Sunday, July 15, 2012

Amore Italy

Bongiorno Lovelies.

Today is the Hubs' birthday.  

Unfortunately, he is in some small town in North Carolina or Virginia or somewhere not on the map.  

Such is the life of a yachtie.  

Thankfully, he will be home this weekend and Morgan, Martini and I are looking forward to celebrating.  Therefore, next week I will write a bit more about the special man I call "Hubs."

I can believe it’s only been a week since I’ve been home from Italy! It seems like a world away. 

And while I'd like to forget the trip home ...

 (Twenty minutes out from MIA we were told we'd have to circle until the thunderstorms passed, I almost got arrested for disorderly conduct ...  but after 11 claustrophobic hours in a small flying coffin, with a broken entertainment system, a less than courteous and attentive flight staff and an Italian seat-neighbor squeezing out of his and into mine for most of the flight, can you blame me for wanting to get off the plane, even if it meant in hand-cuffs?!) 

I can't believe I had my first trip to "real" Europe! 

Rather than go through a boring recap of 10 days worth of travel or a meaningless photo-dump, I will give you a bit of Miss T’s Guide to Italy.

Let's take off to ...  


Eh.  I feel like you HAVE to go to Rome if you go to Italy, but honestly I might be the only person that hated Roma.  I felt no connections with the city, except for the following:

Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps
(My brother got us lost lead us on Rick Steve's walking tour of "Rome at Night."  
It was really cool to see a different side of the city.  And everything was so beautiful lit up).

The fam at our welcome dinner

My first cup of real Italian espresso

It’s a tourist stop, but you have to do this:



I was feeling out of sorts by the time we arrived in Florence.  My eating was off, I wasn’t exercising, I missed the Hubs and the dogs. 

Our hotel was on the river, and it was the first city I saw people exercising.  We arrived in the evening and a ton of people were running along the riverside.  I joined them.  And it was the first place I saw a ton of people walking their dogs.  

The first morning in Florence we went to the The Gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti, where THE David resides.  

Prior to college, I was involved in at least one, if not more, art class every year since I was in kindergarten. My mom said I began drawing at 18 months.  I loved drawing, painting, sculpting, crafting, ... anything that allowed me to be creative.  And while in college, I switched from art to writing, but thanks to an amazing writing teacher, art was still very present, as he taught writing inspiration can come from a scene on canvas. (Nighthawks was his favorite; imagine the conversation going on in that diner. Viola! A story!)

Anyway, I haven't been in an art museum in a long time (Miami lacks a bit of culture). However, once stepping into the Academy, I just felt at home.  And while our tour guide at the Sistine Chapel kept emphasizing what a genius Michelangelo was, it wasn't until you saw some of his unfinished sculptures that you really appreciate how amazing he really was.  And of course David himself.  

I could go on and on, but I will leave you with this.  Florence is an art-lovers dream.  The whole city is accented with priceless statues.  It's an open-air art museum.


I was dying to go to Venice for two reasons.  

1. The Piazza San Marco (apparently my hubs was named after it ... or so he says).

2. I live in Fort Lauderdale, nicked name "America's Venice" (so I figured I'd feel a bit at home). 

First, it's not like Fort Lauderdale at all.  
(Although it makes Las Olas, all of south Florida for that matter, look CHEAP!)

Second, St. Mark's is AH-MAZE-BALLS. So beautiful.  

Doesn't do it justice!

I even bought my first piece of real art from a canal-side artist stand.

We were touristy and arranged for a gondola ride. 

Seriously, it looks just like the Venetian in Vegas!

... Which gave me the idea that Hubs should start a gondola tour of Fort Lauderdale ... can't you just picture Martini-Dog in a little stripe T, with a gondolier hat?!  

If you don't believe me, here's how cute he is in a tux. 


While in Venice, we took a hot as hell ferry to Burano, a little island known for lace as well as Murano is known for glass.  

Um, did I mention all the houses are painted in candy-coated colors? I did nothing to this photo.  The colors are that beautiful! 


I'm freakin' serious: this is how beautiful Tuscany is.

While traveling to these major cities, we stopped in multiple smaller towns and hill towns.  These were probably some of my favorite, as most are in Tuscany, which is miles and miles of countryside, and all these towns look like movie sets. 


Every year they have a horse race, the Palio, in the center of town.  The town is divided into 17 neighborhoods, and those neighborhoods compete. It's a HUGE rivalry and apparently the week leading up to the race, if a married couple is from  different neighborhoods they will spend the week apart, and rather spend time with their family in their respected  neighborhood.

 Well guess which day we came?!  Unfortunately the final race wasn't until the evening and we left before then.  Bummed, as I wanted to experience Derby, Italy-style. 

San Gimignano





St. Francis Church

Our Tuscan dinner.  Peach-flavored blue-colored wine.  It was quite yummy. 

Our farewell dinner.

Some other things:

1. The espresso isn't as good as I had hoped. ::sad face::  Neither was the bread.   

2. They put olive oil on EVERYTHING! Seriously.  It took some getting use to, but I have since learned to enjoy olive oil as the only condiment on my salad.

3. Gelato isn't that tasty (I still rather have Grater's, UDF or Ben and Jerry's), but they must put crack in it, because it's addicting.  You can't not walk past a shop without getting at least a taster. 


1 comment:

  1. I felt the same way about Rome! Totally could have skipped it but felt obligated to go. I found the city (and it's people) pretty unwelcoming.

    The rest of your trip looked amazing!