All posts tagged: italy

the best photography spots

The Best Photography Spots in Florence, Italy

I’ve recently got back from a trip to Florence where I used to live for nearly two years. The winding streets, gorgeous architecture and the amazing food culture stole my heart to a point where a three-day trip in 2013 ended up in me packing my bags and moving to the Tuscan capital.   What followed were quite possibly the two most charming years of my life. Waking up to the sound of church bells echoing across Piazza Santa Croce where my apartment neighboured a building once owned by Michelangelo’s family; coffee dates turning into wine-filled lunches, gorgeous sunsets over Ponte Vecchio… it was nothing short of magical, or at least it certainly seemed like it when I look at my Fiorentino life from a perspective. Returning to Florence after nearly two years away felt a bit like slipping on an old glove, the feeling of familiarity warm and comforting. But there was something else…a bittersweet strike of nostalgia hiding in every corner of Centro Storico. Being back was the perfect excuse to re-discover some of my favourite spots and, as I figured …

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Love and Rock’n’Roll Under The Italian Sun: My Trip to Pantelleria

Set amongst the blue waters of the Mediterranean, with sun-drenched Sicily to the North and Tunisian coast to the South, the tiny, windblown island of Pantelleria is one of the very few South European isles still untouched by mass tourism. Raw and unapologetically beautiful, Pantelleria’s charm doesn’t come in an all-inclusive-package typical for the popular islands, but rather, encourages you to jump in the car and embrace adventure awaiting amongst the twisted roads, filled with the smell of fennel carried by the ever-present sirocco. Be it exploring the rugged coast with hot springs, emerald grottoes and fumaroles speckled across its shores, wine-tasting at the island’s many vineyards or indulging in the fabulous cuisine, Pantelleria has a lot to offer.  Nick-named  ‘the black pearl of Mediterranean’, a reference to the dark volcanic rock erupting from the ground, the island is accessible by a small plane which departs daily from Palermo, its slim silhouette cutting through the skies being the only disturbance to the quiet island life. Perhaps it was the island’s exclusivity, the reason that turned …

walks of Italy Tuscany tour review

Exploring Tuscany with Walks of Italy: My Experience

I’ve been living in Florence for a year and a half and yet, there are still many places in Tuscany that I haven’t got around visiting. It therefore comes as no surprise that when the lovely team from the Walks of Italy invited me to join them on their Tuscany tour, I jumped at the opportunity.   It wasn’t until a couple of days before the trip when the potential horror that I’ve always associated with organised tours kicked in. With the eyes of my imagination, I saw myself surrounded by a group of tourists armed with selfie sticks, marching one by one behind the tour leader holding a flagpole – an all too familiar sight in Florence. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that I was completely and utterly wrong! So wrong in fact that if you happen to be visiting Tuscany this summer but are short on time and don’t want to go through the hassle of renting a car and figuring out your way through the Tuscan roads, I wholeheartedly recommend going on an adventure …

Things to do in Turin, Torino, Italy

Discover Italy’s Most Magical City

If you arrived here expecting to see a post about Venice or Rome, then you’re in for a surprise as I’m about to introduce you to Turin!  Turin is quite possibly the most underrated Italian city and, as I was wondering the grand baroque lanes surrounded by snow-covered mountain tops peeking from the distance, I couldn’t help but wonder why. Turin is a city where the old meets the new, and tradition doesn’t stand in the way of modernity but rather, embraces and mixes with it, giving the city a refreshingly youthful feel. And yet, aside from the foreign students, tourism in Torino is practically non-existent. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed being in a place where hearing English is a rarity and my morning coffee doesn’t get disturbed by screaming tourists armed with selfie sticks – an all too familiar site in Florence, my current travel base. That being said, Turin definitely deserves more recognition – keep reading to find out what makes it different from other Italian cities! Black & White Magic in Turin First …

Venice Carnival on the cheap, Carnival of Venice on a budget

Venice Carnival on the Cheap? It’s easy!

Watching Venice come to life as masked party goers fill the streets and confetti swirls in the air really is magical. The Carnival is slowly coming to an end but it’s not too late to join the fun! Here’s how to make the best of the final 3 days of Carnevale di Venezia, while spending next to nothing. If you follow my tips, you shouldn’t spend more than €150 for a two night stay, including dining out, accommodation and nights out, which is how much I spent in Venice last weekend. Accommodation Ditch the hotel for an Airbnb apartment. To really bring the costs down, share the place with a bunch of friends. This way you can stay within the city centre and pay around €30 a night. Another, although much less desirable option, is staying in Mestre, a bus ride away from Venice. Free Events While Carnevale balls are known to be expensive (the prices start at around €140 and can go up to as high as €500-600), there are also a lot of free events which …

Burano, Italy

Colour Therapy in Burano

If you need a bit of cheering up on this chilly winter day,  then keep reading as I’m about to introduce you to Burano, Italy, the happiest little town in the world! The tiny, rainbow-coloured island shares the same lagoon as Venice, and it’s only a few minutes away by boat from Murano, home to the famous Murano glass. Burano is a photo lover’s paradise – the brightly painted, square-shaped houses with flower pots in each window, cheerfully reflected in the canals,  follow a specific colour pattern. This is because during the golden age of its development, citizens of Burano had to request an official permission to paint their houses, and it was up to the government to decide what colour they could use. According to some sources, fishermen were the first ones to paint their houses; they did it so they could easily spot them from the sea. Aside from its architecture, Burano is famous for lacework, displayed in opulence at every store. Why lace? The legend says that a local fisherman was tempted by a mermaid’s signing, …

The Best Solo Travel Destinations 2015

The 5 Best Destinations for Solo Travel in 2015

Planning your 2015 adventures? Here’s a list of some of the best destinations for solo travellers in 2015! Japan Why Japan? Japan is overwhelmingly beautiful in almost every way you can imagine. Its stunning temples perfectly balance the architectural excellence with a sense of peace and serenity; the food is simply exquisite and the absolute best I have tried anywhere in the world. The natural sites will make you feel like you’ve stepped inside a fairytale and Japanese cities, Tokyo in particular, are a head-spinning, enchanting mix of the old and the new. To top all this off, the Japanese are the most polite people I have ever come across and you can be sure that there will always be someone willing to help you out should you have any problems on your travels. What makes it a great place for solo travel? Japan is extremely safe – to the point where you can leave your bike unlocked in the middle of Tokyo’s busiest street without worrying about it being stolen. If you lose your wallet, …

Chianti vineyards, Riecine vineyard

Winemaking in Chianti: Villa Vignamaggio and Riecine

I’ve always loved autumn – the smell of chestnuts and burning leaves filling up the crisp air, the sweet taste of mulled wine on my lips as I wrap myself up with a scarf, the sun shining through the leaves, lightening them up like an orange light bulb… This year, with Chianti right on my doorstep, I have even more reasons to enjoy autumn. And I’m not gonna lie, the delicious Chianti Classico is one of them! The narrow road was twisting and turning as I was slowly passing Greve. A lot has changed since I visited Chianti in September – the gentle curves of the Tuscan hills were now speckled with red and yellow trees, their leaves swirling down whenever the wind blew. The olives were round and tender, almost ready to be picked.  With the grape harvest almost over, most vines were empty again. October is the busiest season at the wineries because this is when the wine production begins – which makes it the perfect time to visit! My plan for the day was to visit Riecine and Villa Vignamaggio, two very different but equally wonderful wineries. Riecine I reached Riecine just …