Rome – Italy

Throw one coin in the Trevi Fountain and you will return to Rome they said, throw two and you will come back and be kissed, three and you will come back and find love. I have seen many different variations of this legend but that is the one that I heard on my first visit to the fountain. I have found that all variations have one common trait – they all refer to returning to Rome. Rome_10 So I threw as many coins into the fountain as I could thinking that I would stack the odds in my favour – how many times could I really return to Rome and be married anyway? It either worked or regardless my path with Rome was destined to cross on multiple occasions – and I can happily advise that enthusiastic coin tossing does not result in multiple marriages!  Rome has always been high on my tourist destination list, as an archaeology enthusiast how could I resist. My first trip to Rome focussed on visiting Rome’s main attractions and they were truly amazing. My favourite visits to Rome have however been my subsequent visits, when you no longer seek out the main attractions and you can truly immerse yourself in what it is to be in Rome and soak up the lifestyle. Wandering the streets of Rome I always find something new, a new neighbourhood, a new restaurant, a new view… regardless it is always spectacular. And I find even without seeking out the attractions you often happen by them by default anyway – always throwing a couple of coins in the Trevi fountain. Why tempt fate…

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Florence – Italy

Florence is one of those cities that I just felt I belonged in as soon as I arrived. It is beautiful and charming and also vibrant and inspiring.

A big city – no doubt – but a city  that oozes history and culture.

My favourite experiences in Florence were discovering the food. The pasta and meat dishes below were found in a basement restaurant.

In an unmarked building down a dark street. My new husband and I (honeymoon trip) spied a crowd of people and decided to follow them into what we presumed to be a restaurant. Thankfully it was and the owners were accommodating and found a table for us. Lucky as the food was amazing!

It felt for a moment that we had become part of Florence – magic.

We had some rainy days in Florence, not to worry though. In avoiding the rain we discovered the greatest lemon gelato in the world. It was in a nondescript bar/bistro style place. We asked what we should have and the waiter suggested the house made lemon gelato – a house specialty. Now in Italy I didn’t know if that would mean much – lemon gelato seemed almost like a staple – but after some to-ing and fro-ing (along with an inability to say in Italian and lack of heart to tell the waiter) we decided on the lemon sorbet – sublime.

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All subsequent lemon gelato shall now be compared to this.

Having been to Florence previously I was looking for something beyond the usual tourist destinations and we found that in the Florentini.

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Cinque Terre – Italy

Beautiful Cinque Terre – Ideal for resting, sun bathing, meandering and soaking up Italian culture.

My first time in Cinque Terre was filled with pure amazement. I knew I would return. It was my second time in Cinque Terre that I really learned to appreciate it for all of its wonder. People watching in Cinque Terre was a past time in itself, you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture and be surrounded by locals. (Note: I did not travel to Cinque Terre at the height of the travel season.)

My accommodation in Cinque Terre has always been a home stay or B&B – I think this makes all of the difference. Elise our host in Monterosso al Mare made our stay truly amazing.

For the first time on my blog I am starting to include some photos of food, the Italian connection with food amazes and inspires me. From a simple breakfast at a stand up espresso bar to a long lunch of fresh seafood you are always guaranteed fresh produce with traditional italian style. Chat to the restaurant owners to find out where there food comes from and watch them come to life as they share their passion for the produce and their cooking.

Mediterranean azure blue days to remember.

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Milan – Italy

Milan was our first stop in Italy, first impressions were that Milan was just another big bustling city – a steaming hot city at that! The concrete radiated the heat, making it tough to get around as the sun beamed down from above and bounced back up from the ground below. But if you managed to catch dusk or waited until dawn something remarkable happened. The temperature would become more bearable. Without the unrelenting sun you could appreciate the Milanese architecture in all of it’s beauty, with spectacular azure blue summer skies. A modern urban scape criss crossed by power lines is how I remember Milan – a mix of the old and new. Click thumbnail for full image.

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See more of Italy. All George Brown photography is available for purchase, contact us to discuss our purchase options.