Monday, February 20, 2012


2012 has been off to a rocky start this year. The good news is it is only February, the snow is thawing, and I spy some sunshine outside my front door.  

For my birthday (which is not until April 7th), Logan and I have decided to take a trip to Italy.  We have been in France for 6 months now (wow!) and haven't ventured outside of the country.  When given the choice of ANYWHERE in Europe, it was a toss up between Greece and Italy, but I landed on Italy.  Now we are in the beginning stages of planning our trip- We are going to try to take a week off and see as much as we can.  

We have narrowed it down to these places. We can probably only swing 3 of the 5.  



Cinque Terra



I would absolutely LOVE to hear any advice you may have for us- overrated cities, hidden jewels, what to see, where to stay, what to eat, etc.  

When I am having a hard time being over here so far away, its trips like these that help take my mind off the loneliness and feel very blessed to have something so cool to look forward to. Italian vineyards, gelato, and PIZZA. What could be a better birthday celebration? Anyone want to come over and join us? :) I know you are tempted....


  1. I would come with y'all in a heartbeat! Stupid school! Still need to figure out when we are coming...

  2. very cool! wherever you go, just remember to eat five or six times a day!

  3. yes! Blake and I want to go back to Italy!!!
    we need to skype/i chat or actually talk on a phone so that I can tell you our favorite places! we went to most of those and i am confident we can help narrow it down and give you some AWESOME places to go see, play, eat, etc, etc...
    i adore you!

  4. I've now been to Italy on 3 different occasions (once for 6 weeks when I studied abroad) and here are my favorite places.

    1) Bellagio, Lake Como - it was so relaxing and everyone was super friendly. This is where we stayed for 2 days... I went with my parents so higher in cost compared to a hostel, but not too out of control. They also have a spa. :)

    2) Cinque Terre - The hike was AWESOME. I don't remember the place we stayed in Monterosso, but I think we found it in one of Rick Steve's books. Definitely start your hike in Monterosso and work your way through the other cities so you go hardest to easiest.

    3) Tuscany (Castiglione de Fiorintino) - This is where I studied and it was great. I bet you could get in touch with someone at A&M's campus and they could recommend places to stay there. There is also a small town (Cortona) that is the next train stop and Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed there.

    4) Venice, Rome, Florence - That is the order I would rank them when I went to Italy my first time. The order has probably changed now, but since it's your first time that's what I would say. There is alot to see in all of them (especially Rome). You could probably do Venice and Florence in a day or day and a half.

    4) Portofino - I've never been, but have heard great things about it!

    Have so much fun...I'm jealous!

  5. FUN!! I'm so excited for your Italy trip!
    I'm desperately trying to remember the name of this fantastic little hotel near the Trevi fountain that I stayed at in case you go to Rome. I'm going to have a rummage through old emails to see if I can find it and I'll send it on to you. It was so lovely :)

  6. Whitney- thanks SO much for all the info and links! I will be saving ALL of those!

    Ali- Will give you a call this week- do you work every day? Maybe lunch time call?

    Sara- If you don't mind, we are planning on either starting or ending our trip in Rome - would love to hear the name of the hotel if you can find it, thanks! :)

  7. Abby!! We just went to Italy last May/June and hit up all these places!!

    Cinque Terre- was Kevin's favorite place!! SOOO beautiful! You can hike through the towns and the views are to die for!

    Tuscany- Amazing!! My favorite! We visited a winery/organic farm and we also made stops in Siena & San Gimignano (Recommend both of them!!)

    Florence- Its nice, but you have to really appreciate the art. Since that is the main focus of the city!

    Rome- So much to do and see! Such rich history! Loved our hotel and close to the Metro!

    Venice- I LOVED IT! We loved walking around at night! Some think it isn't worth it! But do a gondola ride ( AT NIGHT!!) Soooo romantic! Worth the extra $$$ in our opinion! DEF visit the Doge's Palace and do the secret tour!! Loved it and very different from anything else we did in Italy! We stayed at San Lio and loved it!

    Let me know if you have any other questions! I would be happy to give you more detailed stuff!!

  8. ohh i also recommend Rick Steve's iphone app! It has GREAT walking tours! We would just pop our earphones in and he would guide us on alot of stuff!! Saved $$ from some of the tours!

  9. Great choice on Italy!

    Cinque Terre is a must. So beautiful. If you end up going to Florence, you can take the train (or really multiple trains) from Florence to the Cinque and stop in Pisa on the the way. When I was in Italy we just hopped off the train for 2-3 in Pisa, snapped some pictures and were on our way again! We spent two nights in the Cinque and it was perfect.

    Tuscany is always a great option. Went to many of the small towns in the southern region on my study abroad semester (I was in Castiglion Fiorentino too!). Sienna and Cortona were my favorites. One of my favorite meals the entire semester was in Cortona at a restaurant called Fluflon's if my memory serves me correctly.

    There is a great mexican food place in Florence called Tijuana's! Lots of outdoor markets and leather in Florence. And churches. Must climb one either in Florence or Rome!

    Rome was one of my favorite cities, but I came to know it well and there are so many sights to see (lots and lots of walking)... Colosseum, Pantheon (my favorite gelato place nearby here), Vatican City, Piazza Navona, Roman Forum, Piazza del Popolo... and the list goes on.

    Venice is on it's own level. It was cold and rainy when I was there but still beautiful. You can definitely get lost... not always a bad thing either. St. Marks Basilica is so stunning.

    I love the trains in Italy. Very efficient. And the really nice, fast ones are so wonderful... more expensive, but worth it if you need a straight shot from say rome to florence or florence to venice.

    Oh I could talk for hours about Italy...

    Have so much fun!

  10. i have no helpful info about Italy but I'm so excited for you! :) and i like your blog background too!

  11. italy is perfect for you. art, food, wine, shopping...has your name all over it!

    i'm sure you're getting enough advice from everyone, but I can throw my two cents in too with the thing or two i know about italy!

  12. sooo fun!!! I havent been since I was in highschool, but I went to Venice and Rome. BOTH amazing!! Rome had more of historic sites, but was amazing! The Vatica & Sistine Chapel are amazing! Venice is a MUST.. So unique and amazing! Theres a little island off Venice, the "glass" island, Murano, that is great!!!
    Cant wait to hear what yall do! Sooo happy you get to celebrate in an amazing place. Love ya!

  13. Cinque Terra...CAN I COME PLEASE?? So excited for your trip! XO , Mom



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