Category Archives: travel

Florence: Day 2: Under the Tuscan Sun

It’s Day 2 in Florence and you’re up early and ready to head out for a hike. And even though you packed enough workout clothes for nearly every day of your trip, you find yourself in them for the first time in over a week. You make a mental note to wear less luon when you get back to the states, likely short-lived but an effort nonetheless.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

It’s also the point in which you are reminded how much more organized your new husband is with clothes than you are. You make a mental note to try harder once your back home but when you’re reminded by seeing this photo approximately one month later, you realize you like the luon, that goal was also short-lived.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

You hike up towards the villas stacked in the hills surrounding Florence with the hope to see the panoramic landscape below. Only problem is your hike leads you on a two to three-mile uphill tour of narrow roads with thick, high walls. It’s still beautiful, and a great way to burn off the gelato, but you’ll soon realize you chose the local scenic route and they probably don’t care about seeing the properties of all their neighbors on the morning walks, either. Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

It’s on your way down that the you finally catch a glimpse of what every book about a recently divorced woman who decides to search for her identity again in Italy, describes. Sweeping valleys filled with grape vines, sunshine-colored villas you swear you’ll come back and rent with your group of friends for your 40th birthday and Italian cypress trees. Lots of Italian cypress trees. Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangeloFlorence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangeloFlorence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

 

I’m not quite sure how we got there, but we eventually made our way to the piazza de Michelangelo towards the end of our hike. We’d visit the real guy later that afternoon so it was neat to watch the buses drop off hundreds of tourists at the top of the city after we had sort of carved our own path (literally) along the scenic route. Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

We took the short way home, just down a little winding road in the above picture and got cleaned up for breakfast at the same place we went the morning before.
Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

Seeing Michelangelo’s “David” was perhaps the only time we paid too much to skip the line the whole trip. At this point we hadn’t pre-booked anything and had managed to see quite a bit by just the one person gets in a random line and the other walks to the front to make sure the random line actually gets us in the door strategy. David is a pretty popular guy in Florence so we figured he was worth it.Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

Thanks to Michelangelo, I no longer feel self-conscious about my arm veins. Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

That afternoon, we checked out the nearby leather district with intention to actually buy something. I can’t even remember the place, but suddenly I lost Matt and was somewhere in Vegas, trying to find my way out from the random corridors that let me to watches, jewelry and leather goods I could only afford if I got to take home half the pot of the guy with the gold pinky ring for being his good luck charm.
Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

I did learn how they get gold-leaf on leather, though!

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

Our last night in Florence, after a snack of cheese and wine ate with a baby sugar spoon, we went to dinner at local spot Trattoria Casalinga. We’d heard good things about the family run restaurant and promised ourselves that even if we got stuck with the menu only being written in Italian, we’d just wing it. And wing it we did. Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

We started with mixed crostinis and more antipasto than we realized we were ordering and enjoyed a tortellini with sugo (don’t ask but it was delicious) and a cut of veal (once again don’t ask but it was delicious).

We normally didn’t have room for dessert, but when we watched the grandmother of our waitress carry a fresh batch of her special merengue cake to the dessert counter below, we pushed through. And I’m so glad we pushed through. Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, michaelangelo, museo de accademia, michaelangelo's david, tuscany, piazza de michaelangelo

Stick with me because next up, we head to Rome!

roma, rome, italian honeymoon, honeymoon, wedding, italy, colosseum,  IMG_0416_2

 

Florence: Day 1: A ridiculous amount of renaissance art

Today we kick off a two-day tour of Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, home to Michaelangelo’s “David” and checking the box on everything I expected Tuscany to be.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art,

In just an hour or so on a high-speed train we arrived in Florence (Firenze) and made our way from the train station across the Ponte Vecchio bridge to Hotel La Scaletta.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Tucked away in a nook near the Palazzo Pitti or Pitti Palace was our gem of a hotel. The staff was wonderful, the tiny lift that could only fit the two of us OR our luggage was adorable and the views were breathtaking.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art,

After brunch and a cappuccino at a nearby cafe, we spent most of the morning browsing what’s said to be a ridiculous amount of renaissance art inside the Pitti Palace.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, IMG_4980 Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art,

Home to the Medici family as early as 1549, it took us hours to get through all of the residences of the family and their assistants. I was pleasantly surprised that Matt and I shared similar taste and tolerance for renaissance art, perhaps one of the few things our pre-marital questionnaire did not reveal ahead of the wedding. Crazy to think that it took us until the modern wing of the museum to see anything American.

That afternoon we ventured around the central part of the city towards the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Duomo. Even with photos, it’s hard to explain how beautiful this gothic-style cathedral really is but perhaps mentioning that every green, pink and white detail you see is made of polychrome marble.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art,

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art,

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art,

We stopped for an aperitivo at local sweet spot Gilli and enjoyed the people watching in the Piazza de Republica. It reminded us both of Chicago, both the high-end shops and the group of twenty-something girls from Chicago drinking Champagne at the table next to us.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art,

That evening we had a dinner reservation on the roof of our hotel. I was expecting nice views, but the meal was one of the best we had the entire trip. The waiter was wonderful, the wine perfect and well the sunset, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art, Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta, palazzo pitti, boboli gardens, renaissance art,

Next time I’ll introduce you to my guy David and tell you more about how much I didn’t want to leave this pretty city.

