Monday, January 28, 2013

Italy


You guys I am SO, SO, SO excited... I'm going to Italy!  It's official.  I booked my flight last week and I can't wait.  This will be my very first trip to Europe and I seriously can't believe it.  When one of my best girls first asked me about going to Italy this spring my initial response was, No... I can't go on a trip to Europe without my husband or my girls... that's impossible.  But with my husbands encouragement and support I'm going.  We fly into Venice and since we're only there a week total, we're going to stick to a few places in Northern Italy, but I seriously can't wait.  We're visiting another friend from college who lives there with her family.  I don't know if I'm more excited for Italy, or for reuniting with dear friends.  The picture above is from a little part of Italy called Cinque Terre off the Mediterranean coast and I hear it's a must see.  I couldn't agree more... I think we're going go!  

Anything else you seasoned Italian travelers recommend in Venice or around those parts?  We won't have time to do Rome, but what else?  Also, any good travel tips for Europe in general?  Insider information?     



I just found this.... this is a screenshot from my Favorite Places and Spaces board on Pinterest.  I have very few travel destinations on that board, but I pinned this pic a year ago and wrote those words below... I didn't even know this was Cinque Terra!  The power of suggestion, the Universe, the Secret... call it what you will, but I think it worked!  


24 comments:

  1. thrilled for you! Luff Europe. So irritating that its 24 hour plane trip away.

    Are you going to Lake Como? x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love Italy almost as much as my own children, JK. Seriously, It is amazing! I am an expat living in Saudi Arabia and it is usually just one plane ride away from Europe. Italy is my most favorite. Two years ago me and three friends took a mother daughter trip there. No husbands, although we kindly consented to let them pay for the trip. We mostly did Rome, but did rent a car and did the whole Twilight Saga excursion. The whole trip was amazing! Beautiful people inside and out. Left there having a major crush on anything Italian. Men, women, children, young, old and anything in between. Second favorite place on earth is Turkey. It is a must as well. Love your blog. You keep it real, telling the ups and downs of life. Love the honesty. We own a hose in Austin and will be coming home for repat the end of March. The inlaws live in San Antonio, maybe we will run into you out and about at the river walk. I have been following your blog for a couple years, not sure why I just now decided write you a dissertation. Have fun in Italy!

      Delete
    2. FF--I don't know...I think we might do Lake Como? Do you recommend?

      Donna--haha! So glad to hear Italy is a favorite...thought it was a good place to start. And thanks for the compliments and yes maybe we will run into each other! It's happened before!

      Delete
  2. I'm so excited for you!! When I was in Italy. I didn't make it to Venice, but eat LOTS of pesto pizza when you're in Cinque Terre. Their pesto is the best-- I brought jars of it home in my luggage. ;) if you could figure out how to bring home gelato as well, you'd be set!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK pesto from Cinque Terre. Check. (I heard that's where pesto was invented). And Gelato...I will either find a way to bring it home with me, or eat it at every meal, every chance I get that I actually grow tired of it and never want any gelato ever again. Not possible I'm sure...but I'll give it a go!

      Delete
  3. That sounds incredible! I've never been- I will live vicariously through you this Spring and dream away :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. We went to Italy a few years ago and the Cinque Terra is the BEST. It's like going back in time. You can hike between the towns and each one is a bit different. Make sure you visit the cemetary..very interesting! The train system in Italy is awesome so you shouldn't have any problem getting from place to place. Have a great time and soak it in! I would go back in an instant if given the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh no you're not visiting Ash! No fair! That is so great you're taking this opportunity. I can't even wrap my head around going to Italy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Britty!!! I know! You should be on this trip! We still need to do a college girls reunion... I still have hopes. :)

      Delete
  6. I LOVE Venice... there's an awesome tour you can take of St Marks where they go around and explain all the murals. It only runs in the summer so check if it's on when you go. We missed it once and caught it on another trip... fascinating. It all makes more sense when you understand the significance of what you're looking at. Also, get on a boat and go out to the islands - Murano for glass and Burano for lace. Takes ages but worth it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the recommendations!

      Delete
  7. My husband and I were in Italy (our first trip to Europe!) in October - the Cinque Terre is AMAZING! The towns are each very similar, but we were determined to see each of them... and we did! But, if you pick just one, you'll still get a great idea of all of them :-)

    Lucca was one of our VERY favorite towns. The history is really interesting. We rented bikes - you can ride around the town on the top of the old fortified wall... amazing!!!

