Monday, August 24, 2009


After days of sightseeing in Paris, some very late nights with my best friend in Strasbourg and running after two little kids in Switzerland, I was feeling a bit like this little guy when we arrived in Italy:

We started our Italian adventure in Manarola, one of the 5 villages that make up the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre is a world heritage listed site on the Italian riviera. The 5 villages perch on the edge of cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. The villagers have spent years carving huge steps into the surrounding mountains to allow them to grow their grape vines and vegetables. My husband had found us a beautiful room to stay in, complete with a balcony on which we enjoyed many a glass of wine while watching the sun go down. There was a 12km hike which took you to all 5 villages which we also did on one day. Below is a picture of Manarola taken from the walking track.

After lazing in the Cinque Terre, we headed off to Florence. The picture below was taken from the Ponte Vecchio in between browsing the nearby jewellery stores(!).

One thing I loved about Italy was that it didn't get dark until quite late at night - it made the days go on forever!

We spent many a long balmy evening on the steps in front of the Uffizi, people watching and enjoying some gelato.

The local market in Florence - Mercato Centrale - was vibrant and lively. The local produce was glorious, I wish we had had access to a kitchen, I would have loved to cook up a storm here.

After Florence we headed off to Rome. Rome was the biggest surprise of the trip for me. Many people had told us that Rome was a big, brash city but I adored it. I loved wandering around and stumbling upon another monument, old building or ruins. Although we were there in summer, it didn't seem as busy as we had expected either. Or maybe we planned well? After hearing about horribly long queues at many of the attractions, we never waited any longer than 15 mins for anything.

The Colosseum was really interesting and it was fun to imagine what it would have been like in its heyday.

The Vatican museums and St Peter's Basilica were mind-blowing. The architecture and the art was simply beautiful.

And the food... oh the food... It should be a crime for food to taste as good as the food we ate in Rome.

And of course, after dinner, there was always a wonderful spot to sit and enjoy yet another gelato!

I promise my next post will have something sewing related!


Kate said...

Amazing photos! Love all the old statues and buildings, and the food!

Catherine said...

Oh Renee, your experiences sound wonderful! Are you doing a tour or did you plan it yourself. We a starting to plan a Europe holiday for this time next year and i would love to pick your brains for ideas....perhaps we could email each other? CAthy

Julia @ Mélanger said...

What lovely photos. Thank you for sharing. I was going to visit Italy myself this year, but it didn't work out. Many of the spots you included here, too. At least I feel like I've not completely missed out.

a good yarn said...! It can't possibly be that marvellous but quite obviously was. You are a very lucky girl indeed. Ann :)

Wendy said...

oh, oh, oh!!! Although I do love my sewing, there is nothing that compares with the beautiful photography (and commentary)of Europe (except being there, of course!) Don't apologise, you're bringing to us what some of us rarely/will never get to see....we LOVE it!!!!
Anyway.....gelato rules!!!
have a fantastic return
;o) Wendy

Leanne said...

It so nice to get up in the morning and wonder around another country thanks for that.

Gail said...

Thanks for the great photos of Rome, I will be there in 6 weeks time and am getting very excited after seeing your post!!!

mandapanda said...

There are some gorgeous photos in there darl! I bet you were just stoked that the weather was so beautiful!

Katherine said...

Oh! I want to go to Cinque Terre now! And really, back to all of Italy, since the last time I was there I was in seventh grade, and didn't really appreciate it. Maybe when my children are older and not attached to me at the breast I will get a chance to wander around there again.