June 25, 2013 by erikacsc31
I realized some time ago, that I wanted to post about each city we visited on our honeymoon and just never got around to it. As time passed, I wanted the post to be more significant. Since we just celebrated our 1ST year married, I can’t help but to think… this time last year, we were in ITALY!
I don’t know when, but I know we’ll be going back. Hopefully next time I’ll be able to hold up a conversation in Italian other than: Il conto per favore. Translation: Check, please.
Holy cannoli, our trip to Italy FAR surpassed ANY and ALL expectations we could have imagined! You know that feeling you get when you travel??!! Everything just seems better and enhanced, even if it’s only some place three hours away. Even the little things seem better: street lights, condiments, pavement. LOL! Because everything is so foreign, you’re intrigued!! And you feel like you’re on a natural high! At least I do! You wish that you could share the experience with your family and friends: Oh my gosh I WISH they could be here to see this! That was my famous line.
Every city we visited was magical and had something unique to offer. Rome had lots of history, culture, art, SHOPPING, and dining. BUT, the place that stole my heart: Tuscany. I could live and retire here, I kept thinking.
We took a train from Rome to Tuscany and made our way to our lovely B & B, just outside of Siena. We wanted to have a real Italian feel and our B & B definitely set the tone for many reasons.
First off, you know the paintings you see over and over again?? Rolling green hills, white fluffy clouds, cypress trees….yeah they’re not enhanced. This place is picturesque! The views from the seventeen century villa we stayed in epitomized those infamous water color painting you see everywhere….
See what I mean? NO filter in this picture!Or any of the pictures I’m posting for that matter.
Second, language was a barrier: our innkeeper didn’t speak English! This is where my Spanish-speaking skills (not as great as they should be) came in handy! It was funny trying to communicate. Communication was reduced to basics for sure. When piecing words together here and there didn’t work, we downright used hand gestures!
Once our driver pulled up the gravel driveway, the trees gave way to a 17th century villa. When we walked up, I noticed the yard. There was a garden area, fruit trees everywhere, and plenty of lounging areas near the pool or courtyard to just sit and take in the countryside vista.
Immediately I felt my cheeks go up from side to side. I had the BIGGEST smile on my face. After checking in, we were offered Chianti wine from their cellar. Um, YES PLEASE! Needless to say, we went straight to the pool deck with our bottle of wine.
We sat there and took it all in. The view. The wine. The pool. It was our little paradise.
The next morning we went into Siena to explore the medieval city. Okay, seriously:The shopping here is AMAZING! All of the shops are SUPER cute. And the SHOES! Don’t get me started on the SHOES! We had so much fun just popping into shops, but the BEST was the bakery we found ourselves in every morning. YUM! Each day we couldn’t wait to try a new pastry to go along with our espresso! Pastries are my weakness!
One day, after all of our exploring, we decided to just go to a bar and enjoy the balcony view. We met the COOLEST couple from Arizona that had been married the same day we were.
We ended up spending the entire afternoon drinking and chatting with them. It was nice meeting and sharing our experiences.
My favorite time in Tuscany was the tour we took of the Chianti Wine region. I couldn’t believe how beautiful this place was! I know I keep saying that, but SERIOUSLY! Ah. It took my breath away.
We took a tour of the Chianti wine region.
One of the places we visited was, CasaMonti, known for their Chianti Classico wine. They also produce olive oil, and are known for their cured meats like prosciutto, and salami, among others, made from the region’s distinct pig: the Cinta Senese.
We visited a few more wineries, and a small town centered around a castle, Monteriggioni. Best part of the tours you ask? Why the delicious food we sampled at each place! Everything we tasted was so fresh and delicious! A surprise delight we were served at one of the wineries: vanilla ice cream drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. Who knew??!! YUM!
Oh the places you’ll go! There were so many to choose from. Everything is such a short train ride away. It’s hard to decide where to go, with so little time. We ended up taking a train to Florence.
Florence is a big city with plenty to do. If you like art, than Florence is your jackpot. Even if you’re an art novice like me, you will be in awe of everything you see. There’s a lot of fun shopping and yummy cafes, too.
I can go on and on, but being that I’ve already written a novel, I will end here. I just want to add that if you’re thinking of visiting, JUST DO IT! You will not be disappointed. My advise is to buy a book for every region you are visiting so that you can really appreciate where you’re going. Take guided tours, and EAT, EAT, EAT! 😀