Italy – Worth the Wait

italian_flag.jpgUntil last month I had never been to Italy.

A lot of people thought that this was a little strange as I have been to quite a few other countries, and Italy is really comparatively close.

Well anyway, this problem was solved when our friends Jason and Rosa very conveniently decided to get married there last month.

The wedding was beautiful, and it was wonderful to spend a week speaking in English to English speaking people (almost every other guest was from Australia), drinking wonderful wine, eating fantastic food, and having a generally brilliant time.

I have put a few of the best wedding photos here on Flkr if you are interested.Italy itself was really fantastic. A few highs;

  • The wedding itself of course. What an awesome time!
  • Venice – just brilliant. I've seen the movies etc, but really I didn't get it until I arrived at the railway station. I was in transit, so spent the entire day just wandering around, wearing my backpack thinking “wow”. I'll be back to explore properly soon.
  • Siena. Very old, very unspoilt, very beautiful and not too many tourists. Great distinctive cathedral.
  • The countryside around Siena. This is where the wedding was and you couldn't have picked a better location. Plus I went for a few long long walks. Just great! You can walk for hours and around every corner is an interesting village, a beautiful villa, a old church or just a fabulous view.
  • Montalcino. A beautiful place, great wine, and fantastic food. Now I finally know what spaghetti is supposed to taste like. If you are there, have lunch at Osteria Porta al Cassero. It's not expensive and you won't regret it.

and lows:

  • Florence. I just didn't get it. Maybe there were too many other tourists on the day I was there. Sure it's attractive and interesting enough, but there are quite a few other cities in the world with the same quantity of interesting history, architecture that is more beautiful, and without 400 Japanese tour groups wandering about. I want to go back for the Uffizi but other than that I'd recommend skipping the place on your next European tour and spending an extra few days in Moscow, Ljubljana, Krakow, Paris or of course Prague.

That's all for now. Still alive (just) and not bored yet :)

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3 Comments »

  1. jewel said

    I think it’s the whole tourist thing. When I travel and am overwhelmed with tourists, I feel like a lot of the beauty is stolen because the natural ambiance is gone.

  2. Great photos of Siena, but only 7 photos?? Where are the rest!? Tony and I have been laughing at the photo of “da girls”. Good grief!! It was huge fun, and maybe we’ll see you back there in five years??? Love your web page! Cheers… Maryanne and Tony

  3. Alan Scouller said

    Couldnt agree more – have recently advised son David who was travelling thro Italy to give Florence a miss for the same reasons.
    Favourite city – Paris wins hands down!
    and of other venues visited, love the ambience of both Italy (Tuscany , Veneto, Umbria) and France (Provence, Rhone Valley, Canal Cruising etc)
    Cheers Alan & Cherie

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