Tag Archives: Italian Riviera

Slideshow of our Trip to Italy

Fall is in the air and I am starting to reminisce about our summer European vacation, specifically about Italy. What’s not to love? Tuscany, the Italian Riviera, Lake Como. Alright, here are some slide shows so that you can join me in my day dreaming and general procrastination.

Milan and Lake Como

We started our Italian adventure in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy. Since Lake Como is less than an hour train ride North, we made our way there to look for George Clooney — they say he has a house there but it was elusive. Enjoy the slide show.

LakeComo

Italian Riviera

Probably one of our favorite stops in Italy was the Italian Riviera.  Situated on the west side of Italy, it includes the towns of Manarola, Monterosso, Riomaggiore, and Vernazza. We spent most of our time in Monterosso but we felt we could have easily spent another week here, it was really beautiful.

ItalianRiviera

Tuscany

We spent a few days in Florence and the Tuscan town of Chianti. We had a Chianti wine tour that was our favorite winery we visited during our European trip. We discovered a new love for Tuscano, a great Italian wine.

Tuscany

Rome

This was our second visit to Rome but this time we spent more time than before. It is really cool to see the ancient Roman architecture through the ruins although we thought the ruins in Pompeii were more spectacular.

Rome

Pompeii

You know the story and probably saw the movie — Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was devastated by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Because the ash covered the city, many people and animals that were killed in the eruption were preserved in a cast-like plaster and you can still see the position they were in when they died. A little creepy, I have to say, but interesting still. We not only visited Pompeii but we also hiked up Mt. Vesuvius afterwards to see the crater left by the volcanic eruption.

Pompeii

Capri

Capri is an Italian island just off the coast of Naples. The architecture bears some resemblance to Greek architecture because they were early settlers here. One of the big attractions of the island is the Blue Grotto. It is a beautiful cave that you take a canoe into and it glows blue from the light emitting into the cave. Very luminescent and cool.

Capri

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Summer in Northern Italy and the Italian Riviera

When we last visited Italy in 2007, we visited central Italy but never made it up north. This time we spent time up north and in the Italian Riviera. We started this trip in Milan. For us, Milan was not as grandiose as Paris, but it is a city with plenty of museums, castles, churches and a world-renowned fashion district.

Milan

Duomo

One of the most famous landmarks is the Duomo (means Italian Cathedral Church). It is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente and is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. The Duomo took 6 centuries to complete and is currently the 5th largest in the world.

Duomo

Duomo

Fashion District

Like New York and Paris, Milan has an impressive fashion district. You will see stores for almost every well-known designer including Prada, Gucci, and Giorgio Armani.

Gate leading to the fashion district

Gate leading to the fashion district

Fashion District

Fashion District

Fashion District

Fashion District

Fashion District

Fashion District

Sforza Castle

Another famous Milan landmark is the Sforza Castle. It was built-in he 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. After visiting many of the castles in France, it was not as impressive as those but it is certainly worth a visit.

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

La Scala Opera House

Inaugurated in 1778, the La Scala Opera House is home to Italy’s greatest operatic artists. The building exterior is understated but the interior is pretty impressive.

Milan Opera House

Milan Opera House

Milan Opera House

Milan Opera House

Lake Como

After a few days in Milan, we caught a train to Lake Como. I’ve read about Lake Como for many years and always wanted to visit. It did not disappoint. The lake is surrounded by gorgeous mountains populated with small villages. We spent our time in Bellagio — a 2 hour scenic ferry ride from Como.

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Notice the Yellow Lab swimming in Lake Como

Notice the Yellow Lab swimming in Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Very close to Bellagio is Villa del Balbianello, a castle where a scene from Star Wars II and Casino Royale were shot.

Villa del Balbianello

Villa del Balbianello

Italian Riviera

I enjoyed the Italian Riviera more than any other place visited on our trip thus far. It is scenic, full of life, and has lots of water activities. All great ingredients for a fun vacation.

Monterosso

We stayed in Monterosso and visited the other villages via train during the day (just minutes away by train). Monterosso was our favorite, it was large enough to have great restaurants and shopping areas but small enough to feel intimate.

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

I woke up early one morning and hiked to the top of Monterosso for some incredible views.

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

Monterosso

Monterosso

A small chapel resides at the top that overlooks the city. It was small, only about 7 or so pews on each side of the church.

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

I stumbled on an Italian artist painting the landscape, very cool!

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

Vernazza

About 3 years ago, Lynn and I were in Breckenridge Colorado and purchased an enlarged photograph of a Greek Island from a travel photographer. He had traveled all over the world and had some incredible pictures of Italy. We struggled between purchasing the picture of Greece vs. a picture of Vernazza. Since then, I have wanted to capture that picture.

On this trip, I got the shot! I hiked for about an hour to get to the spot I needed to shoot this picture. In reality, I could have hiked about 15 minutes if I had known where to go, but I missed the turnoff and took the long way around.

I took the picture from a lot of different angles — which one do you like best?

Vernazza

Vernazza – Angle 1

Vernazza

Vernazza – Angle 2

Vernazza

Vernazza – Angle 3

Vernazza

Vernazza – Angle 4

Vernazza

Vernazza – Angle 5

On my way back down the mountain, I came across this cat sleeping in front of a residence. I awoke him from his slumber, he did not look happy.

Cat in Vernazza

Cat in Vernazza

Cat in Vernazza

Cat in Vernazza

Next we are heading to Florence, Tuscany (for a Chianti wine tour), Rome, Pompeii, and Capri Italy. We will end our trip in Lisbon Portugal.