Tag Archives: Italy

Travel Visions

Hi there.

Well…unfortunately, I don’t have a Friday Escape for you today. My little Grace is home sick with an ear infection so my attention needs to be on her. But…I didn’t want to leave you with nothing, so I’m sharing some of the beautiful travel images I’ve collected for my Pinterest Travel board.

A majestic landscape in Val di Funes, Italy.

The gorgeous city of Prague.

Colorful hot air balloon over Paris.

Simply charming tea houses in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

Last but certainly not least, my beautiful home town, Sydney, Australia.

Hope you enjoy these. I want to hear from you – where would you like us to explore on our Friday Escapes? Any ideas? I’m making a list.

Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

xo,

 

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Friday Escape: Ravello, Italy

Hello Friends! Happy Friday! Sorry for the late post, internet troubles this morning. ugh.

Okay, are you ready for your escape?

Look, I know we have already been to Italy on one of our Vicarious Vacations…but who can get enough of Italy? I mean, really. I know I can’t, especially since I’ve never actually been there.

Sad.

So, yeah you bet I’m going to go there vicariously as much as I can! Besides, this place is a completely different feel to our last trip. I think you will love it!

Enough chit chat. Today, we are going to Ravello, Italy, along the Amalfi Coast. Map here.

Breathtaking isn’t it?

I’ve got us booked into the Hotel Palazzo Sasso.  It was ranked #8 in the World’s Best Hotels for 2010 by Travel + Leisure…so I think it will fit our extremely high standards! Let’s go check it out.

The Hotel, which is actually a 12th century villa, is perched 1000 ft above the glimmering Mediterranean sea. Drop dead gorgeous views are a given!

Let’s go see our suite! When you travel vicariously, you should always stay in the most extravagant room, don’t you think?

Please, go out onto our private terrace…the view is simply superb…

I know…amazing. I have a feeling we will back here later with a glass of something fabulous to watch the sunset!

So, since we got here so early, let’s have breakfast out on the main dining terrace.

Shouldn’t everyday start like this?

After we enjoy our lovely breakfast I thought we’d go on a bit of a boat ride. Gotta get some one on one time with the Amalfi coastline…

Come with me down to the lower terrace…my gorgeous friend Marco is picking us up. (Yes, Marco is imaginary…but just go with me on this one…)

Here he is now…perfect timing…meet imaginary Marco…( cue – giggle and toss hair)

Ciao!

Off we go!

Ooh…look it’s the beautiful city of Positano up ahead!

So pretty! We may have to come back here sometime.

Well, I’m starving and although, Marco provides eye candy, he doesn’t do much for my rumbling tummy so let’s head back, eat a huge lunch and go into a food coma next to the pool. Plan?

Sit back, enjoy the Mediterranean sun and relax. I told Marco to go whip up some cocktails for us…he should be serving them any minute! ;)

I hope you enjoyed our little getaway! Thanks for coming along!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo,

Images via HotelPalazzoSasso

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Hello.

Forgive my absence. Its been a crazy week and although I can’t wait to post our next Vicarious Vacation, each one takes hours of research, so that’s what I’ve been up to. I love it, but I get a little sucked in. On top of that, I’ve been finishing up my last week with the BYW class and attempting to do some more collage work in my sketchbook. I get ideas for posts all day long and then can’t seem to find the time to do them. grrr.

I wanted to do a quick post today and let you know that I didn’t run off to Italy or anything (tempting as it was). I’ve just been a little overwhelmed with everything. My dad said to me on the phone the other day…”Sounds like you are spreading yourself a little thin.” Maybe he’s right but when I’m passionate about so many things it can just be hard to focus…

What’s a girl to do?

I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. In the meantime, here are some floral shots I did for my homework for BYW.

Enjoy, and make sure you check back in on Friday for our trip to Spain! I promise, it’s gonna be beautiful!!

And I played with some textures too…couldn’t resist…


Have a fabulous day and I’ll see you on Friday!

xo,

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Vicarious Vacation # 1 : Casole d’Elsa

Happy Friday and welcome to our Vicarious Vacation. Today, I’m going to whisk us off to the quaint, little town of Casole d’Elsa in the hills of Tuscany. Strolling down the ancient cobblestone alleyways, decadent wine tastings, a visit to the Siena marketplace, a brush with history and of course a large helping of the local food are all on the agenda. Sound good? Okay, come on!

Image via casalecapita

Let me tell you a little bit about this beautiful town. Casole D’Elsa is located in the Tuscany region in the province of Siena. Conveniently located between Florence and Siena, it provides a peaceful respite from the bigger, touristy cities. See map here. Pedestrian friendly streets, intimate cafes and a few notable historic attractions should keep us busy but not overwhelmed. Leaving plenty of time to soak in the Italian sun, sip Chianti and gobble up the local delicacies. Now where are we staying, you ask? Well…

I hope you don’t mind but I booked us into a rather fancy hotel just outside of town. I think we deserve it, don’t you? Welcome to the Relais La Suvera. Steeped in history this medieval fort turned sumptuous Mediterranean villa is our place of relaxation and refuge after all that sightseeing. Sigh…isn’t it simply dreamy!?

