Highland Park, Illinois Travel Agent
Luxury Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Specialist
I have always had a passion for Italy after spending some time there during my college years. I lived in Florence for five months and found myself in love with a new country and way of life. My time there helped me to understand what it is to discover a new place and immerse myself into the culture and I find myself sitting here still missing it and thinking of all the streets I used to get lost in. When I think of how different their culture is from what they eat to walking just about everywhere, I would like to be able to share that with others.
Italy is one of my favorite countries in the world to visit, not only because it houses Florence but because every one of its cities and states is so unique and provides something so special for those visiting. Taking a wine tour throughout Tuscany is a dream, and swimming to the blue grotto off of Capri is unattainable anywhere else in the world (along with their grapefruit sized lemons).
If you could imagine the clearest waters with a shade of turquoise that overwhelms you and the soft ripples on the sea that make the sun glitter atop them, then you're probably thinking of Capri. Walking up the ancient stairs that took you through some of the most picturesque white wash buildings with bright yellow and cerulean doors. The perfect pink and red bougainvillea draped over windows and creating the overhang above the stairs, the lemon trees with lemons the size of grapefruits, the natural sun-kissed tan of every resident after living in the glowing sun their entire lives and the look of the pre-historic and almost Jurassic look of the cliffs and mountainous shards of rock standing straight out of the water - just perfection.
Cinque Terre, literally meaning "The Five Lands" is made of five small villages on the rugged terrain of Northern Italy, connected by hiking paths for the adventurous type or a quick train ride. These five towns are not only picturesque in their own individual ways, but they look to be out of a storybook. The ancient stone walls and cobblestone streets, the incredible restaurants all surrounded by a perfect waterfront view with fishing boats and the most amazing mountainous surroundings. With crystal clear water swimming, fishing and any water sports you can imagine are the perfect activity whilst staying or visiting this enchanting corner of Italy. One of the most endearing parts should be Via dell'Amore or "The Lover's Walk", which has been surrounded by etchings into the rock as well as locks painted with sentiments of love, his and her initials, special dates. It is the first walk you come across and so lovely to gander at the history of love around you.
The most amazing part about Italy? These two are only one tiny little part of it and every city, town, village and street is just about as picturesque and beautiful as the last. Whether traveling by car, train or boat, there is always a new way to see this country that has captivated my heart and leaves me wanting to go back every day. And I have about three or four countries I feel about this way. While I have quite a long list of the places I have been so far - France, Belgium, Spain and India to name a few, I have an even longer list of the places I have yet to go.
Living in the US can sometimes feel a bit cut off from Europe, making us feel it is unattainable and unrealistic to visit. But every chance I get to visit an old favorite or make a new adventure, I take without a second thought. Finding new locations and visiting the old make me remember why I love seeing new places and experiencing a different way of living. So many things I have brought back to the US and my way of living here and my life is the better for it.