In search of bolognese

Today we venture south to Bologna, a medieval looking city with a center that’s more Chicago State Street than Little Italy.

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica,

Bologna is referred to in a number of ways. La Grassa (the fat one) celebrates the first bolognese sauce that originated in the city. La Dotta (the learned one) refers to the university that was founded in 1088. And La Rossa (the red one) illustrates the red terracotta medieval buildings with their miles of porticoes and apparently some left-wing politics as well. (source)

We arrived by train and after checking out our very modern accommodations at Hotel Metropolitan, ventured out to check out the open markets.

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food, hotel metropolitan

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food

We quickly realized there were far less tourists in Bologna than Venice and after an hour or so roaming the streets surrounding the main piazza, far more American retail stores.

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food

We stopped for lunch at an outdoor cafe near the museum and had our first really memorable meal of the trip. Perhaps not as much as this kid who enjoyed a foccacia sandwich larger than his entire torso. Bon Appetito!

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food

Matt enjoyed a tagliatelle with bolognese and I had a salad with poached egg, asparagus and peccorino cheese with a side of bread and wine, naturally.

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food IMG_0256_2 Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food

That afternoon, we boarded the San Luca Express for a ride along the portico that led up to the Basilica Santuario della Madonna di San Luca overlooking the city. We had originally planned on walking the trip but after hearing it would take two hours to walk the world’s longest portico, we both decided riding was the best decision of the day.

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food

If the views from the top of the city weren’t breathtaking enough, a walk inside the basilica will do it.

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese foodBologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese foodBologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese foodBologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese foodBologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food

It was at the top of San Luca that we had our first aperitivo on the trip. Partially pictured: the tiny round teeter-totter that was the seat at this quaint pizzeria.

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica, bolognese, open markets, porticoes, travel, summer in italy, bolognese food, aperitivo

Our stop in Bologna was quick, but we were grateful to experience the University town before heading down to Florence for the next few days and falling even more in love with this beautiful country.

Florence, firenze, Italy, honeymoon in italy, honeymoon, wedding, travel, duomo, ponte vecchio, tuscany, la scaletta,

 

Ciao!

Visiting Venice: Day 2

It’s day 2 in Venice and by now you’ve established that a day well spent begins with a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, breakfast, travel, venezia, italia

To give you a little history on Venice. Years ago, ok centuries, the Venetians decided that a big old swamp with a few islands looked suitable for establishment of a city. So the barbarians may have had something to do with it, but after surviving a few plagues and purchasing a lot of flood insurance, Venice became one of the most beautiful, and rapidly sinking, cities in the world.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica,

After breakfast, you hop on a water taxi, or vaparetto, and take a ride out and around the island to San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square. Today, you’re sort of reversing your steps from the airport yesterday, every tiny little step you lugged that brand new but fully-loaded luggage over to get to the hotel.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, IMG_4792

You determine the ferries are very similar to the CTA and minus the language barrier, feel fairly confident navigating them with little to no conversational Italian speaking skills yet established.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica,

You arrive at San Marco and suddenly realize your hotel is in a much quieter part of town.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica,

It’s a good thing you take way too many photos of gondolas, gondoliers and gondola riders, because you will save yourself 100 Euro when you run out of time to take a ride later that afternoon.

The basilica at San Marco is a must so you climb a steep and narrow staircase to the museum on the upper level where for a small fee they allow you to go out on the marble-tiled roof for a great view of the square. Your legs will tingle the whole time as your new husband leans and stretches himself way too close to the edge.  You make a mental note to adjust your life insurance policy when you return to the states.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, IMG_4850venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica,

View between the Doge palace (Palazzo Ducale) and prison, along the Bridge of Sighs.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica,

Grand Council Chamber in Doge Palace, said to be the largest room in Europe.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica,

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica,

By now you’re starving so you wander the winding streets surrounding San Marco until you settle on a trattoria, or rather, you get tired of getting heckled to try said trattorias so you choose the one where they seem to need you the least.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica, venice, italy, honeymoon in italy. cappuccino, croissant, gondola, grand canal, doge palace, st. mark's square, travel, venezia, italia, san marco, doge palace, st. mark's basilica,

venice, italian honeymoon, italy, venezia, pasta, olives,

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

You wrap up your trip in Venice with dinner at another local spot and a quick stop for gelato. Your next few days would determine that the best evenings are ended with gelato and the best food in Italy is not in Venice.

Next up, Bologna!

Bologna, italy, honeymoon in Italy, San Luca, basilica,

Visiting Venice: Day 1

Today you’re off to Venice. Get excited!

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge

Wait. Not yet. First you have to get to Chicago. And then Toronto, dontchaknow.

venice. air canada, honeymoon in italy, toronto, frankfurt, germany, german pretzel, chicago, ohare, wedding

Add in a brief stop for Fruhstuck (thanks 4 years of German class) in Frankfurt and you’ve made it.

