Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Trip

Time flies when you're having fun. Can't believe it's been so long, but boy! have I been busy!

I've got lots of things in the pipeline but I thought I'd first share a couple of snaps from our lovely hols in Italy. (I know, not really on point -the crafting will resume shortly!). I'm evidently not a natural blogger as I proved hopeless at remembering to take my camera with me, but here are a few of my favourite snaps.

So first off we flew from Bristol to Pisa. When booking the flights in advance it's really quite affordable. We took the short train ride to Pisa San Rossore to see the leaning tower. We almost decided to head straight on to Florence but though "We're not going to be in the vicinity again any time soon so heck, let's just make the effort whilst we're here". We were glad that we did as despite being really quite busy it was very impressive (and rather more 'leaning' than my picture would have you believe!).

We arrived in Florence and were greeted by Luciano, the apartment owners father. We asked him about all of the best spots for things like Gelato (La Carraia) and Pizza (Gusta Pizza) and then mentionned we were vegetarian and it just so transpired that he owns a veggie / vegan restaurant called 'Club la tertulia il barone di porta romana' -snappy! which we visited the very next night (delicious and highly recommended!).

We visited the beautiful Giardini di Boboli (and Giardino Bardini -no camera, oops!) and the Mercato Centrale whilst we were there which is quite an experience. The fruit smells amazing, the fish -less so! We bought the most delicious fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli from a stall where we watched the lady making fresh tagliatelle right in front of our eyes.

On our last day in Florence we did a serious amount of climbing. First up the hundreds of steps through winding passageways to the top of the cupola of Cathedrale di Santa Maria del fiore (the Duomo). The 360 views of the city were amazing, right back to the mountainous horizon.

Later that evening we climbed the steps from San Niccolo up to Piazzale Michelangelo just in time to see the sun set over the Arno. One reviewer remarked that it's 'spectacular, just a shame that 200 other tourists had the same idea'. This is a pretty accurate account. Obviously it's stunning and was quite the experience but the atmosphere was diminished significantly by the crowds (particularly the lady next to us complaining on her mobile for the duration...).

And on to Rome! There was a heatwave so it was much hotter than we anticipated for the duration of our stay. The 37 degree heat was made less tolerable in Rome than Florence by the lack of air conditioning in our apartment but we endeavoured to 'keep cool and carry on'.

If I'm honest I am less enamoured with Rome than I had hoped (though admittedly this could be put down to a fried brain from the heat!). We were particularly disappointed by the copious levels of scaffolding which obscured at least part of pretty much every monument we wanted to see.

There were highs (our little night time expedition) and lows (Vatican museum madness!!) to our stay in Rome but overall we had  fantastic trip! I would love to return to Italy, and am thinking that Venice may be top of the list -though perhaps low season.

So there we are. Holiday snaps taken care of -normal service will resume shortly!