Though I’ve covered most of my trip to Italy this year on the blog, I kept forgetting to post about taking the Bernina Express, the path of which is mostly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not because it wasn’t stunning, but because it was so different from the rest of the trip. And as winter approached, it seemed fitting to keep this snowy journey in reserve until … Continue reading A Snowy Journey: Riding the Bernina Express from Italy to Switzerland (#12DaysOfTravel, Day 3)
Oh, Venice: you were my favorite part of the trip. As close as Cinque Terre came to winning that title, the City of Canals won its way to my heart.
I was worried it was over-hyped. That years and years of people telling me how much they loved Venice, of seeing stunning pictures of it, of hearing its praises sung by every travel guide, of reading novels set in its watery streets — that somehow the prestige would lessen the grandeur. How wrong I was. I actually considered leaving Venice off our itinerary, afraid we would be exhausted by navigating tiny streets packed with tourists. I’m so glad I didn’t. Continue reading “Venice, the Floating City”
While Florence’s city center is dwarfed by Milan’s, its size is deceptive. Known as “the cradle of the Renaissance,” Florence packs endless amounts of history and art into a small space.
As we only had two nights in Florence, we could only see so much. When I travel, I prioritize flexibility over the impossible feat of “seeing it all” — and Florence was no different. In our case, we discovered the huge city market somewhat by accident, but we didn’t make it to the Uffizi or Galleria dell’Accademia. Traveling with time constraints while also embracing the ability to make spontaneous decisions sometimes means that you take the path less traveled at the expense of missing a major tourist attraction. Most of the time, I’m okay with that. Continue reading “Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance”
While browsing a used bookstore a few months ago, I peeked into the travel section to see if they had anything on Italy. Amid abandoned copies of Under the Tuscan Sun, I found Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa.
Confession: I’m no history buff. I don’t read all the plaques at museums, and I don’t seek out history tours. I appreciate history, and I like to understand its cultural relevance, but that’s about where it stops. It’s really not like me to voluntarily read an entire book on a monument’s history.
But maybe it’s something I should start doing. Continue reading “Tilting Towards Pisa: A Day Trip & Book Review”
Cinque Terre, meaning “five cities,” is located on the northwestern coast of Italy, and is just as picturesque as it looks. I already mentioned in my preliminary Italy post that this was one of the highlights of our trip, and the pictures make it easy to see why. I’ve arranged our day in this area based on my favorite cities, from most to least, although they were all beautiful in their own way. Continue reading “Cinque Terre & Italy’s Stunning Coastline”
Already recognized as a world fashion capital, Milan is well on its way to becoming a major destination. And with airfare into its international airport — Malpensa — routinely coming in hundreds of dollars cheaper than surrounding airports, I think it may soon become a popular hub for European travelers.
More than just a place to fly into, however, Milan possesses history and charm all its own. Continue reading “The Glamor & History of Milan”
As I mentioned yesterday in my reflection on the joy of being home, we just returned from vacation a few days ago. As we spent ten days in Italy, and the ‘I’ day fell just a few days after our return, it seemed fitting that I post something about the trip today. There will be more detailed posts coming, but for now, here are three of my favorite things from the trip. (Read all my subsequent posts on Italy.)