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Italy, Part 3 | Positano & Rome

Of everywhere we went in Italy, Positano was my least favorite. Don't get me wrong: just because it was my least favorite doesn't mean I didn't think it was amazing... it's remarkable in the way it's built, and absolutely, jaw-droppingly beautiful, but at the end of the day, it felt to me like any other tourist town, with the requisite overpriced restaurants and shops, and a culture that's more vacation than Italian.  Then again, who can argue with allocating a couple of days to soaking in (and photographing) views like this?Positano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation Recommendations (Thank you to Erin for reminding me to get on the other side of the camera a few times on our trip!)

Next stop: Rome. Rome was the first city I ever really got to know, and it was probably the largest single factor influencing my decision to move to NYC after college. Living there for a month when I was 19 gave me a taste for the incredible richness of big city living: the beautiful architecture, the incredible food, the never-ending list of things to do and see, and the wide, colorful range of people... it appealed to every fiber of my young adult self. So it was with some trepidation that I returned, 16 years later, wondering how it could possibly live up to its pedastaled place in my mind.

But it did.

I no longer feel the desire to live full-time in a big city, but I understand now - perhaps better than ever - how this particular city won my heart, and in many ways changed the course of my life that summer.Rome Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsRome Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation RecommendationsPositano Vacation Recommendations

 

Positano Vacation Recommendations

So that's it... it was a pretty incredible two weeks. If you haven't seen them yet, check out parts 1 and 2 from Venice and Tuscany... I know I'll be visiting all three of these posts myself when I need a quick mental vacation from my desk!

xox,

annemie

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Italy, Part 1: Venice & Burano

This summer, Matt and I celebrated ten years of being married with a two week, kid-free trip to Italy with our friends Erin and Jan (who happened to be celebrating their tenth with a trip to Italy, too... woohoo!). Italy is incredible - it totally deserves the hype. It's full of beautiful places, interesting people, and meal after extraordinary meal, and is, of course, a photographer's paradise. So as not to overload you or your computer with a million photos all at once, I'm dividing this post into three parts: Venice & Burano, Tuscany, and Positano & Rome. And because I imagine some of you might one day visit these places yourselves, I figured I'd share the highlights - favorite places to eat, stay, visit, etc. Skip past them if you don't care... the photos tell a better story anyway. Hope you enjoy... even half as much as I did  ;)Things to See and do in Venice and Burano

We flew into Rome and took the train to Venice. I lived in Venice for six weeks one summer in college as part of a study-abroad program, but it's apples and oranges comparing my experiences then and now. That difference, of course, is all about me: Venice doesn't really change (except for the sinking bit). The entire place was built ages ago, and given its inability to sprawl, has remained much the same (save retrofitting for things like plumbing, electricity, and central heat). Walking among the canals down twisting alleys no wider than a sidewalk, one can't help but imagine life there through the centuries, and wonder how such a place was ever conceived, let alone built. It's crowded, touristy, expensive, and an absolute must on any good bucket list.

We stayed at the Ca' San Giorgio, which was lovely: close to the train station and the Grand Canal, but off the beaten path enough that it provided a quiet respite from the crowds. They had a really lovely breakfast spread every morning, including espresso made to order (a lot of hotels assume tourists want terrible coffee - watered down at best, instant at worst). The rooms were simple but comfortable, with really nice bathrooms and AC that met even my husband's rather Americanized needs. The wi-fi was spotty - better in the breakfast room and lobby than in the rooms - but that wasn't much of a bother. The staff was really fantastic, too - Alitalia lost one of our bags for two days, and the staff took care of everything from following up with them to receiving the bag when it finally arrived. I suppose the only caution I'd give is that the hotel is a bit of a hike from some of the bigger tourist attractions in Venice - a 20-30 minute walk to Piazza San Marco, the Accademia, etc.

Our meals in Venice were good, but by no means the best of our trip. Venice is VERY tourist-focused, so you have to work to find a place that doesn't post their menu in eight languages and serve food reminiscent of the Olive Garden. We had fantastic snacks and Aperol spritzes one evening at a little hole in the wall called Cantina do Spade, about halfway between our hotel and the Rialto. If you're up for it, though, Venice is the perfect place to grab some cheese, bread, and wine from a corner store, go find a spot to sit in a piazza somewhere, and people-watch.

Burano is an island known for its colorful architecture and its lace museum. Because it's almost an hour's ferry ride from Venice, it hasn't gotten quite as popular as its big sister Murano, but we had a great afternoon there walking around, and as a photographer, I'd make a trip three times that long. Make an afternoon of it: walk from the water along the canal, wend your way to the leaning church spire, then grab lunch at Da Romano... their squid ink risotto was incredible.

And now... photos! Part two next week.

Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano Things to See and do in Venice and Burano

xox,

annemie

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