I thought I’d revisit my travel diaries before the year’s up. Here are just a few snapshots I had on my camera from our whistle-stop visit to Rome.
It’s a real shame I didn’t take more photos, but with only 48 hours to spend (with a large portion of it lining up at The Vatican), I ended up putting the camera away for the most part and took in the magnificence of this ancient city. My highlights? The Roman Forum, the best (anc cheapest!) coffee I have ever tasted in Europe, and discovering Grom, of course.
Arriving into Manarola from Lake Garda was, in the metaphorical and literal sense, quite the sea change. Cinque Terre is breathtaking as it is shabby with all of its perfect imperfections that captivated us from the moment we caught a glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea from the edge of Cinque Terre’s vertigo-inducing cliffs.
We wasted no time in seizing the rugged landscape and all of its charms, catching the boat here and there and exploring all the unique offerings each town seduced its visitors with. We bought pizza with spare change and filled our bellies with sciacchetrà; then worked it off by scaling some of the prettiest and steepest paths that loomed dauntingly before us.
Each morning, we watched the world languidly go by from the balcony of our apartment accompanied by a breakfast basket that was brought up to our room at quarter to eight – and always on the dot. It’s the Cinque Terre way. And the Way of Love, after all.
Stealing glimpses of Venezia on the water taxi was kind of like looking at an Instagram of the City of Bridges with an Earlybird filter.
I didn’t see it coming at all, but this permanently terracotta-coloured city stole my heart in more magical ways than one; earning its title as the highlight of my Europe itinerary (big call, I know) and the most romantic place I have ever visited (yes, Paris comes second).
Our 24 hour whistle-stop visit meant we left no stone unturned, devouring as much Grom gelato as possible and filling in the gaps with vino, pizza, pasta, and fresh fruit from the street vendors.
We also stayed as far from San Marco Piazza as possible, rubbing shoulders with Venetians as they enjoy their evening digestif and taking in a quietude that is few and far between in this city that sees an average of 50,000 tourists a day.
Venice was all love and I left knowing I’ll never be the same again.
I fell completely and perilously in love with Lake Garda even before we got off the bus that was bound for Malcesine.
After enduring the hour-long bus ride from Peschiera del Garda Stazione, we were rewarded over the next few days with breakfast views like these, a tiramisu that very nearly brought me to tears, the magnificence of Mt Baldo that was accompanied with sweeping views of the Italian Alps and the feeling that I really was standing on top of the world.
Documenting the past two days in black and white.
1. The calm before the chaos – en route to Rome on the Trenitalia.
2. When in Rome, hyperventilate. Couldn’t take my eyes off of this City within a city.
We’re on the home stretch now, which feels bitter but sweet. I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine, eating properly (!) and especially spending this weekend back in Sydney for a friend’s wedding.
The past few days have been spent squirreled away in the indescribably beautiful Cinque Terre. It felt so blissful to take a brief reprieve from the big cities and enjoy the tiny fishing village in our own time and at our own pace. I also can’t recommend our home away from home, La Torretta enough. Wonderful hotels like these make it so incredibly hard to leave.
For now, here are a few snapshots from our time in Cinque Terre. More to come soon!
It’s 3:15am in Malcesine, Lake Garda and I’m tucked up in bed frantically answering emails and booking train tickets whilst my husband – and the rest of this beautifully quaint town in Northern Italy – sleeps.
In truth, I’d rather be getting some much-needed shut-eye, too, but I’ve decided to make the most of our hotel wifi until it drops out again (erratic internet is the downfall to wonderfully small, less-frequented European towns).
We’re here in dreamy Malcesine with a few of our friends and, in short, have been gorging on pizza, pasta, wine, limoncello, gelato and panna cotta, against a perfect backdrop of the misty Italian Alps. Waking up for breakfast to this postcard-perfect view of Lago di Garda each morning is such a privilege and pleasure and I can safely say Malcesine is, without a shadow of doubt, one of the most picturesque and serene places I have ever visited. I still can’t believe my eyes when I fling the doors of our hotel balcony open to witness a view like this and the subsequent feeling of calm that gloriously pervades the senses.