Italy – some random photos

We saw many sights in Italy.  The famous David by Michelangelo, some of the biggest and most well known piazzas in Europe, ancient crypts dating back to a few hundred years after Christ’s birth, and the beautiful canals in Venice.

As always, there where a few small things that I took notice of that made our trip what it was…

While admiring the leaning tower of Pisa, I noticed a long legged dog elegantly sitting on a nearby pathway.  I guess its owner had tied it up while running an errand.  Couldn’t resist taking a photo of the dog 🙂  He calmed looked into the camera as well.

Dog resting near the Tower of Pisa

After our stay in Siena, we rushed around to see the Bastilia and a few other sights.  By lunch time I needed a coffee so we ducked into a local cafe (standing only thank you) and ordered a few espressos.  And yes, it was well made and had no bitter or burnt taste to it.

Espresso -Cortona

While researching for our trip, I read somewhere that one of the best things to do is get lost in the towns you visit.  So I did.  Just a few streets off the main square of Montepulciano, and I was in another world.  Quiet and private and not a person to be seen.

The quiet alleys of Montepulciano

Seeing as we were in Siena, I really wanted to visit a few wineries as Tuscany is very well known for its wine.  While not as famous as areas in France, Tuscan wine is rich in flavour and very smooth to drink.  As many tourists remain in the city centres, we had most of the wineries pretty much to ourselves.  We picked up a few bottles of very good wine… and polished them off before leaving Tuscany 🙂

Winery - Tuscany

Very easily missed during the day as he hangs out in the leather markets in Florence, is the statue of Il Porcellino.   Originally sculpted in the 1600s, the legend is that if you rub the snout of Porcellino, you are destined to return to Florence.  Hence his shiny snout.  I gave it a good rub, so here’s hoping I’ll return soon!

Porcellino - Florence

On our first night in Venice, we took the vaporetto around the canals.  The buildings lining the canals shone with lights which reflected in the water.  It was such a lovely introduction to Venice.  Many people think that Venice is overcrowded with tourists and this influences their impression of this city.  Yes, it does have many tourists here (including us), however there are plenty of ways to take a bit of time to enjoy the true beauty of Venice.  These canals have been here for over a thousand years, and it doesn’t take much to step back and marvel at the history of Venice.

Night view of Grand Canal - Venice

I have a thing for markets, so I try to go to a few when I’m travelling.  I don’t mind touristy markets, but do prefer having a peek around the local ones.  In Venice they have their local and tourist market in Rialto.  The market has been held there for over 1000 years.  If you walk past the tourist parts where you can pick up a venetian bead necklace for around €5 (and I’m not convinced they are genuine venetian glass), you get to the local markets.  I wish we had such lovely roma tomatoes here in Australia.  But if you are lucky enough to find such lovely tomatoes, you certainly won’t get them for €3 for a kilo!

Rialto produce markets - Venice

Out of the countries I visited in Europe, I have to say that I enjoyed Tuscany the most.  The towns I visited were smaller and friendlier, it was easy to see the ‘real’ day to day side of Tuscany as opposed to the touristy side.  The history of the area is in every corner you look, from the buildings to the cobblestone paths.  The people are very friendly and laid back, the food is incredible, and there is so much to see.  If I am fortunate enough to return to Europe, Tuscany will be on the top of my list of places to go to.

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