    Have fun!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very cool...I hope we get to see at least a couple. Thanks!

      Delete
  8. Anonymous5:16 PM

    I really enjoy your blog! Bless you and your beautiful girls!

    My recommendation (from my 2 trips to Venice) is to GET LOST! :) Avoid St Marks and the grand canal because it's incredibly fake...Disney World is more authentic, haha. It's scary at first because you worry that you'll really get lost, but if you wander just a few canals/blocks from the tourist spots? My gosh it's another world!...it was so stunning. You don't want to go all the way to Venice and not experience the hidden alleys and beauty. It's completely safe too...I wasn't scared once. :) And you'll find your way back, no problem.

    ReplyDelete
  9. April can't come soon enough.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The roads are like spaghetti noodles- very confusing in Italy :) I recommend public transport for sure, or bikes or just walking. Like someone said, get lost. Its a tad scary at first, but if you have a street map eventually you will figure out where you are! In general things/places are hard to find. The house wine is all usually lovely and affordable when eating out. I also really liked the pizza with cream cheese if you get the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Florence! You cannot miss Florence! It's not far from Cinque Terra and it's not huge so you could do it in a day since you're short on time. I also recommend just one day in Venice - it's amazing and you're going to love it, but you can definitely see it in one day, especially if it means getting to see Florence. What a fun trip! I'm so excited for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous10:40 AM

    In northern Italy Lake Maggiore and lake Garda, Mantova, Ravenna, Parma and many other places are worth a trip. Alpes are not bad, too ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would recommend setting at least a full day aside for Cinque Terre. You can buy a walking pass for about 5 euros (it is considered a national park along the coastline trail) and walk from city to city. You can also buy a train pass for about 10 euros/day if you want to go a little faster. You can buy these passes at the info booths you will see as you arrive. The towns are all so close together, you will probably have time to stop in each cute little town. Bring your swimsuit...the beaches are great, the trail has parts you can venture off into the ocean, and the locals like to swim and hang out in a tiny little bay in Vernazza (Venazza also has some delicious pesto pizza). I love the middle towns of Cinque Terre the most. They are more like the "postcards" than the others.

    I loved Florence...probably my favorite city in Italy (the market!, the architecture, the old men playing old fashioned games in the park, the view when you go really high and the overall feel. Oh, and the best gelato shop ever!)

    Have a great time!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous10:58 AM

    If you have time in Cinque Terre, this osteria in Corniglia (one of the middle villages) is very, very good: Osteria a Cantina de Mananan (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187818-d1111530-Reviews-Osteria_a_Cantina_de_Mananan-Corniglia_Cinque_Terre_Italian_Riviera_Liguria.html).

    In addition to pesto, Liguria is famous for salsa di noci, a sauce for pasta made from walnuts (so, so rich, but so good). It is often served with a vegetable and cheese filled pasta called pansotti.

    Have fun, I visit my in-laws in Liguria often, but never seem to make it farther east than Genoa :-(.

    -MadHiker

    ReplyDelete
  15. Go to Florence! We loved it! Go see David. Oh my...amazing. The art of Florence is not overrated.
    Get lost in Venice - the main stuff is kinda cheesy (in a fun/annoying way), but once you get further away from the main attractions, it's so beautiful and weird.
    Cinque Terre!! LOVE! Stay as long as you can and eat - the food and beauty of CT is great.
    Have fuuun!!

    Also. I LOVELOVELOVE your new bed. Can B make one for us? Pretty please:):):)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Italy is my absolute favorite and the Cinque Terre are stunning. My husband and I lived in Europe for a year right after we got married and did lots of travelling - a bit of an extended honeymoon if you will. Anyway, my one biggest suggestion that I CANNOT overemphasize is to get the Rick Steves travel books. I will never travel anywhere he's covered without his books. They are far and away the best. And he has free podcasts on his website that are really great too. Check it out!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Miggy! Near Venice you can find an unusual itinerary through the provinces of Bologna, Ferrara, Mantova, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Rovigo and the Park of Po Delta. A part of Italy where you can find UNESCO District (Quadrilatero dell’UNESCO).
    Here https://www.facebook.com/RediscoverItaly some news, information, events but especially curiosity about life, tradition, gastronomy, personality, myths and legends about this area of Italy between the regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. A special attention to the whole beautiful architecture and landscapes so important to be recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO.
    Have a nice travel! Welcome in Italy!

    ReplyDelete
  18. italy is really great country and it has got wonderful places to seeing

    ReplyDelete