Ready to see your room?
Images via Relais La Suvera

Fit for a princess right? Okay, freshen up and let’s go exploring. I know you are tired from the trip but it’s nothing a glass of Chianti can’t fix! Besides, we have massages scheduled later at the spa. Yes, even medieval fortresses in Italy have spas!

Let’s go for a walk…

Press play to listen.

Images 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Am I Hungry? Of course I am! This place looks charming…let’s stop here – Osteria del Caffè Casolani- and have some treats.

Here’s what I’m thinking…wine, cheese & cured meats. The local cheese -Pecorino di Pienza and fresh cold cuts such as salumi di cinta senese, will make the perfect blend of tastes and textures. Creamy and nutty in flavor, the Pecorino is a perfect pairing with the saltiness of the meat and sweetness of the wine.  The celebrated local wine is aptly named Erta, meaning steep slope, indicative of the agricultural landscape of the region. A completely organic wine, it is a lovely blend of 95% Sangiovese grapes and 5% Merlot. Subtle herbal notes and deep cherry overtones will delight your palette! Want more…why don’t we try the testaroli? It’s a crepe like pasta usually combined with pesto. Yummy! This place is famous for it!

Images 1. 2.

Now to walk off all that scrumptuous food…

Ooh…before we go…is that a little bakery I see?

We had better stop in and grab some dessert! This region is known for its pastries and traditional sweets. One of the oldest treats around is the famous Panforte margherita!  This “spiced bread” is a magical combination of dough, almonds, candied fruit, cinnamon, all spice and a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. Isn’t it beautiful?

Images 1. 2.

On to some history…

This is the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta, which dates back 1161! The original Roman bell tower still remains with the upper half of the building being constructed in the 14th century. Inside are the sacred tombs of Beltramo Aringhieri, by Marco Romano, and of bishop Tommaso Andrei, by Gano di Fazio.

Directly next to the church lies the Museum of Sacred Arts. A beautiful collection of religious art can be enjoyed here, including the works of Alessandro Casolani and sculptor, Marco Romano.

Got your culture fill? Let’s go to the Siena Markets!

Press play to listen to the bustling market square…

How gorgeous is that fruit?

Images 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Don’t you love all the amazing colors and textures?

I don’t know about you but the hotel spa is calling my name…let’s head back and end our trip on a relaxing note.

You go on and get your massage. I’m heading down to the hot pool for a nice soak…so lovely…

Images via Relais La Suvera Spa

I hope you enjoyed your day in the Tuscan countryside. Loved vicariously traveling with you! I learned a lot and loved seeing this little corner of the world. The village of Casole d’Elsa was enchanting, the food delectable and the Siena markets were utterly inspiring.

Join me again next Friday, when we head to Spain!

Have a beautiful weekend!

xo,

audio files via freesound.org

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A New Series: Vicarious Vacations

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to travel and as a kid, my family and I were lucky enough to travel abroad many times. Those days are long gone but a girl can still dream…

For example, mention Italy and I deeply sigh and slightly swoon. I even burst into tears during the first Italian scenes of Under the Tuscan Sun! It’s kinda pathetic – especially since I’ve never been there. Yet, I dream of Italy….I long for it…

Okay, reality check – I’m a mother to a four year old, a domestic engineer (aka homemaker) and we aren’t exactly loaded, so my sappy little self isn’t going to be getting to Europe anytime soon. Fact.

Soooo…I’m going to have my own little Vicarious Vacation series and I want you to come with me!! Game?

Here’s the plan. Over the next four weeks, I will be posting a Vicarious Vacation on Fridays. Seems appropriate right?

Researching is kinda my thing, so I will be hunting down some fabulous places for us to explore. Tantalizing all your senses with wonderful imagery, recipes, local hang outs and even sounds – I hope to provide a mini getaway via my blog.

Excited? I am! If we can’t travel in real life…let’s play pretend. My four year old is a pro at it, so let’s pull out our imaginations and do a little sight seeing.

Pack your proverbial bags because this Friday we are headed to – you guessed it – Italy! It’s not the big cities that everyone talks about but I promise it will be a unique little adventure. I can’t wait!

Here are a few images to get you in the mood…

If anyone has any thoughts of where we should go the other three weeks I am open to suggestion! If not, I have my own growing list…

Can’t wait for Friday!

xo,

Images: 1. toprural 2. chinita_jill 3. ascord04

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