Monthly Archives

September 2016

Italy – Positano, Amalfi Coast

September 25, 2016

Positano was like a dream. Cute shops and boutiques overlooking the mediterranean, salty sea water, fresh salami and prosciutto, basil, tomato sandwiches, cotton candy sunsets, and what feels like a million stairs to climb.

I have always been inspired by the mediterranean for my home decor so I was in heaven for the three days that we were in Positano and on the Amalfi Coast. I just want arches of morning glory and bougainvillea dripping from my fence. – Luckily both of these grow pretty easily around here so perhaps next summer I can make my vision come to life.

We dipped our toes and floated in the sea, looked for sea glass, made some friends and on our last night we attended the locals’ annual fish festival, listened to live music, and worn out and sun-toasted passed out in our beds only to be woken up a few short hours later to the booming of a major firework show right outside our balcony. Ugh, take me back to Positano right now please.

 

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Italy – Tuscany, San Gimingano and Siena

September 22, 2016

As I mentioned last time, we spent a day taking a guided tour through Tuscany, San Gimingano and Siena. While we were extremely worn out by the end of the day it was a really wonderful way to get to see all of these places with someone knowledgable to show us around and teach us about the difference cultures, wines, histories, architectures etc. For example, did you know that Siena was a gothic city? Now you know ;-).

San Gimingano was a small medieval village that is, unfortunately, completely taken over by tourism. That being said, I realize it’s hypocritical that we took a tour there, and we did get an immersive experience, visiting cafes where Andrew and Aileen got wine, and I got chocolate.

Note: unless you REALLY love pepper don’t opt for peperone rossa chocolate. Contrary to my assumption, this does not mean you are buying some exotic rose flavored Italian chocolate… I am not a picky person but didn’t feel right throwing away expensive chocolate but every time we opened our bags the [incredibly potent] smell would overcome us until we finally gave up and tossed it.

Tuscany we got to wine taste (well Aileen and Andrew did) real Chianti in the Chianti region and eat lunch overlooking the rolling hills.

Siena was an amazing little town with gothic architecture and a wonderful history. I love that there has become a mix of buildings that are so archaic and modern shops in so much of Europe. It is so much more immersive, like you really feel as if you get to be a part of history; unique from having to stand behind a bunch of ropes and just look.

 

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Italy – Florence

September 21, 2016

I received insight from so many people that despite Florence being walkable, it was worth staying there longer than we did Rome. We were trying to decide where we wanted to spend three nights and I am really glad with our decision to stay here for the time we did. This allowed us to take a day trip to see the Tuscan countryside, Siena and San Gimignano, which I will post about in a separate update. Between the friendly pigeons, historic sights and architecture, delicious food and amazing street music we had an amazing time. The only thing I missed out on was being able to consume wine on the streets, a good trade for the opportunity to go with our little babe. – Already so well traveled!

I think one of the most magical moments in Florence was when we were walking through the streets and stumbled upon three string instruments being played in the courtyard of the Ufizzi Gallery. We had a chance to just sit and enjoy the beauty and really absorb the culture.

Aside from finding hole in the wall restaurants the one big name meal we would recommend getting is La Giostra, order the pear ravioli and you won’t be disappointed! Yum!! Ironically, we also had really good ramen in Florence, right by our AirBnB. It was what changed Andrew’s mind, he wasn’t a big fan prior.

Again we were able to walk all of Florence, and did so numerous times, twice (again) with our suitcases, those poor suckers really held up well!

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Italy – Venice

September 18, 2016

We had been anticipating going to Italy for 10 months. I bought our tickets last February after I got a new job, Andrew had never been to Europe and I was excited to get to see the parts of the Mediterranean that has long inspired my home decor tastes. Due to the limitations of Andrew’s rigorous job, we had ten days to squeeze in as much as we could of the historic and scenic country from Venice to Positano.

Here is our itinerary:

1 night in Venice

3 nights in Florence

2 nights in Rome

2 nights in Positano

1 night in Naples

After all of our anticipation, as travel does, our trip’s start didn’t get off on the right foot. Our first flight was delayed which would have caused us to miss our connection. Long story short, we didn’t get to Venice until 12 hours after we were planning. Hence why all of our pictures are during the night time and very early morning.

Venice is incredibly magical with hidden secrets around every corner, and when they say Venice is a city to get lost in, that’s exactly what you do there. You might think you are going west and somehow find yourself going north. Either way, we were able to walk around the entire island, to our AirBnB and then to the train station – even while dragging around our suitcases.

We took a water taxi to the island where we had to get off at the Ospedale stop which Andrew pronounced osen-dayle in his very Californian accept ::forehead smack:: it took us about 48 hours to realize that ospedale actually means hospital in Italian; which explains why the first place we walked into, looked like some sort of campus, with everyone dressed in white…. Imagine someone walking into a hospital with their suitcases asking where they are. Ah memories.

Now excuse my photo dump:

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Holding the wine for effect, don’t worry I only tasted it 😉

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