Italy: Part One
It seemed fitting to eat a baguette along with bruschetta and balsamic vinegar & olive oil while we reminisced about Italy. Italy truly was a DREAM and just going through our pictures has us looking up flights to go back. We met up with my family and had an adventure of a lifetime with them. We took way too many photos over the month, created so many good memories, and had way too much fun. We decided to split our Italy posts into two parts, so we're going to make this post "Part One" with a "Part Two" to follow shortly after. So here we go - Italy: Part One. Part One will cover our time in Milan, the Dolomites, Venice and Florence.
Milan - where our Italian adventures began! Our Airbnb was something else - it had a rooftop terrace filled with citrus trees and flower gardens that overlooked Milan. I would have been content just sitting on the terrace for the two days we were there. We didn't have a lot of time in Milan, but enough to get an introduction to the Italian food, explore the city and visit the Milan Cathedral.
Once our time in Milan was over, we got a rental car so that we could drive through the Dolomite mountains "on our way" to Venice. The Dolomite mountains were UNREAL and I think they are probably the most overlooked part of Italy - maybe because they are a little harder to get to. If you plan a trip to Italy, you cannot miss this. Driving through the mountains was an experience in itself. We drove through mountain village after mountain village - the trees, the snow, the lakes, the churches - it all made for a fairy tale scene.
We stayed in a town called Erto. I felt like I was in the middle of the town in Beauty and the Beast. It was one of the neatest towns I've ever visited - it looked as though it had been untouched for centuries.
We only stayed in Erto one night before heading to Venice. Venice has always been on the top of my bucket list, so I was giddy that we were on our way! Venice was magical. There aren't any roads, there are only canals. Venice is actually made up of a bunch of little islands that are linked together by bridges. We got the advice to get lost in Venice - and we had so much fun doing just that! Austin took it literally and got completely lost on his run one morning and ended up running a LOT further than he wanted to. haha! We had a blast walking around and visiting all the shops and yummy places to eat.
Our Airbnb here was also incredible. There was a staircase that lead through the attic, right to a little balcony on the roof. We loved sitting up there and looking out over the red rooftops of Venice.
The Central Square in Venice was also a really fun place to check out. We attended mass one morning at St. Mark's Basilica and went to the top of the Campanile bell tower. A gondola ride is also a must in Venice.
After Venice, we drove to Florence. Again, our Airbnb did not disappoint - it was an amazing Tuscany villa on an olive orchard. It was decorated with all sorts of artifacts that were hundreds of years old. Addison broke one of those "hundreds of year old" vases. That was a little traumatizing for all of us. haha! We loved walking around the beautiful olive orchard and watching the workers meticulously pick the olives.
We loved seeing Michelangelo's David. We read the book Agony and the Ecstacy before we went to Italy and it gave us more of an appreciation of Michelangelo's life. He is so inspiring to me. The highlight of Florence was climbing the top of the Duomo - you can literally go on top of the dome. You have to climb all sorts of narrow trails and staircases - such an adventure! The views of Florence were stunning and the exercise will burn enough calories for an extra gelato.
Wow! We loaded this post up - and that was just part one! We'll make sure to post the second part soon which will be all about the rest of our trip (Pisa, Cinque Terre, Rome, Amalfi Coast and Naples). Thanks for following along, we love that you do!