a fan of the Via Appia as a day out from Rome and for us, Ostia Antica was in every way a more interesting and enjoyable excursion. There are crowds of people at the catacombs and though I was glad to visit one, I found the Scavi tour at the Vatican far more interesting. This may have been because we had an extremely grumpy elderly priest showing us around.
However, having made my complaints and caveats, I can say that the further out you get the nicer the walk and the more tombs and memorials you will see.

The very best moment of our day was serendipity. We heard a low thunder behind us and looked around and to see the astonishing sight of a shepard driving his sheep across the Via Appia! They came and went in a few moments but it was magical and all of a sudden it felt like a window into the past.
 Boy they were loud!
Below you can see the old Roman cobblestones. Believe me you will want to wear comfortable thick soled shoes or boots to walk on these babies!
There are several additional sights (including a Roman villa below) as you walk further out but we missed them as they close early in the winter.
 Frankly the sheep made the day!