Sunday, July 13, 2014


the basilica di santa maria del fiore, or florence cathedral

after istanbul i spent about 10 days driving through italy with my parents. we flew to rome and drove straight to a little town called impruneta outside of florence and from there we spent time in lucca, modena, lake garda, verona and venice as well as several places along the way. here are my photos and memories.

driving all over the italian countryside with sunlight streaming through the clouds, past crumbling farmhouses, huge tree covered hills, shallow streams flowing over white pebbles, wineries with rows and rows of grapes, tiny mountain towns and big cities full of sherbert-coloured houses. neon yellow egg yolks and the best tomatoes in the world. gelato every day (sometimes twice). beautiful vine covered buildings and flower filled balconies.

florence: the best pizza i had in the whole of italy from i tre pini in impruneta on our first night. the winery we stayed at in the hills of tuscany which had a hedgehog as its emblem. stopping on our way into florence at an outlook with a view of the whole city. florence cathedral and pont vecchio.

lucca: delicious fudge and truffles from cioccolato cavalsani and ice cream from essenza del gusto. climbing the rickety 207 stairs of the clock tower for a view of the city. walking into a church just as a choir started practising. driving to forte di marmi for brunch and buying silk scarves with flowers and cats on them.

modena: my favorite gelato from anywhere we visited was from a little place called paradice. our waiter at dinner who spent six months of every year in south africa and who liked us because we were from the same hemisphere.

the view from lucca clocktower

lake garda: getting lost on the way there and having to get on and off the autostrada three times. eating cherries on our balcony overlooking the lake. a simple but delicious dinner at hotel ristorante miralago with a lovely man who served us four plates of extra vegetables at no charge. wandering up to moniga castle in the unusually long dusk with a big moon overhead. finding a little bar with a beautiful view over the lake that played the same CD on repeat and served chips and bread and cheese for free with your drinks. catching the ferry to the magical town of sirmione and wandering around the castle with white swans in the moat that opens to the lake. making friends with a bug-eyed chihuahua named benny. gigantic ice cream cones dipped in chocolate and sprinkles and nuts. coming across the tiniest pebbled beach with swans walking on the shore and ducks and fish swimming two steps into the water. catching the ferry back to moniga and swimming in our pool in the late afternoon.

verona: visiting juliet's balcony at the casa di capulet. lavender crème brûlée for lunch dessert. the arena di verona which is older than the colosseum.

casa di giulietta, or juliet's balcony

venice: buying fresh eggs and fruit and vegetables from the markets near the rialto bridge. piazza san marco and the basilica. a gondola ride through the canals. exploring the other, less tourist-filled side of the rialto. eating gelato in a cone-cup from gelatoteca suso. buying pretty white embroidered linen shirts. eating dinner at a flowery restaurant on the grand canal on our last night.
the view from the rialto bridge


  1. Ooh a roadtrip through Italy! That would be an amazing way to see the country. I've visited Florence, Rome and Venice but that was on a tour so there wasn't much time in each place, having a car and taking your own time sounds awesome. So much food/gelato by the sounds of it, I want it alllll.

    1. yeah it was wonderful and my dad did all the driving too, haha. i'd feel nervous if i were driving around with a friend because i'm really bad with directions and driving on the wrong side of the road is dangerous when you're not used to it but it was such a great time getting to see so much of italy, and of course eating ice cream everywhere we went!

  2. I love Italy in your lens. I've heard a lot about Italy and I saw many photos and yeah I find it amazing and I wish I could visit it one day. I'm sure I wouldn't regret !

  3. This is making me so nostalgic about my trip to Italy, which feels like a lifetime ago! Venice was one of my favourite places, but of course, it's hard to pick just one as the whole country is stunning (and your photos definitely does it justice)

    xx Carina

  4. The first set of photos had me tearing up and I was sobbing by your description of lavender crème brûlée for lunch dessert. Beautiful… beautiful... b e a u t i f u l!! Your photos from just ten days in Italy makes me want to jump on the next flight with a one way ticket. I've fallen into 'tragic love' with Italy.

    1. awwwww thank you! italy is such a beautiful country, i've been a couple of times before but i think i really felt it this time driving through the countryside and stopping in small towns and big cities all over the country. the whole place is just stunning. you definitely need to book that flight one day!

  5. this looks absolutely amazing! I'm visiting Italy for the first time next month, reading this has just made me even more excited!

  6. Oh my! Italy is everything ones imagine and more. You capture Italy beautifully, and what a wonderful days spent there -- so much history, colors, architecture and life. I am in love with your travel posts, so refreshing.

  7. Okay, so the first thing that I notice is that the Juliet statue has been restored since the last time I visited two years ago! When I went, the gold of her left boob was all worn off due to people constantly touching it and I remember finding it so funny. So far, she hasn't brought me any good luck in love, which I can't say I'm too pleased about! Haha.

    To be honest, Italy wasn't my favourite country, but I definitely have fond memories of gelato and other delicious food. I think it was Venice where I ate the most amazing blue cheese gnocchi and to this day, I still can't get it out of my mind. I think Italy wasn't as enjoyable as it could've been for me because that was the destination of my trip where I got sick and I remember crying after reaching the top of the Colosseum. Good times! I'd love to go back one day though as I thought Rome was so beautiful and I didn't get to go to Milan, which I would love to visit.

    I just read your comment in Kat's blog post and omg, I hope you're planning on doing a haul when you get back home. All the cheap beauty products! It will be EPIC. I'd love to see all the other bits and pieces you buy too! You have such an eye for accessories and little random things.

    1. hahaha, it's a funny story to rub her boob for luck anyway since she didn't seem to have much herself! & that sucks about getting sick, it's always going to taint your experience a bit because you can't enjoy it as much as when you're well and you just don't feel good while you're there. i'm not sure why but it never really stood out to me as a place i LOVED until this trip. i had no bad memories of it i think i just was more interested in other places but after seeing a lot more of it it just gets more and more beautiful to me.

      hahaha the haul would just be out of control but i'm definitely going to have to post about at least some of it! maybe i'll do a few different types of favourites when i get back or something!

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