IMG_0178 venice. air canada, honeymoon in italy, toronto, frankfurt, germany, german pretzel, chicago, ohare, wedding

But you’ll get there eventually. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised by both the quality (very good) and cost (free!) of the wine Air Canada will serve you on the way.

venice. air canada, honeymoon in italy, toronto, frankfurt, germany, german pretzel, chicago, ohare, wedding

Merci. Danke and Grazie.

You’ll attempt to follow your new husband’s directions and try to pretend the sunrise over the atlantic is actually a sunset to prepare yourself for the 7-hour time difference, but considering it’s your first time ever crossing the Atlantic, you’re just thankful to focus on the free movies instead of the potential water landing.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridgeYou take a bus from the airport and arrive to the island mid-morning. It’s just a short walk to the hotel and as soon as you step foot inside to be greeted by the friendly staff, it starts pouring outside. A beautiful and perfectly-timed rain shower.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge, hotel abbazia

You get a caffeine fix from the staff while you wait for your room to be ready. A cappuccino for her and an espresso for him before heading out to explore in an effort to avoid complete jet lag.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge

 

Obviously bright-eyed, you spend the afternoon exploring the narrow streets lined by canals and the cutest little boats you’ve ever seen.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge IMG_0202

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge

 

The rain lasts just long enough for you to still think it’s pretty. It’s the last sign of clouds or precipitation you’ll experience for the next 10 days.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge

IMG_4775 venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge, gelato venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge

 

You make it to dinner and based on a recommendation from the concierge where the menu is in Italian and the waitress doesn’t speak English. A perfect end to a very long day and the beginning of a wonderful honeymoon.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge,

 

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, venezia, travel, wedding, canal, bridge

 

 

Oh hello there!

Should we try this again? You know that whole I actually login and write stuff down about what’s going on in our crazy life and you occasionally read it, offer color commentary or just secretly binge read a month’s worth of posts like I do with oh so many bloggers?

Truth is its hard to get back to blogging when you’ve left for a while. It’s like skipping the gym. So you miss one day. It’s not that big of a deal if you creep back in the next day. But skip three or more days? Well you might as well put on your sweats and start a monthly pizza and beer subscription because you aren’t leaving your couch anytime soon. Restarting is the hardest part. Which reminds me. I should really get back to the gym.

Where do you start? How do you catch people up on the last few months when more blog worthy events have occurred in a few weeks than you could have ever dreamed of in your blog life?

I’m sure you’ve heard of writers block but when one (well way more than just one) plans a wedding in just under 6 months, executes said wedding at the end of last month and then leaves directly for a honeymoon that took her and her new husband (still sounds weird) through 4 cities in Italy in less than 10 days well then you have the opposite problem. An intoxication of blog content (and red wine and Renaissance Art and bread and gelato).

 

venice, italian honeymoon, italy, venezia, pasta, olives,

 

rome italy, gelato, honeymoon, italian honeymoon, summer in italy, gelateria, roma

 

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

Don’t get me wrong it’s a great problem to have. We’ve experienced more love and life in the past few weeks than we may for the next four years and we’re completely ok with that.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

In an effort to try and circle the wagons and bring you back up to speed and any other analogy out there on life lately, I’m going to work backwards from our honeymoon to wedding, attempting to share our experiences over the past few months with you along the way.

So grab a glass of prosecco or chianti and a hunk of Tuscan bread (not that crap from Venice) and let’s go on a tour of Italy.

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

 

IMG_4719 IMG_4744 IMG_4778 venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

 

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

 

venice, italy, honeymoon in italy, wedding, canal, gondola, summer in venice,

 

Ciao!

 

on girlfriends…

Sitting 30 days out from our wedding day (no hives yet), I was browsing through the photos one of my girlfriends sent to me yesterday from the festivities and I realized something. People should really get married more often.

I mean when else do you get a chance to spend time with all of your girlfriends from your whole life all at in the same place and all at once? From braces to bachelor degrees, from late night food to Sunday brunch, the chance to merge groups of girlfriends together for one mega girl’s night is pretty awesome.

bachelorette party, chicago, girlfriends, wedding, spring, friends, travel, family

A chance made even better if they all get along. Think about it. Chances are you align yourself with similar types of personalities throughout the years. And let’s say, for example, the middle school and college versions of two life of the party personalities meet for the first time in Vegas and realize how much they have in common, you just facilitated perhaps the greatest (or most dangerous) girlfriend setup in history.

bachelorette party, chicago, girlfriends, wedding, spring, friends, travel, family

As my nephew would say, it’s pretty epic really. A chance to spend time with that all the females you love all at once and question why you don’t do this more often. We should really do this more often.

bachelorette party, chicago, girlfriends, wedding, spring, friends, travel, familybachelorette party, chicago, girlfriends, wedding, spring, friends, travel, familybachelorette party, chicago, girlfriends, wedding, spring, friends, travel, familybachelorette party, chicago, girlfriends, wedding, spring, friends, travel, familybachelorette party, chicago, girlfriends, wedding, spring, friends, travel, family