Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Personal, Travel | 0 comments

Ian visited the island of Capri in 2010 and having loved his visit here, it was only natural that it was included in our itinerary for this trip. Capri is located a short distance off the coast in the Tyrrhenian Sea, about a 1 hour ferry ride from Naples and around half an hour from Sorrento. There are two towns on the island – Capri (which shares its name with the island) and Anacapri, located 200 metres above Capri town. The island is quite small but it is surprising how mountainous and rugged it is – the highest point on the island, Mount Solaris, is 589m. When researching...

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Posted by on Jan 11, 2014 in Personal, Travel | 0 comments

After a rather long day of travel, we arrived in Positano late yesterday afternoon. Positano is located on the Amalfi Coast and is a very popular tourist destination in the summer. Being winter, it is very quiet with many hotels and restaurants closed for the season. After being in Venice where you could spend weeks exploring every street and canal, Positano is very small and it doesn’t take long to see all that there is to see. The town is built on a very rugged hillside and many of the streets in Positano are in fact stairs (we discovered when we arrived that our hotel wasn’t...

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Venice – Part 2

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Personal, Travel | 0 comments

After our big day exploring Burano yesterday, today was much quieter. The fog that we awoke to yesterday remained but that didn’t stop us from getting out and meandering through the streets of Venice. Earlier today we were chatting to the lady working on reception in our B&B and she said that the fog was caused by warmer winter temperatures. Apparently if it is colder, the sky is usually clear as there isn’t enough heat to condense the moisture in the air. Fun fog facts aside, here are a few photographs from today’s exploration. We did quite a bit of walking, venturing...

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Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Personal, Travel | 0 comments

I had the opportunity to visit the island of Burano on my previous trip to Italy and it was love at first sight. The brightly coloured houses were a delight to photograph and I could have spent the whole day exploring the island (you can read about my previous visit here). Unfortunately my first visit only lasted around 2 hours, most of which was taken up by lunch in one of the many seafood restaurants. It was a great meal but didn’t allow much time for exploring the island afterwards. When planning to visit Venice on this trip, Burano was at the top of our list of places to visit and...

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Venice – Part 1

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Personal, Travel | 0 comments

There is something truly magical about Venice. I felt it again as soon as I set foot outside of the train station yesterday and took in the view. I first visited Venice on my trip three years ago and as it was while on a tour, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to explore Venice. In 2010 I saw the main highlights – Saint Mark’s Square, Murano, Burano, the Rialto Bridge but that’s about it. When planning this trip, we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time to get ourselves lost exploring the streets and hundreds of bridges that are Venice. After a few days of...

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Tuscany – Part 2

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Personal, Travel | 1 comment

The remainder of our time in Tuscany has been spent exploring some of the more popular tourist attractions – namely Siena and San Gimignano. As we discovered, the time between Christmas and Epiphany (January 6) is one of the main holiday times for Italians and they have certainly out in force. Having encountered many Asian and American tourists in Cinque Terre and Florence, we were surprised to find both Siena and San Gimignano teeming with Italians (in retrospect, we shouldn’t have been too surprised…it is Italy after all). I found the huge crowds rather off-putting. Not...

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Tuscany – Part 1

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Personal, Travel | 1 comment

Last Friday we picked up a hire car and eventually made our way out of Florence (which was no easy task). We have based ourselves in the village of San Casciano in Val di Pesa which is actually not all that far from Florence but provides us with easy access to all of the places in Tuscany that we want to visit. We’re staying at Villa I Barronci which is a gorgeous resort with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. We are in the heart of wine and olive country, with the hillsides a patchwork of various shades of green. Here is the view from the front of the villa: Similarly...

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Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in Personal, Travel | 2 comments

As we sat at Manarola train station last Tuesday waiting for the first of three trains that would take us to Florence (or as the Italian’s call it, Firenze), I told Ian that I didn’t want to leave Cinque Terre. I had fallen in love with Manarola and, as I posted on both Facebook and this blog, could easily spend the rest of my days happily living there. However, it was Christmas Eve and we had accommodation booked in Florence, so reluctantly I said goodbye to Manarola for the time being. Having visited Florence on my trip three years ago, it didn’t take long to remember how...

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Buon Natale!

Posted by on Dec 25, 2013 in Personal, Travel | 0 comments

Buon Natale! As it is now Christmas Day in Australia, Merry Christmas to you all! Enjoy the festivities today with family and friends and don’t forget the real reason for the season – the birth of our Lord and Saviour! We will be experiencing an Italian Christmas here in Florence. It will probably be a fairly quiet day, however, we will enjoy some good food and are looking forward to catching up with family via FaceTime.

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Cinque Terre

Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 in Personal, Travel | 1 comment

Cinque Terre – literally translated ¬†as the “five lands” – are five beautiful villages on the Italian Riviera. All five villages are located within a national park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area has long been on my ‘bucket list’ of places to visit and we have been fortunate enough to have been able to explore Cinque Terre during the past couple of days. We have been staying in the village of Manarola which is by far my favourite of the five villages. Four of the five villages – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza and Monterosso are...

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