In June, Martin Leander and I went to Italy for a week. The trip was rather random; we wanted someplace to go and Italy it was. I bought the Lonely Planet guide for Italy (Lonely Planet has been a lifesaver many a time) and tried to get a certain oversight.
We decided to focus on the Tuscany area, which was supposed to be the most beautiful, with sweet, coastline cities and rolling grape vine hills. Tuscany has Florence as it’s largest city, and Pisa in the west with it’s famous leaning tower (it really is breathtaking). It’s also well known for it’s Chianti wine, a reputedly good red.
Here we are, well arrived in Florence, and enjoying our first meal (with Chianti Wine, of course).
The famous La Duomo in Florence is one of Italy’s “big three”, and is well worth a visit! All the tourists in Florence seemed to agree.
We stumbled upon a marvellous shop right next to the Dome, which sold a lot of different, beautiful hand-made paper. I wish I could afford it!
In Italy, the cockroaches are scarily big!
Of course, Italian romance is one of a kind.
La Duomo by night.
The city of Florence!
Apparently, the Italians do have some humour.
Martin is thrilled to have some steak on his plate.
The bridge leading over to the city centre of Pisa.
Some important guy, no doubt.
The tower. Yes. It was big, beautiful and more leaning than you ever thought could be possible.
…But the dome which it was built for, wasn’t bad either.
Podere san Lorenzo, an agriturismo farm which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed. And with the coolest housekeeper.
And a biological swimming pond with frogs and algaes.
And the best italian cooking.
Even Martin is pleased, even though this dish didn’t have any meat in it.
The housekeeper! Francesca :)
Wine grapes. Lots!
The general landscape.
Frog earrings! Of course I had to buy them.
One of the famous towers of San Gimignano. Here we also ate the world’s best ice cream, officially. Award-winning. It was amazing!
The sight from San Gimignano.
It looks a bit morbid, but hey.
An old bridge right next to Locanda del ponte, a hotel we slept at one night.
Martin makes friends at Podere Terreno, a vineyard we stayed at the following night. Nice place, and a whole lot of nice people we ate dinner with around a big table in the living room.
Wild boar stew at Bar Ucci in Volpaia. Nice!
Our day to explore Rome!
Strange how it’s completely natural to have ruins just lying around in this country.
The one and only.
What a sight!
We should have been warned by the menu. If you reckognize this on your way through Rome, do NOT eat here. It’s terrible food in a shabby place to a way too high price, and you’re lucky to avoid food poisoning.
A snapshot by the fountain next to tha Pantheon.
Good to see something else in the streets than tourists and people trying to make money on them.
Vespas, the true symbol of Italy.
Dinner at Enoteca Berberini, a wonderful place. We ate there to nights in a row, and we got a glass of champagne the second night because they remembered us from the night before. Recommended! Food, jazz and service all top notch.
Pepper steak. Yum!
…And we all agreed that it had been a nice trip.
Wonderful: The scenery, the people (when you got to actually talk with them), the weather, the wine, the villages, the ruins and the architecture.
Annoying: The traffic limitations, the aggressive drivers, the fact that very few speak English (or refuses to), the food (honestly – one get’s bored of pasta and pizza, the prices (way too high, which can explain why young men live at home with their mothers well into their thirties), the transport systems and lack of information, and all the tourists.
The best would be to travel sometime during low season, so you don’t get lost in the crowd. And if you’re prepared for all the annoying aspects, Italy is well sorth a visit, cause it really is beautiful!