Monday, July 27, 2015

Italy {Genova & Piedmont}

 After spending a couple days near Milan and Venice we took the afternoon
train to Genova to visit old family friends. Friends that my dad had grown up 
with in Chile who were also Italian-Chilean. They had not seen one another in over 40 
years, so the reunion was the sweetest to encounter. 

We spent a full day in Genova, walking around, soaking in the sights and 
stopping at all the delicious bakeries. We stuffed ourselves silly with food that
day, it was glorious! I am surprised at how much I liked Genova. The last time I was there, 
nearly a decade ago it was not such a fortunate experience. I was with a group of friends, 
our accommodation plans fell through and we were wanding around near the port (not the
safest area) until night time trying to find a hotel. Luckily all worked out that time, but 
I think I just didn't give it the proper chance and it was tainted in my mind. So happy I got
to give it another try and really see it for what it was.

After spending the day in Genova we rented a van the next day and drove to the Piedmont area
of Italy where my nonno (Italian for grandfather) was born and grew up. I fell in love 
with that area. Rolling hills with vineyards, villa's tucked away in the mountains,it
was so breathtaking.  We met up with my dad's cousing, Carmen, who lives in the area. Carmen
was so gracious with her time and an awesome tour guide. She showed us the around town, we
at lunch at a local pub and had the most amazing pesto gnocchi ever, afterwards
we went to another family members winery and got a tour of how they made wine. It was
an amazing day. We stayed in this villa that was just amazing. It belonged 
to a wealthy duke, it has now been renovated and now houses permanent residents 
along with apartments that host tourists.  So glad we got to spend
some quality time in this region. I'm regretful it's taken me this
long to see where my family comes from, but am going to make it a 
point to go back as much as possible.

^^So many pastries to try!
The center of Genova, pink fountains for Mother's day.
^^Dad and mom and in the middle their sweet friend Emilia.
^^ The neighborhood my cousin Carmen lives in.
Tagliolo-Monferatto, the little village my nonno comes from.
^^Dad soaking it all in.
^^Carmen and my dad.
^^The grounds from the Villa.
^^The Villa Scati
Up next: Cinque Terre

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Italy {Venice}

 Ah Venice, the name says it all, romantic, charming, beautiful and yet mysterious
with all its many winding paths and the fact that an entire city was built on 
marshy land supported by wooden stilts that have now petrified into stone.

It's a city full of history, glass blowing, masquerade's and those
canals that are just gorgeous to photograph no matter what angle
you take a picture from. This is not my first time visiting
this magical city, and every time I'm still in awe of
it's enchanting beauty. We had a great time exploring
trying to capture every bit of Venice!
 ^^The famous Hotel Danieli
 ^^Bridge of sighs. On one side the court, on the other prison. Last bit of light prisoners would see.
 ^^Dad making friends with the locals.
Next up: Genova